The rental housing industry is already familiar with a high turnover rate for their frontline employees. But the Great Resignation has exacerbated the problem even more, causing properties to struggle when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees. There are many reasons for this increase in resignations, however, Millennials and Gen Z seem to be leading the way with asks of better work-life balance, higher pay, and feeling more valued in their work.
The cost of turnover is already an expensive one. So, to have turnover increase while job vacancies stay open for long periods of time must mean it’s also time for the rental housing industry to take a hard look at their recruiting practices to fill these losses. However, with job vacancies still open, the focus is on finding and recruiting the right hires. The solutions aren’t cut and dry, but there are adjustments that can help do a better job of hiring the right people as well as being a great employer for your teams.
Your employer brand matters. All things considered in the current job market, people are looking for an employer who is active, who cares for their employees, and who will set them up for success in their career. With that in mind, it’s important to display those qualities online and in your business.
From a digital standpoint, focus on the places these candidates will visit first. Your website, for example, is a great start for you to exemplify who you are as an employer. Whether this be on the “About Us” page or the “Careers” page, there should be more than just features of your leadership team. Showcase the people at the company supporting that leadership to give potential employees the chance to envision themselves at properties, too.
The Careers page is also a great spot to display the perks or benefits of working for your company. These can be both quantitative and qualitative perks, from 401(k) and health insurance plans to flexible PTO or paid-for lunches.
LinkedIn is another platform highly recommended for finding and connecting with potential employees and employers. With banners in profiles saying #LookingForWork and easy job postings, finding candidates can be a lot smoother on LinkedIn.
However, there are many companies, especially in property management, who haven’t touched their LinkedIn company pages since LinkedIn first launched – and it shows. Yet, LinkedIn is one of the main sources for job hirings to date. LinkedIn’s company pages highlight who the company is as a whole, who works there to date and their roles, as well as hosted job descriptions and openings for anyone to see.
It’s also a simple way to check out your candidates, whether through a recruiter or own your own. You can instantly see their resume, recommendations by colleagues, accomplishments, and lists of their hard and soft skills.
Glassdoor is another great way to keep up your employee brand. While it has it’s bad rap of being a venting session for former and current employees, responding to those reviews with the facts and a response that validates their experience (“I hear you, we are looking into how to do better”) gives the appeal to future employees that you listen and care about their problems in every day work life. And yes, most candidates read Glassdoor reviews.
If you’re looking to recruit someone top talent who will also stay long term at your company, there are two kinds of lenses to put on: the employee and the employer. Putting on the employee lens, remember what motivates people and inspires them to work somewhere. What other things do people look for in a job besides benefits and paychecks?
Relationship-building During Recruiting
People want to feel as if they are connected and have purpose and value at their job. So one of the best ways to establish that is creating a relationship during the hiring process. At ResMan, we’ve seen remarkable success in having our recruiter follow up with candidates between interviews, asking how the interviews went, answering questions, and giving validation for hesitations or excitement about a position. This goes for candidates who don’t end up being hired and onboarded, as well.
This relationship helps people feel valued and considered as they’re making career decisions and ultimately, that same validation instills confidence in candidates about how well they will be supported if they come to work for you. Not to mention, even if a candidate is not the right fit, that great first impression will be a motivation to refer others in their network.
It’s also important to check in with the diversity at your property. Are there pathways for minorities to move up and does that reflect in your offices? You’re interviewing with all kinds of top talent who also have all kinds of backgrounds, and this requires embodying a business that supports the growth of all people at your company. Candidates are more likely to feel confident about you as an employer when they can envision themselves working hard and moving up in the company, just like their peers. Make sure your level of diversity at the property will welcome all candidates. You will see more applications and talent show up.
Hiring the right fit
As you are recruiting talent across the board, you want to hire a candidate who has drive, skills, and talent and will be able to support you as the employer. A bad hire can cost much more overall. So how do you figure out the difference during the hiring process?
We recommend having a hiring committee created by you as the employer. This hiring committee could be diverse positions in the company that might work closely with this role on a day-to-day basis. Consider creating a collaborative scorecard, listing must-have skills and desired skills. List out soft skills that would potentially be a positive contribution in these positions.
Creating a scorecard to make note of both critical skills and intangibles with personal notes from interviews can be a wonderful way for the hiring committee to come together and compare before offering a position to the candidate. This helps lower the risk of missing any overlooked qualities that could impact their performance or ability to work at the property. It can also validate and establish consistency for any positive qualities seen by multiple committee members in a candidate.
It’s also great to consider multi-stage interviews to gather the necessary information in the hiring process. Your first interviews can be done by the hiring committee where you focus more on the qualification of the candidates critical skills, but we encourage taking a different approach for a final interview.
At ResMan, we include a final stage interview with HR, where we ask questions about the candidate as a person and their character. You might ask questions like, “When was a time in your previous roles where you delighted a customer?” or “Where was a time you and your team had a problem and you contributed to a solution?” to better understand their how they would handle common situations at your property.
End the interview by asking what they’re passionate about, as this also can give you insight as to what motivates these candidates outside of their job. You’d be surprised at how those answers can connect back to their potential role at your property.
All in all, recruiting isn’t a process to be taken lightly, especially now. Even with leasing season ahead, be thorough and tactical about how your approach to filling open positions. That investment will come back to you in time and money saved from constant turnover.