Conducting multiple interviews is worth the time to help weed out people who don’t have the right ‘mindset’ or cultural fit for an agency, the heads of a top Melbourne agency have said.
“We always thought that culture was important,” James Hatzolos, director at Barry Plant Manningham, told Real Estate Business.
“Staff must have the same motivations, desires and direction.”
Mr Hatzolos and his business partner, fellow director Spiro Drossos, run the number one ranked agency in the Barry Plant network, a title they’ve kept for four consecutive years.
Despite their success they were quick to admit they don’t always select the right staff. But it’s not for want of effort or trying, with each potential employee interviewed at least three times before securing a job with the 45-strong staff office.
“Some ask, ‘How can you be bothered interviewing people so many times’,” Mr Hatzolos said.
Yet over three interviews, they said it’s interesting just how much more potential staff will reveal of themselves.
While they’ll tell you what you want to hear in the first interview, by the third meeting they’ll generally let their guard down, they told Real Estate Business.
How to tackle recruitment and keep key staff will be a key focus of a presentation Mr Hatzolos and Mr Drossos will deliver at the forthcoming Advanced Real Estate Learning (AREL) 2012 conference in Sydney and Melbourne.
The AREL 2012 Annual Forum will be held in Sydney on Thursday, May 31 and in Melbourne on June 1.
The directors are now less focused on recruiting sales representatives from other agencies and instead focus on developing and training staff.
For example, it’s hard to tell an experienced sales representative that their tie isn’t aligned correctly, or that their open home wasn’t set up just right, they said.
“Our best people have come from a personal assistant role,” Mr Drossos said. These people absorb the office culture over their 18-24 month trainee period, so they’re ready to perform in a manner that befits how the directors want things to be run.
Moreover, by linking them with a top sales agent, they assume that posting high sales volumes – and the hard work that goes into achieving this – is the norm.
“They progress with the same mindset,” Mr Drossos said.