‘Detective work’ vital to successful recruiting

The head of one of Australia’s top sales offices has learnt the hard way how important it is to do due diligence on prospective recruits.

ACTON Mandurah, which was named Regional Sales Office of Year at the recent Real Estate Business Awards, uses background checks to ensure it recruits the right people, according to principal Graeme Baxter.

Mr Baxter told REB he had made some hiring errors during his 45 years as a real estate boss – and that bad staff are harder to dismiss than they are to employ.

That’s why his Western Australian business does internet checks on potential recruits and also gets staff involved in the screening.

“It’s about talking to people who perhaps know them – not necessarily references, but other people,” he said. “Just a little bit of background information or detective work as to what their background's like.

“Before we put on key people like sales staff or property managers, we go to the existing staff and just see if there's anything that we should know that they may have discovered, so we make them part of the process as well.”

ACTON Mandurah has an 18-person sales team – 15 salespeople and three buyer’s agents.

Mr Baxter said the young people he employs these days are a step above those of the previous generation and therefore need to be treated more equally.

“Young people are certainly far better educated, far more au fait with what's in the real world than I was at their age,” he said.

“As a young fellow growing up, your experience is so much broader today and … just treating them with respect and in a professional manner is probably the key to it all.”

[Related: ACTON Mandurah makes Top 50 Sales Offices ranking]

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