Google the title of this article and you will receive more than 50,000,000 results, illustrating the sheer volume of information and expert advice that is available on this topic. Attracting and retaining talent is the holy grail and secret to business success and longevity. The real estate industry is no exception, and talent is the key, if not the only, element that determines success or failure.
The battle to be the employer of choice, to be the agency everyone wants to be a part of, is not easy. It comes down to many fundamentals, and as an industry, we haven’t got it right. If we are honest with ourselves, we may have one of the most transient workforces than any other profession. There are many reasons for this, including low entry requirements, a lack of ongoing training and the inherent nature of the current environment. Regardless of the reason, a business owner must assume full responsibility if they wish to build not only a profitable business, but also one that is enjoyable.
In order to attract and retain the right people, I recommend the following strategies.
Talent attraction and retention starts and ends here. One of the first questions I get asked as a network CEO is, “Will you help me recruit?” I always reply with, “Yes, and what type of person are you looking for?” Those that reply with, “I want someone who has experience so I don’t have to train or worry about them and will just do their job without presenting any challenges to me”, I quickly move on from. To win in this area, you must be a leader who gives. One who takes an interest and is wanting to help the employee to grow and succeed. You cannot fake that. It is either in your DNA or it is not. And by the way, if it is not in your DNA, and you want to be free of any challenges, save yourself the heartache of building a team and become a solo entrepreneur.
- Remunerate above the odds
It may not be on the top of most people’s career wish lists as many survey results often suggest, but when you think about it logically, if you are looking for the best in anything, you tend to have to give more. Fair reward from a salary perspective is important, but added rewards such as trips away, shopping or dinning and entertaining experiences are also a great way and go a long way of showing appreciation and building loyalty.
- Recognition and involvement
Almost everyone would like to be recognised for their efforts or recognised for going above and beyond. It helps individuals feel connected and valued, making them feel like they belong and have a voice. The more this is genuinely exhibited, the more that employees will feel connected and invested in the outcomes and success of the organisation.
- Team building
Team building should be the backbone of everything that you do. It needs to be deliberate, decisive and nurtured. Opportunities for teamwork and team building don’t just come in the form of offsite activities. It needs to be ingrained in an organisation’s culture. It comes down to the smallest of things like the workstations people work at, the type of meetings you have and how everyone interacts with each other.
- Eliminating negativity
A team is only as strong as its weakest link and if negativity is left unchecked, it has the potential to corrode the entire organisation. Negativity and poor behaviour are the biggest killer of a high-performance culture. Leaders must step up to the plate and eliminate negativity and promote a zero tolerance of it at the onset.
- Professional development
Perpetual learning is a driving force for good talent. Great companies find both the time and allocate resources to ensure this happens. They create an environment and willingness that encourages everyone to learn and share from each other. Not investing in this area will foster complacency and mediocrity.
- Progressive and contrarian
People want to be part of a progressive company and a business that gives back. A company of a certain ethos and vision with a clear sense of direction and a value-based mission attracts and retains people. Being different and being contrarian is one way to attract and retain employees. In many cases, going against the grain works to great effect.
Top talent is challenging to attract and even more challenging to keep. But business owners must also make sure when building a team, they are engaging with people who have common and shared values. Just because the competitors may be drooling over them doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right fit for your organisation, big or small. It is insightful and sound advice to “hire slow, and exit quickly”.
Manos Findikakis is CEO and co-founder of the Eview Group.