Recruiting the right people for the right job

By: bcorcoran
Let's start with a story. I had a client, an agent who had just moved to a new market, who wanted to make a fresh start with the profession. I worked with her to renew her approach to real estate, one that allowed her to see real estate as a business. A vital part of this plan was to get her to realize she couldn't do it all. So before she started, we agreed that she would hire two employees: a buyer's agent and an administrative assistant. It proved to be a powerful move. In one year, she was the number one REALTOR?; in her market.

If you opened a restaurant you wouldn't plan to be the cook, the waiter, the host and the manager. You shouldn't do that it in real estate either. To be successful in this profession, you need the right people doing the right jobs.

Let me ask you: How much time do you spend on non-dollar producing activities?

REALTORS?; perform four dollar-producing tasks: list, prospect, sell and negotiate. The rest is non-dollar producing activities. Everything you do outside these four items is not a good use of your time, time that could be spent taking your business to the next level.

Now, the big question: how do you hire the right people? Look again at that list of four tasks. Notice hiring isn't one of them. I'm a big proponent of outsourcing the hiring function. A temp agency, a recruiter or my company can help. And that third-party perspective can be healthy, and save you from doing non-dollar producing work.

But, if you choose to do it yourself, my advice, whether you're hiring salespeople or administrative staff, is DO NOT rush. The more time you spend up front, preparing to hire, the better. If you hire out of desperation, you'll end up deeper in the hole fixing a bad hire. And the wrong pick can bring your business to a screeching halt. When they leave, guess who gets to do their work? Plus, a poor employee is going to affect you and your team emotionally, and your clients will pick up on this.

Next, write down all the duties the position will fulfill. Design the job with structure and organization, and make it fit your long-term needs and business plan.

For the interview, choose strategic questions. Here are a few that have proven successful in my business when hiring administrative staff or salespeople:

1. Have you ever played team sports?
?Remember, you're creating a team. You want people who understand the team concept. Avoid building a group of individuals who just call themselves a team. A true team doesn't have ulterior motives and team members are on the same page, they know precisely where they're going and how they will get there.

2. Was the team any good? Why? Why not?
?See if this person understands what makes a team flourish.

3. Tell me about a favorite work experience?
?This will help you understand what the person likes in a job and if your opening fits his or her needs and wants.

4. Tell me about a former favorite boss?
?This reveals the kind of personality the interviewee works best with. Will you mesh with the prospect? (An important note, you have to know yourself and the personality types that you work best with, too.)

5. Tell me about a bad past work experience and how you handled it?
?This opens the door to how the person might function in a stressful situation, and I don't have to tell you, real estate has its share of stress.

I challenge you to take a fresh look at your business and production levels right now. Take a few minutes now to write down where you are and ask yourself the tough question: are you where you want to be? If not, maybe you can benefit from building a team with the right players in the right position. A team that's moving toward the same goal. A team with synergy. And a team that will drive you forward to your goal with blinding speed and an unstoppable force. Good luck!
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