June 20, 2024

Fryer And Brown

Creating Your Dream Home

Supercharge Multifamily Property Management Hiring Quality and Improve Apartment Living

When we hire what are our goals? In my opinion, the objectives of hiring property management, maintenance and support are several:

  1. Immediately, we are seeking to assure specific day-to-day tasks are completed.
  2. Secondly, we hope to bring on board folks who are motivated, quality driven, and who may strengthen results over the course of time.
  3. Next, we desire that our hiring processes play a part in developing a great organization.

Unfortunately, other issues enter into this process that begin to derail the process even as the interview is underway including:

  1. The prospect may view the position as a low paying step toward their ultimate career goals and our business goals are already in the back seat even as we make the job offer.
  2. We try to save money by creating methods and means whereby we can avoid hiring more experienced better prepared employees and in the process set expectations with that person and within our organization that are not consistent with our goals.
  3. We create titles and roles that become limiting and destructive to the organization.
  4. We choose pay approaches that work counter to our organizational objectives.

What considerations should we be making? Recent research offers ideas that may suggest a way to significantly improve our organizational hiring performance and in turn the long term performance of the business.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, he describes two issues for us to keep in mind. The first is that true world class performance is reached after about 10,000 hours of dedicated practice and self improvement by most people. I believe that this idea can be extended to most organizations as well. In general, most employees only spend about 2,000 hours per year on the job. Since only about 40{bc081577d937b036760250a838c458dd2cdabe6c805de7ee78ca03a8e3da3931} of time for the most effective individuals can be applied to this 10,000 hour concept a new employee will need to be with the Company for over 10 years to accumulate this kind of experience. The good news here is if we are effective hiring a good deal of this experience can be acquired. Creating a great organization can to some extent be shaped by pursuing this level of experience and skill among employees as they are hired and creating a working and learning environment that builds toward this.

Next, Outliers also points out that in many cases employees do not continue to improve themselves. Instead they develop a certain expertise and stagnate. These employees can perform required valuable work, but they do not create great organizations. The organization must screen to gain new employees that are not stagnant and must avoid placing these type employees in key positions. However, hiring this type employee into an established 1st class organization is effective for stablized positions.

Looking elsewhere, Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman’s Sway adds to this picture. Research shows that people are highly effected by expectations of them. If they are seen as exceptional they become exceptional and vice versa. Therefore, the Company can capitalize on this fact by creating a set of “hurdles” for prospective employees to achieve to be hired and “hurdles” to be met to be promoted that are then touted as defining exceptional. The result will be a team that sees itself as great. All of us are familiar with organizations that achieve this. The Marine Corps daily embues young average men with the sense of their commitment and the level they must perform that creates a sense of esprit. This esprit has made the Marine Corps the greatest fighting force in the world for most of the last 200 years. Good to Great sites company after company that has achieved the same. Jim Collins describes this as getting the “Right People in the Right Seats on the Bus”. I would add that he proobably didn’t spend enough time discussing the expected behaviors from these folks as this is a big key to these folks becoming the right people.

Next, Sway describes the research of Dr. Huffcutt on hiring practices. The short result is interviews fall somewhere between worthless and a disaster. Dr. Huffcutt recommends compentency tests, apptitude tests, and practically oriented questions are much more effective predictors of future position work. He recommends that the interview should be a session with the selected candidate designed to create the sense of their special qualification and the Company’s excitement to gain this person.

How then should we modify our hiring and human resource development processes to gain better employees, develop a stronger work force, and achieve operational excellence?

  • Create standards and measures for hiring that can be held up to the candidate to describe them as the cream of the crop and sense of their superiority.
  • Establish expectations and credentials that define performance and create a self correcting organization.
  • Use competency tests and apptitude tests to select.
  • Use the interview to create the right momentum into the job.
  • Provide feedback that builds up performance.
  • Quickly eliminate folks that should not be “on the bus”.

Good luck and good hiring!