Bob Dominy, President of Merion Realty Management

Three years ago, I was asked to found a property management company to oversee the investments of a private equity firm. In that short period, Merion Realty Management of Wynnewood, Pa., has grown rapidly to encompass 38 communities with 10,000 units in ten states. Our business saw same-store NOI increases in excess of 10 percent in both of the last two years. What’s more, a further $280 million private equity recapitalization and a $50 million foreign commitment have us looking forward to more even growth in the future.

Running a business that now employs 300, the biggest thing I can emphasize is that there are many different successful ways to approach recruitment. What’s important is that you consider recruitment and management together as a system. It is imperative that you carefully define what you want in a candidate, how decentralized you want the position to be, its reporting structure, incentives and the expected career path of the new hire. If you fail to do this, you will not only be fooling the candidate but will also be fooling yourself.

Our recruitment system at Merion is unique. We like to hire managers-in-training immediately upon graduation following on-campus recruitment sessions. We do our utmost to retain an entrepreneurial flavor, and we also believe strongly in promotion from within. By the time an employee has held several positions of increasing responsibility, we know his character through and through.

But no matter how well you plan, there are always times when positions cannot be filled from within or by college recruitment. In that case, we find it most effective to contact an experienced executive recruiter like Christopher Frederick. Such a professional is infinitely more effective than the various job websites. That’s because a talented recruiter’s Rolodex tends to contain the names of many people who are outstanding in their current positions but are not seeking new employment. Without that network, your search may consist of only second-tier candidates.