We’ve all worked with “that guy.” The one with the impressive degree. The one with a long list of respected companies in his past. The employee who looks fantastic on paper, yet underperforms the minute that sterling resume gets tucked into the drawer of his new desk. As seasoned recruiters and personnel departments can attest, credentials and motivation don’t always move in unison. Likewise, many job hunters who endured unexpected career shifts during the recession possess valuable knowledge and dedication in spades, but that might not be immediately evident in their job history.
Employers: Focus on commitment
When business was slow, hiring managers could simply skim the most experienced people from a consistent pool of available talent. A brutal job market all but ensured new hires would work hard, if only for fear of being replaced. Thankfully, business has improved. Highly skilled workers – for example, seasoned purchasing and residential land acquisition experts – are again in short supply, and firms must adapt to attract the best talent. That means committing to the employee. Recruitment efforts should demonstrate an eagerness to fill the position with the right person. Companies should be responsive to candidate inquiries whenever possible. They should also communicate their workplace culture and potential advancement opportunities to show they’re committed to hiring good people for the long haul. In the same vein, hiring managers need to look for motivation on the part of candidates to perform the job at hand. Beyond their qualifications, do they seem excited about the specific opportunities of the position? Are they hungry for a step up in their career? Did something draw them to your company over your competitors? Most of all, companies will need to adapt their thinking to the realities of the post-recession labor market. What did applicants do during the downturn to adapt and add value when business was tough across the board? Highly motivated, well-suited candidates may not necessarily have the traditional resume bullet points associated with the position.
Job Candidates: Show, Don’t Tell
It’s meaningless for a candidate to simply list traits like passion, commitment and drive in a cover letter. After all, anyone can say that. Instead, job seekers need to sell the specifics of their skill sets and experience to employers. Examples of past projects turned in before deadline and exceeding goals show passion. Past loyalty and the sacrifice of time and compensation during lean years show commitment. Consistent follow-ups and non-stop networking show drive. Highlight strengths that are as relevant to the day-to-day needs of the employer as possible. One particularly effective way to demonstrate motivation is learning as much as possible about a hiring company. For example, I recently placed a candidate who at first appeared over-qualified for the job. He did his homework, researching everything he could about the company, good and bad. He approached the interview with the attitude that he could make the job opening an even better opportunity for the employer. By sharing his accomplishments and skills gained during the recession, then making a detailed case for how he could improve his new employer’s business, they ended up creating a new opportunity even more attractive than the original job. Both sides demonstrated how motivated they were, and both came out winners.
At Christopher Frederick, we’ve spent more than two decades helping some of the biggest names in real estate hire motivated executives that lead their businesses to growth. To learn more about how we leverage our digital network with our extensive recruitment experience, contact Chris Hingle at firstname.lastname@example.org, 800-EXU-FIRM. Or visit our website at www.chrisfred.com where you can find exclusive job listings for real estate executives.