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HIRE RIGHT EVERY TIME With These 9 Recruiting Steps

When Scaling Your Real Estate Team, Resist Taking Shortcuts And Use This 9 Step Process As Your Guide To Recruiting Right The First Time.

In this crazy market, many real estate teams are in the process of growing. It may not seem like it, but having the right process in place for recruiting is critical to the success of your business. Handling recruitment in the wrong way risks costing you time, money, and worst of all; the cultural integrity of your team.

Take it from real estate coach, investor, and entrepreneur, Erik Hatch. In a recent interview with Ylopo, Hatch explains how hiring people in the wrong way actually cost him his entire business in the early days of his real estate career. As a result, he was forced to cut his losses, scrap his original team, and start over.

Having learned from his previous hiring mistakes, Hatch invented a rigorous 9 step recruiting process that he continues to use today to grow his now very successful 52 person real estate team. In addition to the 9 step process, Hatch uses a numerical breakdown as a guide to select the right candidates. Hatch explains:

Now that you have the basic foundational aspects down in a numerical formula, let’s dig in and learn each step individually. 

STEP 1: PUBLISH A WELL-WRITTEN JOB ADVERTISEMENT 

This step may seem like an obvious one, but it’s important, and there are a few not-so-obvious tweaks Erik Hatch adds to this step.

  • Be sure to discuss your company’s culture, values, and goals in the job listing and mention what sort of personality traits the individual you’re seeking should have. As always, be sure not to discriminate against individuals for things like age, race, sex religion, etc… You should be asking for personality traits such as, “someone who is disciplined and able to hold themselves accountable” or “someone who knows that weekends, holidays, and nights are often prime-time hours for this position and are willing to work on these occasions regularly.” 
  • When crafting your job ad, try to shift your mindset away from “I need to attract candidates to work for me” to “candidates need to attract me to their application.” So, instead of writing a job post that glamorizes how awesome it is to work on your real estate team, mention how much work it is going to take and what type of person will thrive in the production-based role you’re hiring for. This way, the candidates you attract to apply for your job opening will likely be a better fit for your team and go into the next recruiting steps with appropriate expectations of how much work they will need to put forth in order to be a successful member of your team.  
  • Don’t have a job advertisement up exclusively during the time when you are actively hiring. Instead, always be actively recruiting. This way you’ll be consistently growing your team so when the perfect candidate comes along you can react. Otherwise, you put yourself in a position of having to pick from the limited group of people who applied for your job opening in the little window of time when you had your listing posted.

STEP 2: REVIEW RESUMES & SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILES

Another seemingly obvious recruiting step, but one that is actually the first critical step in preserving the cultural integrity of your team. While reviewing resumes, don’t fall into the trap of exclusively looking for people who have previous real estate experience. Not only could this cause you to miss out on some ideal cultural fits, but when you hire seasoned agents they may already have bad habits developed from their previous experiences that you’ll then need to break. What you should be looking for is an individual who is a great culture fit, has tenacity, grit, and is overall designed for a sales-type role. 

“We have 52 people on our team right now and only 3 of us have had previous real estate experience. By hiring people who are culture fits and have the right kind of grit and tenacity, we’ve been able to build something pretty special.” 

– Erik Hatch

Once you’ve reviewed resumes and selected some individuals you think are a possible fit, don’t skip the step of reviewing their social media profiles. This can give you a better insight into who the person is outside of what they included on their resume and can often help you determine if the person is truly the right cultural fit for your team. Pro-tip! Make sure you’re looking at the right social media account.     

STEP 3: CREATE BARRIERS OF ENTRY (PRO-TIP)

In this step, you’re really beginning to test the tenacity of your candidates and giving them the opportunity to show that they’re interested, that they have what it takes to work in the real estate business, and more specifically that they have the grit to work effectively on your unique real estate team.  

One of the ways Erik Hatch creates barriers of entry is through what he calls “Career Night”. Career night is an event that Hatch sponsors for all the candidates to attend in person. The purpose of career night is to educate the candidates on what the role is, who the Hatch team is, and how they work. 

Here are just a few reasons career night is a great addition to your recruiting process:

  • You can quickly filter out all the candidates who choose not to show up to your career night, effectively thinning the pool of applicants you consider moving forward with.

“The moment you get 30 people in the room you can pick out your favorite 3 – no problem.” 

– Erik Hatch

  • Career night is the first extra step that is put into place that gives a candidate the opportunity to go above and beyond the status quo. 
  • It is a fantastic time-saver. Instead of doing dozens of one-on-one conversations you can deliver your message one time at scale.  
  • You can discuss in person about the time commitment needed, work required, and general demands of the job and gauge their reactions live.
  • You can have multiple stakeholders on your team involved to interact with the candidates in person. Different people will see and hear different things and provide different perspectives of an individual allowing you to make a more informed decision.

STEP 4: HAVE CANDIDATES COMPLETE A JOB QUESTIONNAIRE

Once you have filtered down your pool of applicants through your career night, layer in an additional barrier of entry. Hatch sends the remaining candidates an essay-type questionnaire to complete that gives him a more in-depth view into their answers. Hatch’s questions often vary between cultural questions, scenario-type questions, and technical competency-related questions. 

Like career night, anyone who does not complete and return the job questionnaire is eliminated as a candidate moving forward in the recruiting process; further filtering down the list of eligible candidates.

STEP 5: HOLD THE FIRST INTERVIEW (30 MINUTES) & RUN BACKGROUND CHECKS

Finally, you should conduct your initial interview. This is a great time to talk a lot about their resume, basic technical skills, and understanding of the job. Keep this interview restricted to job-related competencies only and judge the candidate based on the content of their answers, the delivery of their answers (eloquence), and their demeanor. Take special notice of how confident or nervous they seem. Next, run a standard background check on each candidate you’re pushing through to the next step in the process. 

STEP 6: CONDUCT DEEP REFERENCE CHECKS (PRO-TIP)

This is where things get more complex. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and attempt to be Sherlock Holmes! 

Erik Hatch practices what he calls “deep reference checks”. Hatch argues that your regular run-of-the-mill reference checks don’t provide an accurate depiction of the candidate. Here’s why; if you ask the candidate for references, there is a 100% chance that the candidate will only provide you references who will paint them in a positive light. Why would they do otherwise? This is why it’s important to dig deeper to get a more accurate review of the person you’re looking to hire. 

Here’s how it’s done:

STEP 7: HOLD THE SECOND INTERVIEW (3 HOURS) 

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. A 3-hour interview sounds like overkill, but this interview is split into two parts. Part 1 is a 2-hour in-depth discussion about the person’s background and is meant to be a time where you really get to know the person well. Part 2 is a 1-hour in-depth discussion about the person’s job competencies and on gauging their level of coachability.

In part 1 of this interview, you’ll want to try and dig out their highest of highs and lowest of lows and understand how each of those experiences impacted them. Your goal during this interview is to stop them from giving you any repeated or rehearsed answers and dig through those rehearsed answers when you do receive them; dig through by continuing to ask more questions and get into their “why”. Finally, try and discover why they make the decisions that lead them to the next place on their life journey. 

If this all seems too intrusive, think of it this way; you may be spending more time with this person than you do with your own personal family and you’re trusting them with hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars of responsibility. Do not breeze over this step because it is too uncomfortable to dig that deep; just be very well versed on what you’re allowed to ask and what you’re not allowed to ask in an interview. 

Moving on to part 2 will feel more like a standard interview. This is where you get into the real technicalities of the job and into their level of proficiency and experience. You will also want to try and get an understanding of how coachable the person is. Look out for people who consider themselves “self-made”. You always want to try and hire an individual who is willing to improve themselves and help others improve as well. 

STEP 8: HAVE THE “FINAL VALIDATION” INTERVIEW 

You’ve made it to step 8 which means you’re almost there! This is the last “review” step in the 9 step process and it’s the final validation interview. 

The final validation interview is the interview they will have with either the people they will be working most with intimately on a daily basis or the person or people risking their money and business directly. So, this interview would be with the highest stakeholders at your company (think broker-owner) or the members of the direct team they will be joining. This step is important as those involved in this final validation interview are the ones who give the ultimate thumbs up or thumbs down to moving forward with the candidate. 

Pro tip: Hold this interview in a less professional environment like a bar or a coffee shop. Taking the candidate to a more informal setting may expose more of their personality and give the interviewers a more genuine perspective of the candidate’s character. 

STEP 9: EXTEND THE JOB OFFER

Finally, you made it to the point where you have one fully-vetted candidate. They made it through the interviews, the reference checks, the cultural review, and lastly the validation from the senior-most stakeholder or their direct team members. Now there’s nothing left to do but extend the job offer. 

At this stage, you should have 100% confidence that you’re hiring the right person for your team, that you are comfortable trusting the success of your business to them, and that they will be sticking around for a good long while. It’s a great and well-deserved feeling. 

Congratulations! 

CLOSING THOUGHTS 

We won’t pretend that implementing these 9 recruiting steps won’t be time-consuming and require a certain level of commitment from you, but when practiced, they will help you to always hire right the first time around and ultimately save you time and money – keeping your turnover low and your risk at a minimum.

For more helpful tips on hiring, including how to hire an ISA, you can view the entire interview session with Erik Hatch and Robbie T. here

Learn more about the interviewer at www.ylopo.com 

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