Over the past six months I’ve noticed a number of key themes emerge from the conversations I’ve had with agents – one of these is recruitment.
Be it the challenge of finding talented staff in the first place or retaining them long-term, recruitment is a topic that has cropped up time and time again.
Why? Well, building a great team isn’t easy, especially when the pressure is on to keep pace as your business grows.
There is an art to it, though, and identifying people that are right for you, your business and your clients is key to this.
You’ll know you’ve done well when someone new slots in effortlessly with your existing team, almost as if they’ve been there for years.
Be broad minded when it comes to who that person is too. Here at Moneypenny we have receptionists from a wide range of different backgrounds, yet if you walk amongst them, they each have the same positive approach we look for in every applicant.
That’s something money can’t buy and it’s a philosophy we swear by. We can teach people the skills they need, but a smiley, sunny, intuitive disposition has to come from within.
No amount of qualifications and experience will cut the mustard when personalities and styles are clashing in the office, or more importantly, with your homebuyers and vendors.
Once you’ve found your crack team of staff, the next hurdle is, of course, keeping hold of them. Quite often employees are initially attracted to a role because of things like salary, holiday entitlement, location or pension opportunities.
Those won’t be enough to keep them warm at night and performing at their best for the long haul, though. What does matter is how the company makes them feel. Research repeatedly shows that `genuine concern’ is top of the list when it comes to what employees are looking for from their employer.
We’ve found that creating an environment in which everyone feels valued, respected, recognised and rewarded – all pulling in the same direction to achieve shared goals, is fundamental to this.
It’s often said that staff leave leaders, not companies, so a good leader doesn’t just pull the flock together – they tend to it, nurture it and talk to it, allowing staff to develop and grow, while remembering the power of the words `thank you’ and `well done.’
Look after your staff and they will look after your customers. Simple. There is no place for negativity in a happy business.
Joshua Rayner of Rayner Personnel, sees the challenges agencies face first-hand, having placed over 5,000 property professionals from juniors to CEOs in his time.
“Talent management is key to a team achieving its potential. Finding the right people, developing and encouraging them, communicating well with them and working to their strengths are all important tools in insuring you and your talent are getting the most from every role in your business,” he says.
“The first step is getting the right people on the bus! If you can do this, the need to find a way to motivate and manage them day-to-day reduces as great people are already willing to engage with the role and achieve goals.”
“It is also important to keep your talent in the loop. Explain to them what you hope to achieve in the next few years and where you see them fitting in to help achieve those goals. The feeling of value and having potential opportunities to progress can have a really positive affect on your employees.”
Sir Richard Branson encourages businesses to 'train people well enough so they can leave but treat them well enough so they don’t want to'.
Achieve this and you won’t go far wrong. Match employee passion and aptitude with a role that challenges them in a good way, and encourage staff to play an active part in decision-making processes.
Whether it’s embarking on a new marketing approach or choosing a local charity to support. Bringing people in to the fold will help them feel engaged as an integral part of the business.
Like estate agency, telephone answering is a highly personal service, so we have a duty to do everything we can to recruit well and be the best employers we can.
Only then can we be confident that we are consistently delivering our best to our clients while pulling together to help our businesses fly.
*Samantha Jones is Commercial Manager of Corporate and Property at telephone answering specialist Moneypenny