Your property management business is growing, and your time is better spent showing properties and meeting with owners to expand your portfolio instead of sitting in the office. Your ability to do what needs to be done hinges on having an office staff to take care of the little things for you. Remember they are representing you to the public. Your brother-in-law's cousin's niece might work for peanuts, but if she's unprofessional with tenants or owners on the phone, you will regret the nepotism.
Here are five key tips for hiring office staff:
1. Consider your biggest business needs
Think about what you really need. Everyone wants to save money, that is just the nature of business owners, to maintain the bottom line. However, if you decide to hire an unqualified person like the example used above, don't be surprised when he or she is incapable of running the front of your office in the professional manner you expect. This is why it is imperative that you sit back and really look at your situation and your business needs.
2. Write your job description
Long-winded, rambling job descriptions risk making a qualified candidate lose interest. Create a job description that is concise, but covers all of the key responsibilities of the role. Include a bit of what your company can offer the right candidate, such as advancement opportunities or benefits.
3. Post it!
Craigslist is probably the first online outlet most of us think of when it comes to posting anything, but consider other avenues such as LinkedIn, Monster, Careerbuilder and Indeed. When using these types of online resources, give a lot of thought to keywords that will attract the candidate you want.
4. Evaluate candidates carefully
Instead of hiring the first person who expresses interest, do yourself and your business a favor and make sure you're hiring the right person. Check job history and references, asking questions that speak more to the character and work ethic of your potential hire. If it takes a while to find the right person, it will be worth the wait.
LinkedIn is a great and often under-utilized resource for screening potential hires, and looking at someone's Facebook, Twitter and other social media can tell you quite a bit about temperament and character. However, using social media as a form of background check can be risky and may lead to questions about possible discrimination. Business News Daily states that "Depending on what you see and how you use it when deciding which candidate to hire, you could be subject to a lawsuit from someone who didn't get the job."
5. The interview
Take a deep breath. The best, most productive interviews take place when both parties can be authentic. When a candidate, and interviewer for that matter, is able to relax some, the environment becomes more conductive to getting to know the real person underneath the polished exterior. This is especially important if you are a one-man or woman office. If you hire someone for their skills on paper and their personality turns out to be at odds with your own, you will be back to square one.
Keep these five tips in mind when hiring property management office staff, and you're likely to find the right fit for your business.