The best recruitment strategies reduce stress, save you time and money, and make your job easier. Today there are many strategic options, but before recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) had become the popular recruitment strategy it is today, and certainly before there was a dedicated real estate RPO company like TalentWoo available, it was a daunting task to fill real estate job vacancies, much less hire for large projects like a new apartment complex or industrial center.

Recruitment strategy: In-house and staffing agency

 In one of my many past lives, one specific responsibility was to oversee the planning and implementation of a centralized call center solution, which included staffing. One call center was designated as the hub, branching out to specialized centers. Keenly aware of contact center attrition rates, I needed to handle the ramp-up to fill the positions while anticipating attrition, which meant ensuring that I hired the best candidates in light of the job requirements and company culture.

Obstacle: HR department limitations

Although I had an entire human resources department at my disposal for post-hire activities such as onboarding, they could not provide pre-hire support beyond offering a skills assessment portal and posting job descriptions online. Because of that limitation, they could not accommodate application reviews, background checks, or other pre-hire tasks.

The application process and quality of applicants from both HR and the agencies presented unique challenges and obstacles to overcome. To help with finding applicants and the pre-hire process, the HR department put me in touch with a hiring agency for support. Whether through the HR department or the agency, all applications would be forwarded directly to me for processing and review.

 Obstacle: Unvetted and unqualified applicants

 The headaches continued trying to fit employment and professional reference verifications into my tight schedule. Unvetted applications from job boards and the company job postings reached my desk. That translated into countless hours reviewing applications and vetting applicants to weed out the unqualified ones.

The employment agencies did not make the process any easier. Although the agency promised to deliver vetted applicants before reaching me for consideration, it didn’t mean that these applicants would be a good fit for our department’s needs and company culture, nor did it guarantee they were even available.

Obstacle: Staffing agency pipeline issues

More times than I can count, when I requested the staffing agency move an applicant forward in the hiring process, I’d learn they had already placed them elsewhere. Interesting to note that a replacement candidate who was often less qualified than the original became available as a replacement.

When I was able to find an available candidate from their list who appeared to be qualified on paper, when it came to the interview process, often the candidate didn’t live up to the hype from the agency.

From stale applicant lists to over-inflated qualifications, the staffing agency hiring pipeline appeared to be either non-existent or broken.

Being a salaried employee responsible to the board of directors and shareholders to meet deadlines within budget, I lost countless hours of sleep and family time to meet my obligations to ensure we’d have a fully trained staff when the center launched.

Recruitment Strategy: Work with a dedicated real estate RPO

 My story could have turned out differently had I taken the route of a national property management company that was in a similar circumstance.

 The Challenge

Their goal was to centralize several of its operations into three distinctive and separate call centers to optimize maintenance dispatch and resolution, customer service, and sales/leasing. Relocating two centers from another state, both centers needed complete restaffing. A third center required a halt to its use of temporary workers to fill vacancies.

Taking into account the high turnover rate of up to 45% in contact centers, they needed a solution that could ramp up quickly, handle future attrition, and gain the trust of managers who preferred to hire by trial when making hiring decisions.

The Solution

This property management company reached out to the real estate hiring experts at TalentWoo, who provided a recruitment process customized to meet the specific objectives. First, they placed an on-site, dedicated contact center recruiter to run the high-volume staffing function. This on-site recruiter was in charge of career fairs, open houses, contact center tours, and other forms of employer marketing to drive candidate traffic.

Secondly, because of the cyclical nature of call center staffing, a 7-Step process was created by the recruitment process outsource (RPO) to continually keep the candidate pipeline full and identify, hire and retain top-caliber market talent. With monthly training classes established, well-defined hiring manager schedules, and set tour dates, a customized company-specific hiring rhythm developed.

Strategy Comparison: Hiring Manager and Staffing Agency vs. Recruitment Process Outsourcing

Being a hiring manager with limited human resource assistance and inconsistent agency leads, the staffing for a large new project wasn’t without its challenges. Finding qualified talent while holding down my other responsibilities was time-consuming and costly.

Training sessions were staggered inefficiently due to delays in qualified applicants. In short, the cost-to-hire and recruiting-cost-rates could have been more satisfactory had we had an RPO solution available.

 As for the national property management company, they experienced on-site, hands-on support, which included:

Employer marketing drove interest in opportunities through local colleges, multiple job fairs, online job boards, social media, and employee referral programs. This type of marketing helps build brand awareness in the community and promotes the other functions of the business.

Telephone screening provides an opportunity to evaluate an applicant’s telephone communication skills, etiquette, energy, relevant experience, salary requirements, and job interest.

On-site tours were conducted by having an on-site recruiter who could evaluate applicant punctuality, follow-through, professional presentation, in-person communication skills, and reinforcement of interest.

Panel interviews included structured behavioral-based interviews to measure five core competencies and evaluate applicants’ company research.

Structured role plays evaluated the applicant’s ability to reinforce the company brand, display empathy, ask probing questions, problem solve, and make and end calls professionally.

Quantitative competency analysis scored each applicant numerically in the five core competencies. Those scores were tallied, averaged, and compared to existing standards and the candidate pool.

Background checks include verification of education, employment, criminal history, and references. These thoroughly conducted background checks provided the necessary information for making the best hiring decisions.

Training classes were scheduled for two weeks to ensure the new employees were competent, prepared, and thoroughly familiar with the company’s procedures and expectations.

As a result of the customized on-site, high-volume recruiting program, this national property management company was able to find a successful hiring rhythm with all three contact centers, filling monthly classes of 5 to 15 new contact center agents.

Real Estate RPO: A Clear Winner

Beyond completing the task of finding quality candidates to quickly and efficiently fill vacancies, the real estate staffing experts at TalentWoo brought added value to the national property management company through brand awareness and a streamlined hiring processes still in use today. This real estate recruitment partner became in essence, a seamless extension of the human resources department and provided much needed project and ongoing support.

Working with an RPO like TalentWoo, who understands the real estate industry, you can receive dedicated attention to customize your solution, realize cost savings and time efficiencies, and gain a partner who champions your hiring and retention goals.