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Recruiting and Retention, Two Very Different Animals

Over the years I’ve learned, recruiting top talent and retaining top talent are two very different things.  Although in a hiring crisis, one in which we’ve all just experienced, the lines can easily be blurred.

“It’s all about hiring good people right?” Wrong.

Hiring good employees, sure, is very important. The multifamily business is a people-centric business with many qualified employees but recruiting the best talent and finding the best fit, is a much different strategy than retaining them and keeping them happy. Allow me to explain.

Recruiting top talent, is largely a sales mindset. The top recruiters in the country, are amazing salespeople with many relationships, built on trust, credibility and a knowledge of an opening or vacancy. I don’t describe this role in this way, to diminish this skill, it’s actually very hard to cultivate. That’s why great recruiters are highly sought after. There’s something about a dynamic recruiter and the depth of their network, that’s hard to replicate or train.

Retaining top talent is a much more nuanced skill, laced with many soft skills along the way. Top talent comes with high expectations, and when those expectations are met – they’re satisfied. If their expectations are not met – the honeymoon is over, quickly.

The goal for every organization is to become good at both – recruiting top talent and keeping them happy.

First, top talent – knows top talent. Birds of a feather, flock together. A key to finding the industry’s best and brightest is to hire one yourself. This is a person who is great at their job, but also well connected to others in their field. This can be on-site, the corporate office or in maintenance. Top talent has high expectations of themselves and the people they work with. They elevate an organization or a property’s performance quickly, but they are often hard to find. When you find one, don’t let them leave – if you can.

It’s not always that easy to keep them. Top talent is constantly being approached by other hiring managers and being offered more money. Why do they stay? For a few reasons. They enjoy the people they work with, specifically their supervisor. They feel supported, heard, and respected. They enjoy the work they do, they feel satisfied that they’re making a difference. They feel there’s room to advance, to establish a satisfying career and grow their earnings.

So how do you win at both. Cultivate and grow your network. If you want to find more top talent – search for them, find them, hang around with them, learn from them, volunteer with them. You’ll begin to build authentic relationships with them. Authentic relationships lead to working relationships.

Once you establish a working relationship with them. Create an environment they want to work in. Be honest with them about your organization’s strengths and weaknesses. Bring them in and empower them to help your organization improve. Show them how they can be a part of the solution and the future.

That’s why they come – and that’s why they stay.