The Great Resignation is forcing multifamily companies to put up a fierce battle for each and every employee. In marketing departments, competition for top talent is rising as the multifamily sector keeps strengthening.
“The current labor shortage, combined with employees’ shifting priorities during the pandemic, have added to the scarcity of top talent,” Kent Elliott, principal with real estate recruiting firm RETS Associates, told Multi-Housing News.
So what works best to attract and retain the most talented real estate marketing employees? Here are some top tips from recruiters:
1. Lack of remote work options can be a deal-breaker
The health crisis rewrote the script on remote work. Many employees have come to value the work-life balance a job offers more than its monetary benefits. Today’s workplace is all about flexibility and the possibility to work autonomously.
“People are less willing to accept offers that don’t measure up to their needs and wants now, which makes it more difficult for companies to hire them,” Elliott said.
As in many aspects of the multifamily property management business, flexibility is key when it comes to retaining top-notch talent. Companies that don’t offer work from home for at least part of the week will lose out to those that do. For an increasing number of candidates, not having the possibility to work remotely is a deal-breaker when it comes to accepting a new position, Elliott noted.
RETS Associates ran a LinkedIn poll in December asking people if they would reject a new real estate job opportunity purely because it wasn’t remote or hybrid. Out of the more than 1,000 responses, 51 percent voted yes on rejecting, which means that companies that don’t offer a remote or hybrid option could lose more than half of their candidate pool.
2. Be open to negotiation
Top talent is hard to find, and candidates have the upper hand nowadays. Millennials and Gen Zers, which represent the majority of the employment market, are forcing companies to reassess their hiring practices.
“Remaining open to negotiating over the options that work for both the employee and the company will be paramount for reducing turnover and attracting top talent from outside of the multifamily industry moving forward,” Elliott said.
Younger workers are among the most creative, know their peers better and could be an asset to a property management company’s marketing department. They have shifted the focus toward things that matter most to them because they appreciate jobs that foster a sense of purpose and challenge them to grow professionally.
3. Non-monetary benefits can tilt the scale
An overall company culture that is built holistically as a great place to work is one of the most common non-monetary benefits that makes a job appealing, according to Matt Slepin, founder of Terra Search Partners, a national executive search firm that focuses on the real estate industry.
A positive and supportive company culture is among the best ways to attract and retain great people. Demonstrating a strong culture can go far in drawing in new team members. According to Slepin, a great company is one with great training, mentorship and employee engagement so that people will not only want to join the company but also want to stay with the firm for a long time.
Additionally, talented people want to have the opportunity to advance in their careers, and marketing employees are no exception. Therefore, any job ad that mentions a path to growth and development is likely to make marketing specialists more excited about a potential new role.
In a more practical sense, most employees expect their job to offer extra benefits beyond a good salary, such as a health-care insurance, bonuses and long-term compensation. A survey by benefits provider Unum shows that paid time off, flexibility and remote working options, and paid family leave are the top non-insurance benefits employees want.
4. Emphasize what makes the company unique
Companies should emphasize what makes them special. Some of the things that make a company unique could be the convenience and attractiveness of their location, their mission, the type of people they hire or the opportunity for employees to advance quickly.
“Essentially, when advertising an employment opportunity, companies would benefit by approaching it from the candidate’s perspective, emphasizing what they offer that other companies don’t. That approach will help them stand out and appeal to the right type of candidates,” Elliott said.
To get the best marketing talent out there, it’s important to capture candidates’ attention by providing a glimpse of what it’s like to work for your company. This could be done by writing blog posts about previous marketing campaigns or by creating short videos that showcase what sets your company apart from competition.
5. Allow the current marketing team to stand out
Hiring a cream-of-the-crop team is less burdensome when current employees become your brand ambassadors. It is known that great talent wants to work with other great talent, so galvanizing your strong workers is among the most innovative ways to find and recruit marketing specialists.
Elliott adds that emphasizing a company’s current high caliber of talent—either by stating combined number of years in the industry, breadth of experience across the field or others—can help create a company profile in candidates’ minds. This way, top talent can easily identify opportunities that match well with their own level of experience and their aspirations.