The Art of Hiring

By Stephen L. Burger, CPM, CRX, CRM

We at EBMC pride ourselves on the team that makes us successful, both on a day-to-day basis and over the long haul. Many of our team members have been with us for decades, and those who are up-and-coming already show the drive and determination to serve our investment/ownership clients by serving the occupants of all the properties we manage.

This is a success story that starts at the hiring stage. It doesn’t just happen, and it’s not dumb luck. Too often business leaders are stuck in a position of hiring to fill an open slot. But focusing on immediate need without simultaneously considering long-term strategy can be detrimental to your business health.

This fact was underscored recently by two thought-provoking articles. The first we reported on recently, a Harvard Business Review piece about motivation. The article made the point that encouraging employees to go above and beyond their normal functions might have deleterious effects on the business if they feel not inspired but coerced into doing so.

One of the writers’ solutions to this dilemma was to, “Hire people who demonstrate a natural inclination to be good organizational citizens.”

The other article appeared in JPM Magazine, the official journal of the Institute of Real Estate Management. It focused on succession planning, a process that too often is left until the soon-to-retire C-Suite executive is poring dreamily over yachting magazines.

When is the proper time to start developing a succession strategy? You guessed it . . . at the hiring stage. “We encourage firms to hire people who have aspirations to do more and a motivation and desire to be better than they are going in, rather than hiring just to satisfy the status quo or fill an empty chair,” says Christopher Lee, president and CEO of the Los Angeles-based CEL & Associates, in the article.

Think of it this way: People and real estate are the two costliest areas of any business. When you choose an office, you look at its potential performance over the long haul. The same is true with people. Why would you not prepare a hiring strategy that looks not only to immediate need but equally to the long-term potential of a particular candidate?

As our own success points out, and these two articles in turn bear out, there’s much more to hiring than immediate need.You will ultimately pay for a hasty choice downstream. But a well-thought-out hiring plan will pay dividends well into the future of your business.

So choose carefully, remembering the long-term significance of near-term choices when you are hiring.

Steve Burger, President

As president and COO of Eugene Burger Management Co., Steve Burger is directly responsible for the overall quality, depth and consistency of management services provided in all 15 regions in the EBMC coverage map.

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