by Matthew Squirrell

property recruiters at work

Matthew SquirrellDirector

“Hi, I’m looking for a new member of staff with experience of doing the job and want to pay them a competitive salary and bonus. I promise they’ll love it here – we’re unique!” Said the Hiring Manager of around 90% of property firms.

Jokes aside, after working in the property industry for over 10 years now I have experienced a lot of unique employment propositions from some of the leading property firms in the market and equally a lot of very “samey” propositions

As the years have gone by and the world has evolved the mentality of employees has also shifted – resulting in a fight for the best staff. The question is, are you what you say you are? Are you really unique and can you offer something that other employers are not?

I don’t mean what differentiates you as a business, I’m talking about employer brand. What will an employee “feel” and get from working for your brand?

In an ever-competitive, talent-short market, it’s so important to think about creating a truly unique employer brand and employment proposition.

HOW? I hear you say… Well here’s 7 quick hints and tips?

  1. It’s all ME ME ME – stop solely thinking about what an employee can do for you! What can you do for them?
  2. Start with you - what’s YOUR story? No one knows your business, your office, your team like you do! And you are the biggest selling point when it comes to your employer brand! Why do you still do what you do? What is it about the business you work in that keeps you there day after day coming back for more? Work it out and shout about it! Making things personal shows you know how to connect ‘personally’ with others. Too many employers are coy about their people, but its people that employees are interested in. You only have to turn on the TV a see the amount of content related to ‘reality TV’, or read the news articles getting the ‘inside story’ to know PEOPLE WANT TO CONNECT!
  3. Open your mind! You’re not just competing with property employers – you’re likely to be competing against other industries. Such as recruitment – can you nab ideas from how recruitment businesses look after their staff. Such as a higher initial basic salary and a better work life balance.
  4. Bigger is beautiful! Not always, and you don’t have to be Google to offer an extra day off for your employees if they’re on target, or in need of a break. You don’t have to be Virgin to offer additional holiday and you do not need to be Sytner Group (the best big company to work for 2017) to offer company Summer BBQ’s or fancy-dress days.
  5. Stop with the buzzwords! Uncapped commission / The BEST / unique / incentives / market leaders…. Be more specific, what is the commission/bonus structure, why are you unique, what incentives do you have in place, why is being the market leader important to your next employee?
  6. You know the answers! If you don’t know the best thing about working for your brand – ask the people who experience your existing employer brand: Your employees. The people that have already committed to spend their time working for you are a fantastic resource when it comes to working out how you differ from your competitors. The important thing to do is listen to your employees and make changes based on their feedback.
  7. SHOUT ABOUT IT! Knowing what’s attractive about you as an employer is not enough if you don’t share it. Where do you share it? Everywhere! Internally and externally with your existing team and any future hire. Social media channels are a great way to show what you’re like as an employer “but my clients don’t want to see employees jetting off to Ibiza or going for a celebratory lunch” – in the 21st Century, do your clients still believe the work hard/play hard 14 hour a day knackered employee will have the energy and more importantly enthusiasm to deal with their custom? The world has changed, as have expectations and as has technology – if something is urgent, you can deal with it whether you’re in the office or on the ski slopes!

The most important thing to remember about this (before you slip back into “I pay my staff – isn’t that enough?” mode) is, if an employee is engaged with their employer’s brand and mission – then they WILL do their job to the best of their ability because they LOVE their job and more importantly LOVE their employer!

It’s people that make your employer brand what it is and if you’d like more pointers, contact one of our consultants for some help.

Now go forth, disrupt your business and make change happen!