Fifteen lessons I've learned in 15 years as a multifamily recruiter.
In our last post we suggested practicing your answer for the interview question, “why did you leave your last place of employment”. One the top responses we hear from candidates is,“it was just not a good fit”. While this is a good answer, and most likely an honest one, giving more information can help build trust with the person who is leading the interview.
For example, if you were asked to leave your current employment because you could not get to work on time, your response in the interview might include:
I enjoyed my time with my past position but there were some shifts in things that no longer made it a good fit and it was decided it was best for me to go ahead and leave. The company wanted the manager to be at the office by 8:00 am everyday. While this worked for a while some things personally changed and I could not consistently get there at 8:00 am everyday.
My commute to the office became longer due to construction and I could not make arrangements to forgo my home responsibilities to leave my house earlier to compensate for the longer commute. As a result I was either late, or even when I was not late I was stressed that I would be late and it was not a quality start to the day. I requested to have a change in my schedule that would still cover office hours but the company felt it did not align with their office hour rules.
By giving more information in the interview the conversation can then take place about the interviewer’s office hour rules and helps everyone decide if the job is a good fit for both parties.
Have more questions about how to make an impact in your interview? Contact us! We can connect you to the best new jobs in multifamily and make sure you are prepared for every interview.
Every day we are talking to candidates, and one of the top questions we receive when a candidate is looking for new employment is how to answer the question, "Why did you leave your last place of employment?". This can be a loaded question for many.
Some of the standard answers we have heard are:
"It just wasn't a good fit."
"My property was for sale."
"There was too much work."
"The commute was too far."
These can all be valid reasons, but before you step foot into the interview, it's a good idea to practice your response. It is human nature to want to give a short, professional answer, but if you give too little information, it leaves the interviewer a lot of room to come up with their own scenario.
Spend some time asking yourself, "Why did I really leave?". Was the decision to leave mutual? Did you leave with a two week notice? Were you asked to leave? This is information you need to give to your interviewer along with a brief explanation as to the reason. There are very few reasons that can be as good or bad as what someone will make up their own mind!
Keep following the peoplezest blog and we'll share more details about how you can answer tough interview questions.
As 2017 begins, peoplezest continues to operate by its core values of passion, kindness and belief. Owner, Jonna Smith started out the 2017 year with an example of belief. Jonna's belief is rooted in loving Jesus and following His example, but no matter what your religious beliefs are this core value is exemplified in helping others, giving back, and showing love and appreciation to those who may live a very different life than your own.
In January, Jonna lead a group to Ghana, West Africa where they worked with formerly trafficked children who are now safe at the Touch A Life Care Center. During the team's stay they threw a huge annual birthday party for all 76 kids! Everyone participated in games, ate plenty of cake, and enjoyed birthday hats, whistles, silly string, and bubbles! Each child also received two birthday cards with many birthday wishes from people in the United States.
Staying with the party theme, the team also hosted a staff appreciation luncheon for 27 staff members who take care for the children on a daily basis - house parents, cooks, security guards, and gardeners. The American group cooked in an outside kitchen and served a true Texas meal of BBQ chicken, deviled eggs, macaroni and cheese, green beans, cornbread and apple cobbler. Each staff member was also given a gift that included socks, lotion, Vaseline, note pad, pencils, earrings, and sample cologne. These small tokens were cherished and Jonna can't wait to return for her fifth trip!
The peoplezest team is offering a new service that provides a solution for companies that need recruiting support but don’t require a full time or additional recruiter. Your internal hiring manager needs just the right amount of support so they can identify the best candidate without spending hours of their valuable time. Stop wasting money on filling vacancies and let peoplezest fill your firm’s recruiting gaps. All it takes is 30 days!
A month of services includes:
1. Managing intake of resumes
2. Reviewing all resumes
3. Interviewing candidates and provide notes
4. Setting up interviews for you with our top candidates
Contact us to discuss creating a custom recruiting package for your organization.
The principles of peoplezest are three distinct, stand-alone words: passion, kindness, belief. Today, peoplezest founder, Jonna Smith, shares about the effect of kindness in her business strategy.
Being kind seems so simple. Each day we could share examples of kind and unkind moments. For peoplezest, kindness is most evident in how we treat our candidates. We may not get it right each and every time, but we try. We try and respect one of the most precious resources our candidates give us - their time. This applies to both passive candidates and also the candidates who are actively looking for a new role. No matter what their circumstance, a candidate spends valuable time on the opportunities we present to them. They spend time exchanging phone calls with us regarding opportunities, updating their resumes, and meeting with our client on the phone or in person. We appreciate this sacrifice, so we do our best to give our candidates timely feedback from their interactions with hiring teams. It sounds simple, but it is one of the most challenging aspects of the hiring process.
We encourage our clients to give us prompt feedback! It is one way we can show kindness to a great candidate. We also try and talk to each candidate who calls or sends their resume, even when we do not have a position readily available. At the root of all we do, we love building relationships, so kindness is one of the simplest things our team can consistently deliver to candidates and clients. And seeing how far a little kindness goes reminds us why we made it one of our three core values. We would love to hear from you about how we can all do better each day in our kindness to those around us.
The principles of peoplezest are three distinct, stand-alone words: passion, kindness, belief. Today, peoplezest founder, Jonna Smith, shares why passion is a key component in her business and personal life.
When I started peoplezest it was after a successful career with an apartment developer of multifamily housing. My 13-year career there afforded me many different opportunities. I was able to hold every office position onsite and be promoted to Director of Training for the company. Soon after, company growth lead to a new dual role in recruiting and training. That was my first real introduction to recruiting and I fell in love.
The company was on an incredible growth upswing and I was faced with my role being split and I had to make a choice. As difficult as it was, I chose recruiting. That is when I found what my true calling was. Front line recruiting was thrilling. It afforded me the opportunity to make an impact on every single person joining our company through property operations. I was able to introduce our industry to new people who had no experience, starting them in a leasing position. And I would interview and introduce our company to veteran professionals in the industry, showing them an amazing culture.
Through the years I saw so many people receive not just one promotion but multiple. That was when I found my passion for what I was doing. I was able to pave the way to a rewarding career that would enable these team members to love what they did everyday and support their families. I saw recruiting as having an impact on hundreds of people’s lives. After thirteen years of this revelation I took a leap of faith and started peoplezest.
Passion is what gets me up every morning. It is the opportunity to build relationships of trust and for candidates to trust me with their next career move. It is not just filling a client's open job requisition, it is partnering with that client to understand exactly what type of skills and what kind of person is going to make their organization stronger and fit within their culture. It is the quest of talking to many candidates to find that one who is a match. Many recruitment firms play the law of numbers. Make 100 phone calls a day and you will find the candidate. For me it is making 10 phone calls a day and really building one-on-one relationships. Those relationships will extend from the present into the future. The right move might not be an open position I have right now but it might be in three years. To be able to find your true passion in a profession is a gift. I treasure the gift of passion I have been afforded.
There are two fears people face with their resume. One is starring at a blank piece of paper and wondering where to start. Or, the second, you could be one of those that keeps an ongoing resume and just adds your most current job. For either scenario here are a few pointers for you.
Length & Layout
There is no rule that says your resume has to be on one page. But, I would recommend it not to be over two pages. The layout be easy to read with a font that is not too small. Often, the recruiter or the companies hiring manager will not read every word of the resume the first time they review it, so be sure it is easy to follow.
Your resume needs to contain key words. The person reviewing your resume will be looking for them or the company may have software that picks out the key words they are searching for. Some key words and phrases are; number of units, class and style of apartment community, software used, third party or owner managed, new development, interior and exterior rehab, capital projects, revenue management system, luxury, tax credit, student housing, and senior housing.
Accomplishments will also need to be sprinkled into your responsibilities. Instead of saying, "hired and trained new associates," you could say, "during my tenure I have hired and trained up to fifteen people. Five of those have been promoted once and three have received multiple promotions." Another suggestion is, instead of stating, "prepared budgets for seven assets," you could say, "prepared budgets through a Yardi system to include rent growth over my portfolio by 2% and a reduction of 5% in expense savings."
Last be sure you double and triple check for spelling and silly mistakes. A common oversight is to forget to change your employment date for the second job on your resume if you are no longer working there. Keep your resume current, fresh and save it in more than one place!
The Peoplezest team talks to hundreds of candidates each year. Most of these candidates are passive - not actively looking for a new job - so one of the most frequent questions we are asked is, “how do I grow my salary?" When you stay with the same company for three to five years you could be in a role that does not have rapid growth. In order to have growth the positions have to become available. So while you are collecting your small annual raise each year, make use of your time to set yourself up for salary growth.
We find that the people who have the most rapid growth in financial packages are the passive candidate. You cannot have new opportunities presented if don't take the time to listen! Continuous networking is key. Even if you are not ready to make a change, have your pulse on the industry and keep adding to your contacts. Building those relationships will benefit you and those around you.
Next, it is good to make a change in employment every three to five years. Of course, make sure the move is right and for the right reasons! Look at your growth in the financial package but also think about what skills you will be adding to your resume. Speaking of resumes, always have one you are working on and adding to! Besides growth in your salary, be sure you are adding skills to your resume.
And don't forget about the importance of education! Today there are property management degrees at several colleges. The graduating members of this degree plan tend to move up quickly in responsibilities and salary. If you know someone who is attending college, or looking for a degree plan that has job openings after graduation, property management is a good suggestion. There are many courses you can take advantage of through your local, state and national apartment associations as well. And always keep reading to stay current - there are so many articles just a click away!