June 1, 2016
In this executive Q&A, Jana Turner, principal at RETS Associates, a leading national real estate recruiting firm, and Melissa Labor, director of human resources and culture at Granite Properties, a privately held real estate investment and management company, discuss the process of unifying a firm of five offices through its people. Labor shares details on the importance of internal company culture as it is carried through to assets and customers with the purpose of creating a lasting local-national presence.
Jana Turner (JT): What is your perception of the current hiring market in your core cities, and what are you doing to secure top talent?
Melissa Labor (ML): The commercial real estate industry is in a frenzy at the moment. There is great talent out there, but it’s highly competitive which gives candidates the ability to dictate where and how they want to grow their career. They’re being thorough in their decision making and asking the right questions about growth opportunities. Because of how competitive the market is right now, we are moving quickly in our recruitment efforts, but being sure to not lose the integrity of our process. It’s a balancing act, and we do have a few efforts in place to fast-track candidates through interviews. For example, we will set up back-to-back meetings with a candidate in one day, instead of spreading it out over a week or two. We’re busy, and they’re busy, and this commitment makes it easier and more efficient for all involved.
This talent war also has an impact on our retention strategies. We are being creative and trying to understand our team’s motivators and what they want from their career with us. Our partnership with a recruiter has led to advice on providing a complete compensation package at the top of market rates because we want our people to feel their worth. We also provide our employees with the ability to add value to the greater community through 40 hours of paid time to volunteer during work hours. We sponsor community events, and make sure we give our team the opportunity to join industry networking associations and attend conferences to gain knowledge. This weaves them into the fabric of our culture and the surrounding community.
Furthermore, in an effort to connect our culture and activity across our five offices, we hold quarterly meetings with our President or CEO in each office to involve all teams in the ongoing business. This transparency and unity allows all our employees to feel included, valued, see a clear path of growth and have their voice heard, demonstrating a genuine respect for their career and long-term retention.
Our people are our future. They are an investment in our success, and we have built a partnership with RETS to navigate these waters accurately and successfully for the future of our firm.