August 18, 2015
This is the first in a series of interviews with leading executives called “The Hiring Squad,” in which our partner RETS Associates speaks with leading professionals in the commercial real estate industry about how they find the best talent. Click on the link below for the full interview.
When recruiting talent in real estate, it’s important to ensure a culture match between the candidate and the firm (regardless of a candidate’s skill-sets) to create a long-lasting employment relationship. Identification of this match during the interview and vetting processes save Identification of this match during the interview and vetting processes will save companies time and money.
In this Executive Q&A, Kent Elliott, principal at RETS Associates, a leading search and staffing firm that focuses specifically on the real estate industry, and Martin Pupil, president of the western division at Colliers International, discuss their insights and observations on the role that networking plays during the interview process.
Kent Elliott (KE): You recently hired a Managing Director that you had met at various networking events. Please discuss the differences between engaging prospective employees whom you’ve met versus ones whom you haven’t.
Martin Pupil (MP): The major difference between engaging prospective employees whom I’ve met before and those whom I haven’t is that with those that I’ve networked with in the past, I’m already familiar with their personalities and demeanors. In this particular case, through the interview process, we focused on assessing the candidate’s skill-set, primarily because I was already familiar with how he conducted himself. That made it easier to answer the question ‘is he going to be a culture fit?’
Many people don’t realize how important networking and personal interaction (outside of an interview setting) can be in showing how you may fit into a particular workplace culture. It’s such a big advantage. I’ve found that if you don’t have the opportunity to network or get to know someone outside of the interview room, the process takes longer. Skill-sets are tangible and can be easily identified in the interview process; it is the intangible factors that are the most important and most difficult to identify.