September 22, 2015
Following is an installment of The Hiring Squad, a regular column by Connect Media partner RETS Associates that interviews industry professionals on their hiring practices.
We are in a development boom. Companies are building, merging, acquiring, repositioning and growing. The national unemployment rate is 5.5 percent, and – according to industry estimates – commercial real estate currently projects at half that amount. The result is a highly publicized war for talent where the best way to secure a top candidate entails accelerating timely interviews of and decision making on prospective new team members.
In this Executive Q&A, which is part of The Hiring Squad series, Kent Elliott, principal at RETS Associates, a leading search and staffing firm that focuses specifically on the real estate industry, and Greg Moore, Senior Vice President of Property Management at Catellus, a national leader in mixed-use and retail development, discuss their insights and observations around finding the right team members in today’s highly competitive marketplace for top talent.
Kent Elliott: Please describe the evolution of your business and the growth of a new asset-management platform within Catellus.
Greg Moore: I joined Catellus in 2005 prior to its merger with ProLogis. During the merger, I facilitated the integration of new operations and growth policies within the new company, and turned to RETS to help build our team at that time.
Flash-forward to 2014, the Catellus team was engaged by a well-known private equity firm to help with the launch of a new company, Evergreen Industrial, and the acquisition of a sixmillion-square-foot portfolio from ProLogis, including the negotiations, contracts, due diligence and staffing.
The launch of Evergreen Industrial progressed quickly, and the team had an immediate need for an asset manager. To fill that need, I approached RETS to find an ideal candidate who could start within our two-month timeline; and we had very little wiggle room with that timeline and needed to meet that deadline exactly. RETS was able to meet our expectations, and find someone who was an excellent fit for the role. Since then, the platform has continued to grow and we’ve hired a second asset manager and a financial analyst.