As we write this, there is widespread unemployment and business owners having to pivot how they operate due to Covid-19. The team at Recruit & Consult are having a lot of conversations with business owners who are unsure of what to do when it comes to retention and hiring. Setting the global pandemic aside, recruitment is a high priority for so many business owners. Many larger companies have set up KPI’s that staff work towards to build the business and the team through recruitment. It is important to consider your recruitment options and how you are going to grow your business, even in times of duress. Take the time to think about the long game and what steps you could put into place now to keep your recruitment plans moving forward.
Review your options
There are various options for employers and employees. This includes wage subsidies for apprentices, the waiver of payroll tax, access to superannuation etc. Speak to your accountant and review your options. Financial lifelines are there to help you, act swiftly as having them in place sooner could mean a better outcome for your business as it weathers this storm.
Retain where you can
Retain staff where you can. If that retention means you need to review the hours people work, the tasks they do, wage cuts, working from home, etc then review those options with the likes of Fair Work, REEF, or your Lawyer. The cost to re-hire, train and put the band back together post Covid-19 will be financial and time-consuming. It’s important to make short-term changes for long-term business.
Who is in the job market right now?
There are three different talent surges we are seeing right now, and we expect these to only gain more momentum as time goes on. These include employees that have been stood down or made redundant from roles within the real estate industry. There are those who have recently completed their Certificate of Registration or Licensing course and want to get started in real estate. And there are those that are applying for anything and everything with the aim to find a job now. The last group will likely have minimal aspirations of a long-term career in real estate.
When it comes to hiring it is important to keep these keep talent surges in mind. There could be some excellent cross-over of skills from other industries or fresh eyes from newly certified employees that will embrace the changes you have made to your business throughout Covid-19 as they will not know any other way.
When to hire
With some quality talent coming into the market, opening dialogue and conversations is an option now. Be mindful of wasting time or giving false hope, speak with job seekers that meet the criteria of what you are looking for in relation to skill and experience. Reassess conversations in 2-3 week blocks. Keep the lines of communication open so that when the market turns you have already started the process and can move swiftly.
This will allow you to focus on dollar-producing activities and not re-building a team once we turn the corner. Focus on your long-term business goals, recruitment is on the agenda for all business owners so don’t let it sit idle.
The exact same way many agents are communicating with buyers and vendors is the way you can communicate with potential employees. An initial phone interview, then a video interview is acceptable and widely practiced. Show potential employees how you are leading through Covid-19 and how you embrace technology. Leadership, forward-thinking, and planning ahead are favourable traits of a business owner in this market.
Digital onboarding and training
If you do need to hire now, implement a digital onboarding and training plan. The software and technology you use will have online webinars and user training. Set a structured training timeline with links to the software and have your new employee participate in these webinars. There are also various online training sessions that aren’t software related. Consider adding the Real Estate Academy’s online courses to your plan.
Another suggestion is having the new employee call each person in their team to have a conversation with them. This call provides an opportunity to fit the pieces of the business puzzle together and in turn make sense of the who, what, where and why of your business. At the end of each day have your new employee summarise in brief point form what they learnt that day and what they want further training on. This will become an excellent agenda for future catch ups and a guide for additional training and resources needed.