You wouldn’t use a roofer to fix your pluming, or a heart doctor to fix your knee problem so why would you put your company’s most pressing hire in the hands of someone who has no idea what your company really does. It blows my mind when I see technology recruiting companies (typically the lowest on the search totem pole when it comes to actual experience) running around town with a real estate development search. Though there are a myriad of reasons NOT to do this I will try to keep it to the most important 5.
A true search agency must evaluate all the talent prior to sending them to the client. They understand that it's their job to make sure they’re only representing the best possible prospects to their client in order to reduce the time and headaches a client must endure during the search process. It’s the Agency’s job to make it a fluid experience for their client. How can this happen if the agency or person handling the search has absolutely zero experience in this field? How can they evaluate their skills sets or compare them to other candidates. How can they actually engage talent if they don’t know what to talk about? Ultimately agencies like this just forward on any and all applicants that fall out of the web hoping that a few keywords will miraculously result in a perfect fit. Clients suffer from having to perform all of the evaluation themselves and the irritation of having to sift through stacks of bogus and useless applications.
2. Market Penetration
There are so many search agencies out there that claim to be the “best” in whatever the current hiring trend is. To truly be the best a search agency must have the ability to penetrate the market in which they serve and this only comes from years of dedication to specific industries. This means that their name is widely known and widely respected for the results they produce. When these agencies place a call the likelihood of that call being returned is close to 100%. Candidates want to know and be connected to agencies like these throughout their careers. Those that jump around from market to market hoping to catch any low hanging fruit have zero penetration and are more often than not a nuisance to the candidates that they call and therefore your position will receive little if any notice.
3. The Scoop
Top search agents are in the middle of what’s going on in the industry. They know what companies are on the rise, which ones are showing cracks and which ones are poised for buy-outs. They live and breathe this information because it’s the backbone of what they do. They can give your company insight into hiring trends of the competition and can move quickly to assess the available talent bench their regions of influence.
I’m constantly advising real estate development, construction, architecture and sports companies of what they should pay new and existing employees. My data comes from years at the helm thousands of searches in the my industries. Compensation reports you pull down from the web are extremely watered down versions of old information. They’re typically dusted off and given a 3% increase from the years before. It’s ok for an “overview” but does little when it comes to specific tactics for creating incentive with staff and new employees. Plus companies need every edge they can get when it comes to beating out the competition. You’ll never find this level of knowledge in low-depth multi-industry search agencies. Nor will you have the advantage of a tried and true negotiator looking after your hires.
Dedicated search firms are few and far between. They might cost a little more but the dedication they show to their clients is deep. Mainly because the turn-over in their own organizations is very low. Search is a weird industry. It has some of the brightest business minds in the nation but is also overloaded with flash-in-the-pan wannabes that jump into the business to try to earn a quick buck only to learn that there is no such thing. The search companies willing to hire these folks are just has fickle and are happy to hand off your account to a newbie with no experience and try to qualify them as “Oh he’s great!” or “You’ll love working with her!!!”. One minute they’re there and the next you’re speaking with someone brand new. What happens to your guarantees? Who’s really looking after your company’s hiring needs? Nothing beats having that dedicate agent looking after you’re company. Knowing when you call they’re going to answer. Knowing that you’ve got one of the best in the business looking after you.
Gillian Executive Search are recruiters in Commercial Real Estate: Development, Construction Management, Architecture, Asset Management, Investment, Property Management and more.