In a service-oriented industry like Community Association Management, choosing the right staff is instrumental to the success of your business. From the accountant to the maintenance staff, homeowners have an on-going relationship with your company. With 1 in 5 homes being located in a community association, and the number of management companies growing daily, the choice for HOA management has grown tremendously over the years and will continue to grow.
We’ve all visited a restaurant that has a poor reputation. Is it the food? Does the restaurant look outdated? Is the staff rude? Chances are that the staff is not treating their customers in the manner they should be treated. Word of mouth spreads faster than a wildfire in Arizona! It is harder to regain consumer confidence than build it in the first place. So this leads to the question, how can we provide better service to our clients who we have a longer relationship with than a retail store or a restaurant? The answer is simple: Hire the right people!
With my personal experience over the years, I have hired many in the service industry. I have seen great “new hires” turn into a great disappointment to a so-so candidate exceed well beyond my expectations. How can we as managers know how to hire the right person?
Everyone has different backgrounds, different situations, different education and a different work ethic. I have created a check list of my own personal finding throughout my experience in the hiring department. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Look for a candidate who is prepared. Have they done research on your organization? Were they on time for their interview? Did they show up with the right tools? Even something as simple as having a pen and paper matters. I’ve had great success simply choosing people who were prepared.
This is a no brainer, although I can’t stress it enough! An old superior once told me, "The interview shows the best you're going to get out of that person. If they are not the person you want at the front door welcoming the customer, Move on!!"
You may have the most qualified and educated person in front of you, but without eagerness and drive they will be of little value. Ask candidates what their goals are. It may be something as simple as buying a house, taking a dream vacation, or simply providing for their family.
They say birds of a feather flock together. Ask people you know are a good fit to refer your company to someone they know. This is where I have often found my talent. It’s a warm introduction for you and the candidate.
Community Management is a fast paced, ever-changing industry. I always chose a go-getter, or a person with a fun and enduring hobby. Naturally, this will exude to the customer and set a tone for your company.
Once you’ve hired the right people, be the right manager! Provide the tools and training your staff need to do the job right. Make sure that your people have the right knowledge to provide to your customers or a reference to find it. Finally, set clear expectation for your employees so they know what is right and what is not. Always be the leader with a positive attitude!