By Beth Gilbert / Published March 2020
We live in a world where technology touches aspects of how we interact, live, and work to be more efficient, even in aspects of recruiting. According to Career Builder, more than 70 percent of hiring managers believe that technology will transform the staffing industry in the next five years, and the community management industry is no exception.
Job seekers have various avenues and resources for finding job postings online, and from there, they can research from the comfort of their home or on the go from their mobile device. They can visit your company’s website to get a feel for your values and culture, and they can also visit review sites like Google and Glassdoor to see if the rest of the world agrees with what they read on your website. If they think the position and company are a good fit, they can submit their resume in a matter of seconds.
Hiring top talent today requires attention from the very first interaction that job seekers have with your company, and most likely, that’s online. Let’s start from the top to ensure that you’re well-positioned to attract and hire top talent.
A great place to start this journey is with your value proposition. Employees want purpose and a connection to their employer. A strong value proposition enables current employees to feel attached and passionate about their workplace, and that shines through to candidates and job seekers looking for a company to join and grow with.
What is it that your company will deliver to employees? Is it a career with longevity? Is it a work-life balance? Is it a work-hard, play-hard culture with opportunities for upward mobility? Does it speak to the expectations of different generations? Bring in your company stakeholders, and craft what it is that makes your company unique and what that means for your employees. It’s a careful balance of what is at the heart of your company and what is in it for your current and future employees.
Once you have your value proposition in place, test it out with your company. You can do this by sending out a survey to your current employees to see if your new value proposition sparks excitement and is ultimately felt as true across the organization. This will help you gauge how the hopes you have for your value proposition mesh with reality. Revise and refine as needed from here. Your finalized value proposition is what you’ll start using to create job postings, your “About Us” content for your website, and any other recruiting materials. Having a strong value proposition that your team can rally behind will go a long way as you search for new talent.
Today’s workforce expects to use technology. They’re used to technology making their everyday lives easier, and they also want it to help them at work. Otherwise, it is perceived as taking a step back into a more manual past, which is not a selling point when recruiting new employees in this day and age. Take an inventory of what technologies your business uses and look for ways to position that as an attractive perk to your job candidates.
Are you on a state-of-the-art software system? Are you able to provide your new hires with self-guided training options? Is the software intuitive enough that a few run-throughs with a team member can get them up and running? Not only does this make your company look more attractive to job prospects, but it will also get your new hires ramped up and turned into productive team members faster.
Another benefit of using modern software is the ability to use it in the field and at home. Describing a mobile violations process that can be done on a tablet is going to be more attractive to an interviewee than a painfully manual experience of notetaking and data entry. And depending on your company policies, cloud software solutions also enable work-from-home and remote flexibility, which is very attractive to those with long commutes or for the reassurance that if they aren’t feeling well, they can still get work done without falling behind.
Show that your company is tech-savvy with a mobile-friendly website and job postings, which is a necessity today as most website traffic is through a mobile device versus a desktop. In 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones, and that usage continues to increase each year, according to Statistica. If a job seeker can’t easily locate job info from their phone, you can quickly lose their attention or miss them altogether. How easy is it for a job prospect to visit your website, learn about the job, and then apply for it from their mobile device? If you don’t know, now is the time to run through the process yourself and see what steps you need to take to make it happen.
According to recent data published by CareerBuilder, 52 percent of hiring managers cite that access to candidates with the right skills is a top pain point. While hiring can be an exhausting experience, it’s essential not to compromise on your “must-have” checklist of qualifications when it comes to certain positions in your company. The last thing you want to do is fill headcount out of desperation, only to realize later that the person was not a good fit for the role. Depending on the open position, think about the traits you want—years of experience, certifications, education, etc. If you find a great candidate who doesn’t match this, perhaps there’s a more junior level position he or she can fill until he or she can meet these requirements and move up. Being short-staffed is a terrible headache for you and the team, but with the 33 percent turnover rate in the overall property management industry, per an NMHC Compensation Study, make every new hire count. It should be easier to find these star employees if you are portraying your tech-forward company, strong culture, and inspiring value proposition to attract like-minded individuals.
You know your company culture better than anyone, and probably even better after running through the value proposition exercise described earlier. An often-underestimated aspect of the hiring process is the culture fit. You know when you have a great candidate in front of you who is willing to learn and grow and who will also positively connect with the team and boost morale. Those attributes can’t be learned; they are a magic combination that you only know after you and your team members have interviewed the candidate. On the flip side, what can be learned? The industry, processes, and workflows are all things that you can teach someone who is willing and excited to learn. And if you use a modern, intuitive software solution to run your business, that learning curve will be even shorter.
The job recruiting landscape is changing, and it’s critical for community management businesses to stay at the forefront. There will always be competition for elite employees, so make sure that once you’ve got the team of your dreams in place, you keep them happy and engaged with a modern, tech-forward work environment.
Senior Director of the Community Association Market, AppFolio
Beth Gilbert is the Sr. Director of the Community Association Market at AppFolio. Beth brings more than 15 years of product experience to AppFolio and is currently responsible for developing the vision and strategy for the community association market. She is passionate about building relationships with customers to learn about new ways to partner in the success of their businesses. For more information about AppFolio, visit appfolio.com or call (866) 648-1536.