Category Archives: Real Estate Financial Services

It’s the Busy Season…Are You Well Positioned for Future Personnel Needs?

It’s busy season in the Title World! Even with many areas facing limited housing inventory, people are still out buying and selling homes, and closings are happening at a rapid rate. Consequently, it’s easy to get caught up in your day to day business this time of year, and possibly place future personnel needs on the back burner. Unfortunately, this practice has the potential to be costly down the road.

According to TopResume.com, the three best times of year to find a new opportunity from a candidate’s perspective are right after New Year’s, the spring months, and early autumn. As you are well aware, the spring seasonal hiring wave is currently in full force, and we will soon move into the summer recruiting “lull”. However, this does not mean that a business should neglect building a candidate pipeline over the summer months.

Engaging qualified candidates during the summer months may be beneficial, as it can position your organization to make hiring decisions swiftly and get new team members up to speed while the competition is still out there looking for talent during seasonal moments of panic! In general, candidates will soon be looking ahead to the fall hiring season and reaching them early to begin building a relationship could prove to be beneficial in encouraging them to join your team.

In summary, building a recruiting strategy, especially while you are caught up in the busy season, can be daunting and time consuming. This is one of the areas where a specialized recruiting team like Anderson|Biro can help. We will work to understand the type of candidate and personality that you would like to identify and assist in building your talent pipeline. In this way you can maintain focus on the direct revenue driving activities during these busy months, all while resting assured that you will be appropriately positioned when it comes to the next prime candidate motivation season.

If you have any questions, please feel free to visit our website www.andersonbiro.com and one of our team members would be happy to hear your thoughts.

First Rule of Making a Counter Offer: Don’t.

Tell us if you’ve heard this one before: It’s Monday morning. You’ve prepared for the week and ready to start the day. However, this morning doesn’t go as planned. One of your key team members has come to you to tender their resignation. They’ve accepted an offer with another organization and have offered to stay for two weeks to help transition.

As you know, losing a key member of your team is rarely an easy situation to handle. Your gut reaction is likely to find a way to keep them around, most commonly by matching their new compensation or exceeding it. While the fresh sting of losing an important team member may hurt, you could end up hurting yourself even more in the long run if you decide to counter offer.

Below are three points that outline why a counter offer may result in more detriment than benefit.

• A counter offer is essentially a band-aid for the role. If they decide to stay, you now have a short-term solution to a long-term challenge. Compensation is, often times, a secondary motivation for seeking another opportunity. By giving them more money, you may convince them to stay a little while longer, but their core reasons for leaving may not be remedied. Not to mention, you may have set yourself up for bullet point two.

• A counter offer can be a gut punch to team morale. Think about the precedent set by giving a counter offer. Others in the organization have now seen firsthand that if they want a raise they can simply bring an offer letter to you and *voila*, an instant raise, whether it’s from you or the competition. Inadvertently, a counter offer may have just encouraged others to look to leave, or in a best-case scenario, only ask for the raise at their next performance review, potentially threatening your organization’s overall compensation structure.

• A counter offer often contradicts the concept of loyalty. Someone from your team has been hanging around with the competition looking for another opportunity, and when it is brought to your attention, you essentially reward them for it. This could be a bad look to the person leaving, as it was necessary for them to threaten to leave to potentially receive their full compensation value. Also, this may be perceived as a signal to the rest of the team that they may have to do the same to get what they want. This may be from a compensation, upward mobility, or schedule flexibility perspective. Either way, folks that are actually happy may get the idea that they are not being given full value for their efforts.

There are obviously exceptions and outliers for every situation. That said, it might make sense not to allow a band-aid for a departing employee set a precedent for others that loyalty means little. Instead of being reactive, consider being more proactive and have regular and open conversations with your team members about things that may be improved to encourage a collaborative and communicative environment. This way, hopefully the Counter Offer conversation won’t come up in the first place!

If you have any questions, please feel free to visit our website www.andersonbiro.com and one of our team members would be happy to hear your thoughts.

“Why” Should Somebody Choose to Work with Your Organization?

Let’s think about this for a moment. There are lots of reasons why an individual may want to work with your company. Maybe you offer a fun work atmosphere, a desirable location, or maybe it is because of a compensation plan and benefits package. Some companies even provide all of the above. However, we believe that these reasons, while important, should not be the root reason as to “Why” someone really wants to work with you.

At the end of the day, our experience suggests that the most satisfied employees will be part of an organization where they believe in the foundation of why the organization exists in the first place. Often in interviews, hiring managers justifiably focus on candidate skill sets and quantitative accomplishments. They frequently seek anecdotal stories to exemplify a candidate’s ability to think critically, or work under pressure. While we understand and support that evaluating an individual skill set and track record is important, we also feel that comprehending the behavioral piece around a candidate’s motivation for taking a position may be equally important.

Simon Sinek (marketing consultant and author) was quoted saying, “If you hire people who can just do a job, they’ll work for your money. If you hire people who believe what you believe, they work for you with blood, sweat, and tears.” Yes, people need to have the physical capability to do any given job. However, when someone is mentally and emotionally invested into the core reasons for your existence, then you have a much higher likelihood of achieving increased productivity and loyalty through the natural swings that business can sometimes take.

To be clear, there is no right or wrong answer to the question of “Why”. The idea is to put more emphasis on conveying your mission and evaluating if a candidate has the intrinsic motivation you are seeking. This is another one of the key areas where the team at Anderson|Biro can help. Part of our goal as an executive recruiting firm is to form an in-depth understanding of our client’s central mission and evaluate early on if the candidates we are presenting share a similar mindset.

If you have any questions, please feel free to visit our website www.andersonbiro.com and one of our team members would be happy to hear your thoughts.

Good Luck: When Preparation Meets Opportunity!

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines luck as “a force that brings good fortune or adversity; the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual.” We often apply luck to our day to day lives…sometimes in a negative light…sometimes in a positive one. You may use bad luck as a scapegoat for a lack of preparation in an unfortunate situation. Conversely, you may credit good luck when things unexpectedly go your way.

In theory, luck is great for the ‘ignorance is bliss’ crowd. As we all know, in business, ignorance is typically anything but bliss! This can certainly apply when building your team.

On this St. Patrick’s week, as you evaluate your luck, we suggest that you don’t get caught behind the eight ball with your company’s personnel strategy. Ergo, a few helpful tips in that department:

• Take the steps necessary to consistently engage and interact with the external candidate pool.

• Periodically evaluate your existing team to look for needs and/or glaring weaknesses.

• To help with future recruiting and bench strength, make sure that you are actively promoting your company brand and culture at all times.

These types of actions may help when the next hiring opportunity presents itself. This way, you’ll be praising your luck instead of cursing it!

Corporate Culture… Just Another Buzzword?

It’s a term that is used all of the time in the recruiting world. Anyone looking for a job or hiring for a position has had to deal with the same question… “What is the corporate culture like?” But what does this really mean? Are people talking about the size of the company, the personalities of the different employees, the leadership hierarchy, company benefits, or all of the above? This can be a very important part of the hiring process for both parties involved, and is often one of the more overlooked components when either side is making a final decision regarding employment.

From the employer perspective, finding a person that fits into the established organizational culture is imperative to ensure your long-term success. Understanding your own company and what type of environment you are trying to cultivate is the first step in the process. According to a Harvard Business Review article, there are six components of a great corporate culture: Vision, Values, Practices, People, Company Narrative, and Physical Workplace. Having clear answers to these questions will help any employer comb through candidates to figure out who is most likely to mesh well into the existing environment.

From the employee perspective, the reasons why corporate culture should be at the top of your consideration of any prospective employer are more or less the same. The difference is in the mindset. One must consider their own likes and dislikes of the various companies for which they have worked. The points to think about can include desired company size, leadership hierarchy, public vs. private ownership, geographic location, etc. There are pros and cons to just about any way to set up a company, and the trick is to find one that you as an employee are going to feel comfortable in, thus enabling the best chance to maintain high personal morale and motivation levels.

Regardless of what the answers to these questions are, this is an important piece to consider in any talent search. We would argue that culture is more important than financial compensation, as increased “comp” can be exciting in the short term but doesn’t necessarily ensure long term employee satisfaction with the position. And it’s not that there is one right way to build a corporate culture. Quite the opposite in fact. Companies with very different environments have found all sorts of success by making sure that the people that they onboard are going to fit into the established environment. This is one of the key areas where the team at Anderson|Biro can help. A large part of our job as an executive recruiting firm is to understand our client’s corporate culture, and make sure that the candidates we recommend for any given position are going to fit in with that vision and ecosystem.

If you have any questions, please feel free to visit our website www.andersonbiro.com and one of our team members would be happy to hear your thoughts.

2018 Recruiting Strategy: Are You Prepared?

2018 has arrived! Ahh, the refreshing turn of the calendar page. Annual bonus and distribution season is finally upon us. Hope springs eternal and… hopefully… you will soon be reaping some of the financial benefits of your hard work in 2017!
This year is looking like it could be wild and full of business opportunity and uncertainty alike. Of course, there are well publicized variables to consider with tax reform and what its components mean for each individual and business entity…. A shortage of housing inventory in many markets and the opportunity that brings to home builders….Rising home values and what it means for top-notch realtors and real estate attorneys… Interest rates remain at historically affordable levels so what does that mean for mortgage lenders and servicers? Or course, all of this has an effect on Title and Settlement Agents and ultimately, their Underwriters.

A new year is a clean slate in some sense, and a continuation of progress in another. In addition to all of your other planning considerations, your recruiting strategy probably falls into the second category as the search for meaningful talent is really never-ending.

The competitive landscape of the title insurance and settlement industry continues to evolve, and you are probably constantly looking for creative ways to provide top notch solutions to your clients. What does this mean for your recruiting strategy in terms of its effect on your ability to serve your client base? What are you doing on the recruiting front to grab market share in an evolving landscape? What are you doing to enhance your internal talent pool and develop your current team? How have you positioned yourself to meet your talent needs in 2018, and how does your overall recruiting strategy align with these goals?

All are important questions and you probably have an idea on most of these items. If you need help with any of this, please feel free to get in touch. One of our team members would be happy to hear your thoughts and provide candid feedback. Here’s to a successful 2018!

Back to the Basics: Showing Appreciation in your Hiring Process

There are many things that come to mind Thanksgiving Week. Usually family, turkey, cranberry sauce, and naps grace the leaderboard. Somewhere near the top you will typically find the very basis of the holiday, giving thanks and showing appreciation for the things we have in our lives. Things that folks are often thankful for and truly appreciate are typically not things at all. They are intangibles, such as health, happiness, and well-being.

You may be asking what this has to do with your recruitment efforts and hiring process. The message is a simple one: appreciation for the candidate’s mental well-being goes a long way, especially in situations where it may not always be expected. Below are some tips on how you can utilize small cordialities and the sign of appreciation to enhance your culture and brand recognition in the marketplace.

• Respond within 48 hours to a follow-up thank you email from a candidate that has interviewed. Replying timely to candidates can help reinforce team comradery and communication skills.

• Deliver constructive feedback during the interview process. When not selecting a candidate to proceed, offer them honest feedback to help them continue to grow as a professional. It may help you down the road when filling another role.

• Inform candidates when they are no longer being considered for the role. No one really likes rejection, but what may be worse is not knowing at all and being left in the dark. Being known as a straightforward and transparent company can help build trustworthiness in your group in the candidate marketplace.

• Thank each candidate for their time and interest in your organization. While you have ultimately used your company time and resources for interviews, they also have taken the time and effort during the hiring process and should be thanked accordingly. Showing genuine appreciation to a candidate, selected or not selected, may help you establish a reputation of gratitude and connectivity.

Who wouldn’t want to work with a group like that?

Networking Events…Love Them or Hate Them and How They Can Relate to Recruiting

Depending on your personality, there are generally two types of outlooks on networking events: optimism and opportunity…..or indifference and aversion. The truth of the matter is that networking is essential for a multitude of reasons even outside the obvious of connecting with potential customers or clients.

Utilizing networking events to your advantage from a recruiting standpoint has a similar strategy as networking with potential customers or clients for your services or products except that the end goal is not necessarily to secure a deal (unless you’re at a career fair of course). Whether it is a national summit, statewide conference, or local chapter meeting, these events can work to your advantage by helping you control things you may not otherwise be able to if you did not attend.

Listed below are some key areas on which to focus when networking to help improve your business from a recruiting perspective.

Reputation – Being visible in the market provides the opportunity to have a direct impact on the reputation of not only your organization, but yourself as well. This gives you a chance to promote your organization with body language, enthusiasm and your personal style, all of which may not come through full force when speaking on the phone or in a formal business meeting. When people can see for themselves the qualities that make you a consummate professional, this can help reinforce your personal strengths in the marketplace. This type of presence can help reinforce a solid reputation and may lead to candidates wanting to work with you and your organization.

Brand Building – If you are able to reach multiple points of contact within your industry on a regular basis, there is an opportunity to continue to build upon the brand of the organization. Being able to help control the messaging that the market receives provides you with an advantage when it comes to building your brand. Do you put an emphasis on work/life balance? Do you offer perks other companies do not? Are you on the forefront of an emerging product? Let the market know. This may help attract talent to your group that may have otherwise not been interested.

Establishing Stronger Relationships – This is a great way to strengthen connections between people you’ve known for years and folks you hardly know. Quality face time with your network enables a chance to deepen existing relationships and ignite new ones. There is a special bond that forms when you can shake one’s hand, notice their authenticity, appreciate their wit, or admire the quirks that make them who they are. Stronger relationships will help augment the reputation you’ve cultivated, the brand you have built, and thus help you have an impact in the marketplace.

So, in closing, if you are recruiting for your company, get out there and network!

Are You Transparent in Your Hiring Process?

When you conduct a business transaction, there are certain things that are expected from each party. Some of these things may include trustworthiness from the partner with whom you are doing business, a fair price, and a quality good or service. You could also be thinking about how this may apply to your hiring process.

A fair price can be negotiated for any transaction. The quality of that good or service can typically be measured. So how do you help establish trust in someone you’ve only spoken with maybe once or twice? Two words come to mind; honesty and transparency.

In the hiring process, we tend to give others the benefit of the doubt that they are honest until they give us a reason to doubt that assumption. Transparency, however, is a bit more complicated. You may trust someone based on the fact that they’ve always been honest with you, but there is still a chance they are not telling you everything you may need to know. When it comes to honesty and transparency, you can sometimes have one without the other. When it comes to your hiring process, it is imperative that you have both.

Being transparent in your hiring process allows you to accomplish a few things that may otherwise be hindered by a lack of it. Listed below are a few of those potential benefits:

•Greater sense of trust between candidate and company. This can lead to uncovering potential pain points early on that may have caused headaches for everyone later (i.e. compensation issues, healthcare issues, commute or work from home needs, overtime requirements)

•Candidates begin work excited and motivated as their concerns were addressed in advance. This may lead to greater productivity and leave them less likely to exit your team early for a “better” opportunity.

•A culture that breeds an environment where team members can interact openly without the toxins that ulterior motives often create. The more employer transparency with goals and expectations, e.g. a better definition of boundaries… often the more team cohesiveness and ultimate productivity can be achieved.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. Feel free to reach out for further discussion.

The Intense Competition for Talent – Urgency in the Recruitment Process

In our last blog we touched on the changing landscape of the hiring process and timeline along with the importance of adaptation in both to secure your next hire. For those of you that missed our last post, it can be found here.

There is an old adage in the business world that applies to the hiring process more than you may think. You may know it better as “time kills all deals.” Whether we like to admit it or not, a sense of urgency is an integral part of two sides coming together for mutual benefit. In this case, that means you securing top talent for your organization.

Competition for talent has heated up. As mentioned in the last blog, there are now more available seats than folks to fill them. If you are not creating urgency within your recruiting process you are creating talent vulnerability. Below are some tips on how to create urgency within your hiring process to help secure your next hire.

• Keep the interview process efficient and timely. Sure, it can be hectic when you have other deadlines to meet. However, making the time to conduct multiple interviews in a relatively short time period can help keep the candidate engaged and attracted to your group. If significant time passes between meetings, they may start to think you have lost interest and in turn they start to lose interest.

• Be decisive in your selection. This applies to who to interview, who to bring back to meet again, and to whom an offer is made. From time to time, we all wonder in the back of our minds if there is something better out there. This is not the time to let that thought get in the way. If you wait around to see one or two more candidates, your lead candidate may be gone by the time you’re ready to pull the trigger.

• Beware the search for the legendary “Purple Squirrel”! You know, the perfect candidate that may not actually exist but is so tempting to land. In the meantime, don’t pass up on that great, “real life” candidate as you continue hunting for this mythical beast.