Category Archives: Real Estate Financial Services

Two Words: Quality Time. A Quick Fall Conference Season Recruiting Guide – Part One

If you described your typical conference experience, we’d be willing to wager that some of your key words might include: fun, food, refreshments, speakers, booths and late nights. These connotations are not groundbreaking, nor is the novel concept of putting on your recruiting hat at industry conventions.  Maybe we can suggest looking at conference recruiting with a specific concept in mind…. spending Quality Time with your recruits.

On the surface, recruiting at these conferences can sometimes seem trivial. You know, show face, shake hands, appease those up the corporate ladder. Do not fall victim to this mindset! Use these conferences as a rare opportunity to take advantage of quality time with your clients, vendors, peers, AND potential recruiting targets…. all in one place!

Listed below are some possible focus items to help maximize your conference recruiting efforts.

What motivates them…After a drink and an appetizer, you need something else to talk about beyond the pleasantries of nice weather and the fine financial quarter your group is having.  Maybe consider engaging in deeper conversations with your boothmate. Pick up on non-verbal cues and dare to go beyond the surface to better connect with your recruit and learn their true motivations. Begin to understand their interests and hobbies. What do they do for fun? Do they like to play chess or checkers? Anything but work. This can be a differentiator later when your competitor does not truly understand the candidate’s motivational mindset.

Gain strategic insight…What are your competitors doing on the recruiting front and how can you better compete? Sometimes the best way to find out is to ask the person in front of you. How are other companies impacting the recruiting landscape? What can your group be doing better to attract the best industry talent? We are not suggesting you do anything that does not align with your company culture. We are suggesting understanding what you’re up against and adjusting your internal recruiting strategy accordingly.

Plant that seed…Capitalize on your face to face meetings to help set yourself apart. Ideally you can spend quality time together offsite or at least create one-on-one contact away from the fray.  Be authentic. Be mindful of personal and company branding. Build and project your group’s marketplace presence.  Help that potential recruit understand that your group is THE destination they should be considering when the time is right for a move.

Look for Part Two of this blog coming to an email near you in Mid-October… In the meantime, should 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.

Anderson|Biro, LLC Launches Staffing Division in Ohio

Anderson|Biro, LLC, a Cleveland, Ohio based Executive Search firm serving the real estate financial services sector nationally, has added a Staffing division focused in Ohio.  The division will service clients that have a need for contract and temporary-to-permanent placements.

“We are excited to add this new service offering for our clients based here in Ohio.  As the labor market has tightened over the past few years, the need for contract placements has dramatically increased,” said Anderson|Biro Founding Partner, Eric Biro.  “Ohio will just be the start of the operation.  As time evolves, we will add additional states into the mix,” Biro said.

Co-founder, Ryan Anderson added, “Since our executive search business primarily operates at the mid to senior level, the objective here is to build out our staffing division to help enhance our total service offering for our loyal customer base.  We will also look at supporting adjacent industry verticals eventually opening up opportunities for clients and contacts within our executive search division.”

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The title insurance industry is currently running on all cylinders as underwriters, agents and investment groups alike set record quarterly revenue figures in the space. When the industry is rockin’ and rollin’, especially with the national unemployment rate hovering around four percent, it can be difficult to find quality talent to sustain and continue hiring growth momentum.

There are times when talent does surface and maybe is just not the right fit for a specific need. Maybe that same individual could be a solution for a future role and it can be important to position your company to again have access to this talent. As you may know, it is important to properly let recruits “off the hook” if not selected for your opportunity.

Candidates often spend hours of their time with preparation, commutes, and using PTO to participate in said interviews. Taking five minutes to provide honest and constructive feedback to finalist candidates at the end of an interview lifecycle can be useful to help bring along the next generation of talent, from production level to C-suite.

We are all guilty of occasionally giving a formatted rejection response that may leave a candidate with a bad taste in their mouth.  Even worse, not getting back with the recruit at all, thereby leaving them hanging and wondering what happened when it all seemed so promising! Honest and constructive interview feedback provides a candidate the opportunity to understand specific weaknesses in their game, and the chance to work on areas that may need improvement.

Providing a candidate the opportunity to grow professionally through transparent rejection feedback can help build long term relationships, foster an organizational reputation of improvement and growth, all while creating a positive buzz about the transparency of your hiring culture.  Ultimately, this practice may help you attract quality talent today and in the future.

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.

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?