As 2020 comes to a close it is clear that social distancing isn’t going anywhere. The apartment industry caught on board quickly with virtual walkthroughs, virtual maintenance techniques, and non-contact rent payment, among many other adjustments. Because of this professional pivot, apartment leasing has not taken a hit while many other industries have. This means that leasing agents are still in high demand and the need for successful virtual hiring is very important.
The video conferencing platform Zoom has taken the lead in the professional space. This is especially true when it comes to virtual interviews. However, the success rate of virtual hires has yet to be studied. We will see in 2021 if attrition is up because of bad hires made over the internet that perhaps would not have been made in person.
Below, we have some great tips to try to do the best job possible of hiring leasing agents over Zoom.
1. Let the Candidate Do Most of the Talking
Every hiring manager has their own interview style, and that may include leaving the conversation to the potential candidate. However, virtual interviewing can sometimes set the scene for the hiring manager to take the lead in the talking time because of the awkwardness of the video conferencing. The best way to handle this is to prepare yourself to lead the candidate to do the talking with open ended questions. You want to see how comfortable the candidate is with the technology, and speaking virtually, since they will likely be using it to sell potential residents to your property.
2. Pretend to Have Technical Difficulties
This one might seem a little crazy, but stay with us. Since virtual selling will likely be used by the leasing agent you hire you want to be sure they can handle a little bump in the road. Difficulties with the Zoom app are fairly common and can be anything from the sound not working to a lost connection. This may even happen naturally during an interview, if it does be sure to pay close attention to how the candidate is handling the situation. Are they trying to problem solve? Are they zoning out? Are they getting flustered? Their reactions can be very telling on how they will eventually interact with the potential residents.
3. Do a Social Media Search Before the Interview
For some hiring managers doing a social media search of a potential candidate is a common practice. Social media searches can give you a lot of information including the persona the potential candidates inhabit online and what could possibly be associated with your property if they are hired. You want to look for any obvious red flags. In addition to searching for possible issues, doing a social media once over can provide you with great interview questions to get them talking that you won’t find on their resume. This can include hobbies and interests you may see them post about online.
4. Have Them Do a Virtual Walk Through
Before the interview you can send the prospective candidate a video of an apartment home walk through and ask them to present it to you during the zoom interview. This can be done by loading the video to your conference call or you can simply have them hold their phone to the camera and walk you through that way. This is the closest you will get to seeing how they will actually perform the job you are hiring them for.
In many ways, hiring over Zoom can hold some very beneficial things that can help you achieve successful hires. Since the world will be practicing social distancing for some time it is imperative you adopt virtual hiring practices and use them to your advantage.