Management Advice

Top 5 Ways to Use Technology To Speed Up the Hiring Process

It’s April 2020 and the global quarantine is still in full effect. It may seem endless now, but this time will not last forever. In terms of hiring, employers need to be ready for when the business is fully operational and the massive amount of unemployed workforce begins to apply for open positions.

Time lost in hiring is time lost in producing much needed revenue, so it’s more important now than ever to utilize technology to quickly hire the right candidates to get your business up and running.

Below we list the Top 5 Ways to Use Technology To Speed Up the Hiring Process.

#1: Applicant Tracking System

Many AI hiring applications contain an advanced applicant tracking system that will enable you to easily monitor key hiring metrics such as “time to fill,” “cost per hire,” and number of applicants applying for certain positions. This means you can accurately keep your hiring budget in line. An example would be to see that a certain position has less applicants and then allocating more advertising budget to that position. 

#2: A Short-Form Messenger Service

Since it is expected that there will be a flood of applicants, it can be assured that communicating with them all in long-form, traditional emails will be a big time suck. Setting up a messenger system that can quickly ask filtering interview questions will be invaluable to hiring managers. The majority of applicants in 2020 are conducting job searches on their phones, so being able to shoot them quick text messages with questions you would normally save for an intro interview will be efficient for both the interviewer and the candidate.

#3: Personality Assessments and Background Checks

Personality and background checks are usually saved for later on in the interview process. However by moving this up to the intro stage you will quickly identify the best candidates for your company culture before even asking any interview questions. There are many free personality tests online that you can send the candidate to in the beginning stages of the hiring process. 

In addition to a personality fit, you need to make sure the candidate’s criminal background is clean. Usually it takes up to 3 days to get a background check so pushing this up to the forefront for qualified candidates can save time in getting them to work. Unlike personality tests, criminal background checks are not free so a hiring manager will have to be be able to utilize all the information available to them to make sure they are checking only qualified candidates.

#4: Video Interview System

Applications such as Zoom enable businesses to take their meetings online via professional video conferencing. While this is not new technology, most entry-level candidates are not asked to participate in video interviews. By opening this way of interviewing up to all positions, a hiring manager can both start the job search process as early as possible and interview multiple candidates at one time. Imagine having your top 10 candidates for an entry level position all on a video conference and being able to ask them the same questions to see how they compare to each other? Probably stressful for the candidates but very enlightening for the interviewer.

#5: Learning Management System

Lastly, outside of the hiring process, the most important aspect in bringing on new employees is the onboarding process. Many companies have well thought out material to ensure the success of their new employees. However, oftentimes that learning system is dependent on in-person training and takes time away from seasoned employees that will need to be dedicating themselves to their own jobs when things are back up and running. Now is the time to invest in an onboarding system that a new hire can complete online, possibly from home. 

An online company academy need not be only for new hires! You can utilize it for continuing education for your current team, making the financial investment work double time for you.

Software such as Enboarder and WorkBright are great examples that you can consider for your company.

While it may seem that this is a time where productivity has halted, you can instead start to discover all the great technology that is out there  to make your transition back to “business as usually” quick and painless. Possibly even better than before!

Posted in Career Blog Categories, Management Advice |

5 Halloween Ideas for Your Apartment Community!

5 Halloween Ideas for Your Apartment Community! Now Hiring Apartment Jobs
A good leasing office is always looking for fun ways to interact with their residents. Luckily, one of the most fun holidays is right around the corner! Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to show your residents a spooky good time. Below are 5 GREAT Halloween ideas for your apartment community!

1. Trick or Treating for the Kids

Get both residents with, and without, children together by organizing a trick or treat door guide. Have residents who are interested in having trick or treaters visit them sign up with the front office. You can then compile a list of apartment door numbers for parents to safely take their kiddos to so they can fill their candy buckets. Include the times it will be appropriate to knock on doors and the unit numbers that are participating. You can even one up this and give the residents 5 tokens to hand out to their favorite costumes. The child with the most tokens can win a prize from the leasing office!

2. Resident Costume Contest for Social Media

This idea is a great hands-off approach that will still get your community some credit for being fun and creative. Have your residents post photos of themselves dressed in their Halloween costumes and tag your apartment community on your chosen social media platform. Have the residents get their friends to “like” the photo. The tagged photo with the most “likes” wins a prize from the leasing office. This is a great way to get your community’s page or profile some great, organic followers.

3. Halloween-theme Potluck

If you are willing to get a little messy, a Halloween potluck is a great idea. These are best usually done a few days before Halloween. Have your residents bring Halloween-themed dishes (green noodles, witch cupcakes, pumpkin casserole), basically anything that is in the theme of the holiday. Pinterest has some great ideas if your residents are stuck. You can serve the beverages and host the get-together in your community room.

4. Resident Door Decorating Contest

Have your community transformed into the spirit of Halloween without lifting a finger! Have a door decorating contest for your residents and the winner gets a prize. The hardest part will be deciding who gets to judge, try to make sure it is completely impartial as to not upset anyone.

5. Candy Bags at the Front Gate

A small gesture that can go a long way is to pass out little bags of candy at the front gate as residents come and go on Halloween night. You post up just after dark for a hour and get some fun car face-time with your residents. Even better, do it in costume!

No matter what you do, your residents are sure to appreciate living in a community that makes it fun to be a part of.

Posted in Management Advice, Uncategorized | Tagged |

Top 5 Austin, Texas Experiences in December 2018 and January 2019

Things to do in Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is a great place to live for many reasons. Besides the Tex-Mex and live music, Austin also offers many unique and fun events for its residents and visitors to enjoy.

Now that the weather has turned to non-sweltering temperatures in central Texas, you will want to get outdoors and experience all that Austin has to offer!

Below we have listed the Top 5 Austin Experiences in December and January!

1. The Trail of Lights in Zilker Park (2100 Barton Springs Road, 12/10/18-12/23/18)

This year marks the 52nd anniversary of the infamous Trail of Lights in Zilker Park! There you will find dazzling holiday lights to walk through with your family and friends, along with yummy food vendors selling everything from hot chocolate to tamales! You can spin yourself into a dizzy stupor under the Zilker Christmas Tree located at the entrance and pictured below or just take numerous selfies with all the holiday characters you will find there!

Things to do in Austin, Texas

2. The Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Barton Springs (2201 Barton Springs Road, 1/1/19)

Barton Springs is a perfect 68°-70°F year-round that is refreshing on a hot summer day and cozy on those frigid winter mornings, but that doesn’t make jumping in on New Year’s Day any less impressive! Join other Austinites as they start their 2017 off shivering from the magical waters of Barton Springs. Be ready to warm up with free coffee and donuts right outside the gate after you take your plunge!

3. The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar (900 Barton Springs Road) and the Blue Genie Art Bazaar (6100 Airport Blvd) (11/24/18-12/24/18)

We admit it, we cheated a little on this one because it’s two events…but you can’t mention one without including the other! It is the ultimate holiday shopping experience that is quintessentially Austin. At the Blue Genie Art Bazaar shoppers can browse thousands of original works ranging from serious art to fun and kitschy items. A great way to buy hassle-free holiday gifts and support local artists. The Armadillo Christmas Bazaar also features local award-winning artists along with with live music and two full bars making it the ultimate shopping experience.

4. Free Week (Various locations, 1/1/19-1/8/19)

The first week of January might be the best time for a music fan to visit Austin. Why? Hundreds of Austin bands participate in this annual FREE event that encompasses multiple venues all over Austin. Plan to be out and about to take part in a music tradition that showcases why Austin is just so darn great!

5. Ice Skating on the Plaza at Whole Foods (525 N Lamar Blvd, 11/27/18 – 1/7/19)

Just because you live in central Texas doesn’t mean you don’t need to brush up on those ice skating skills! Spend an afternoon on the ice rink at the Whole Foods flagship store on North Lamar. Then head inside for a cup of cocoa or cider and live, local music on the weekends! You can also plan to eat a delicious lunch or dinner at one of the pop-up restaurants in the store and enjoy a glass of wine or a craft beer at the sit-down tasting bars. The PERFECT date night!

2019 is going to be another GREAT year to live in Austin, Texas…but 2018 isn’t over yet! Get out there and enjoy all this city has to offer!

Posted in Career Advice, Featured Jobs, Hiring Tips, Management Advice |

How Trump’s Trade-War Will Impact the Multi-Family Housing Industry

How Trump’s Trade-War Will Impact the Multi-Family Housing Industry

Photo: Trump Administration

The news outlets are constantly reporting on President Trump’s trade war with China and other countries with many American industries having been impacted by the high tariffs on foreign imports. As many of us work in multi-family housing, it can be expected that we are concerned how the news headlines will translate to our industry.

While the multi-family housing industry has not been the most impacted by federal tariffs, it has not been untouched. Below we discuss what exactly defines the details of the trade war and how it specifically affects our industry.

What Is a Trade War and Why is Trump Doing It?

A trade war means tariffs or taxes are placed on imports. The purpose is to increase the cost of the product, and dissuade US consumers from buying foreign products. Trump is reportedly waging the trade war to cut America’s trade deficits.

America has the biggest trade deficit with China, almost $375 Billion, and Trump is seeking to close the gap by encouraging Americans to stop buying products imported from China and other targeted countries.

Long-Term Impact on Multi-Family Housing

Most of the talk has been about China, but it’s Canada that’s going to have the most impact on our industry.

Tariffs on Canadian lumber are adding about $9,000 to single-family home prices and more than $3,000 to multi-family homes, Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Homebuilders said last month.

Some companies can shield themselves, for now, with long-term contracts already in place for materials but other builders are starting to feel the pinch and construction has been halted.

According to the most recent single-family permit numbers for June, new home construction has decreased. The United States Census Bureau has reported 1,493 single-family permits for the month of June, a 10 percent decrease from May of 2018 and an 8 percent decrease from June of 2017 when 1,663 permits were pulled.

In Indiana for example, builders are already starting to show that they may be hurting from the high import tariffs.

“The concern over material and labor costs is making it more difficult to build homes at competitive price points, particularly for newcomers entering the housing market.” said Indiana Builders Association Chief Executive Officer, Rick Wajda said “We will continue to have discussions with our federal policy makers on the rising construction costs and encourage them to take action to keep housing affordable across the country.”

What this means for the multi-family industry can be both good and bad. The good is that higher home costs mean more and more people will be passing on home ownership and moving into multi-family housing. The bad is that new construction of apartment homes could stall and result in a shortage of properties to work for in the future, thus constricting the job market for leasing professionals, managers, and maintenance technicians.

Maintenance could be another area that will hit apartment properties in the wallet. The cost to repair, and maintain properties could be going up with items such as washing machines, doors, lumber, and other objects usually sourced from heavily tariffed countries such as China increasing in price. This could result in a rising rent prices, or a lowering of entry-level pay for multi-family housing professionals to offset the higher costs incurred by the properties.

All of these predictions are dependent on the length of time Trump will continue his trade war. If what the president is saying (and tweeting) is true, it seems like he is in for the long run and our predictions for the multi-family housing industry could indeed come true.

Posted in Management Advice, Uncategorized |

How To Make Entry-Level Pay Attractive to Potential Maintenance Hires

How To Make Entry-Level Pay Attractive to Potential Maintenance Hires

Every multifamily employer has felt the sting of dealing with a low response to an advertised entry-level maintenance position post. Qualified individuals expect to be paid higher wages and unqualified individuals can sometimes result in an undesirable hire. So, how do you bring good talent into entry-level positions with lower pay?

The answer is, you have a clear-cut promotional strategy in place that shows a potential employee their path to success (and higher pay).

We are all familiar with pay being “dependent on experience, ” but how about pay being “dependent on performance? ” By switching this wording on a job posting you can advertise the potential for higher pay, and grab the attention of motivated candidates, while still keeping a low financial risk on a new hire. Below we have detailed the key elements of an appropriate promotional program for your new, entry level maintenance team member.

1. Clearly Defined Timeline

When you are presenting a promotional strategy in exchange for being hired at entry-level pay, you need to include a clearly defined timeline so the candidate understands how long it would take to achieve their desired level of pay. Not only will this show the candidate that you are serious about getting them what they want, you will also keep yourself accountable on the promise you are making to the employee. It is very easy to let time slip by while an employee becomes more disgruntled over a perceived unkempt promise made at the time of their hire.

2. Transparent Benchmarks

Along with a timeline, you need to present the benchmarks the employee would need to hit to be considered for a promotion to the next level. The benchmarks should be unique to your company, but could include certain certifications, days worked, performance review scores, and/or maintenance project(s) completed. The benchmarks should be attached to the defined timeline so the employee knows what they have to do, and by what dates they have to do them, to get their desired promotion.

3. Pre-Scheduled Performance Reviews

The best way to keep track of an employee’s promotional journey is by conducting regular performance reviews. The performance reviews will contain all the elements needed to achieve a promotion to the next level. When an employee is brought onboard, they should know the dates of upcoming performance reviews, and what will be examined during each review. Ideally, each review (depending on frequency) will result in a promotion and/or an increase in pay. When you hire your new employee they should be able to see when, and by how much, their pay could increase by looking at the performance review schedule.

Developing and executing a clear-cut promotional strategy will not only result in a higher success rate in hiring for entry-level positions, but can also result in higher productivity from those you hire, and a better job satisfaction rate among your staff. The good thing is that you can put in the extra effort to develop the program now and replicate over and over for all your new hires in the future!

Posted in Management Advice |