Apartment companies are getting creative and more public-facing when it comes to hiring strategy as they seek to add new talent as the industry moves forward.
At Mission Rock Residential, the company has redefined its company’s culture brand by using words, images and messaging to make sure it stands out to those looking for property management careers.
It’s emphasizing the employee experience, right down to its job descriptions, avoiding words such as “your tasks” but rather calling responsibilities part of the employee’s “mission.”
“Our staff doesn’t have daily chores, but rather we explain the ‘impact’ their roles play in the company’s success,” Marcella Eppsteiner, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Training and Revenue Management, Mission Rock Residential, said. “Workers today are more in tuned with having more ‘purpose’ at the places they work, especially younger employees.”
Eppsteiner was among the panelists who discussed the recruiting scene on Tuesday at the MFE Conference in Las Vegas, hosted by Zonda. The panel included Ashley Napoli, Vice President, Human Resources, Continental Properties; and Allison Dunavant, Vice President of Organizational Development, Camden.
Making Career Opportunities Visible
“Today, everyone is a recruiter,” Napoli said. “The valuable role that your hiring managers play [in seeking talent] cannot be overlooked. Your company needs to be visible online.”
Napoli is partnering with her marketing team to make sure available career opportunities appear in as many places as possible.
“We maintain a pipeline of communications to potential hires by contacting them at least monthly to tell them and show them what’s going on at our company and that it’s a great place to work,” she said.
She also makes sure that Continental’s name is out there by partnering with diversity organizations and technical schools and universities – making sure they have a point of contact at each so they can be kept up with what the company is doing and offering.
“You have to do more engagement in these channels than just two job fairs a year,” she said.
Napoli also is keeping an eye out for boomerang employees – those who left the company but might want to return. “We make sure they are seeing the new and exciting things the company is doing,” she said.
Dunavant said 29 percent of Camden’s hires come from employee referrals (and a hiring bonus comes with that). “Our philosophy is that great people know great people,” she said.
COVID-19 became a great accelerator for the apartment industry and its operations, Dunavant said.
“So, we’re looking at all of our job descriptions and see how they have changed and what we’re asking our employees to do,” she said. “During the past 18 months, so much change has been pushed onto the onsite staff. We need to look at what makes sense to outsource or to automate. We want to make sure we allow our employees to use their strengths and not be bogged down with menial tasks.”