When I used to wear my corporate suit and tie, hiring the right talent was always something in the back of my mind. But, I also had an in-house human resources team that was well-versed in best practices for recruitment, structuring offers for hiring, and managing employee benefits. When I made the leap from the corner office to running my own independent real estate investment franchise, I had to cultivate my team from scratch and wondered where to start.

One of my colleagues mentioned that she had good luck growing her Chicago-area real estate investment business using a staffing firm to help find temporary employees, many of whom she eventually hired for full-time positions. In Chicago, we’re especially fortunate, as the city is full of reputable staffing companies that can help provide cost-effective solutions for a maturing business. With so many great potential employees out there, these companies can help you identify the greatest needs of your growing real estate investment franchise and fill them with the kind of talent that will drive your company toward expansion and success.

Finding Quality Employees in Chicago

Chicago can be a tough market in which to recruit solid employees because there are so many big boy corporations here that draw the top talent. As a new real estate investor, you don’t yet have an in-house recruiting department or the brand recognition to naturally attract candidates. You do, however, still have a fast-paced business that requires the help of additional employees. These roles can change over time, and you need individuals who are flexible and who have the ability to go wherever daily challenges may take them. This is where staffing firms can be a boon to real estate investors in particular, as they know how to find the kind of talent that complements the needs of the industry best.

Sure, you could list the position on one of the many online job portals out there, but you don’t have deep enough pockets to pay them for ranking your ad above all the others. You’ve probably even thought of localizing your search by spending $45 to post the position on the Chicago Craigslist, right? But, do you have a compelling company story, an online presence, and the skills to write an engaging job description?

To make matters even more complicated, competition for hiring is getting even tougher in our local job market. From the construction company Caterpillar to Conagra Foods and the new McDonald’s headquarters, our area is being flooded with new corporate expansions and relocations. They are moving here in droves because of the relatively low cost of living, proximity to skilled workers, and access to a major transportation hub. While your growing business will likely benefit from the positive economic climate these corporations foster, this year will not be an easy time to attract employees away from them.

Benefits of Using a Local Staffing Firm

Staffing agencies have a larger network of prospective job candidates than you have time or money to pursue. They maintain a diverse pool of workers that they have already identified as being experienced, reliable, and conscientious. That’s how they can fill your job vacancy in a matter of days, or sometimes even hours! There’s a number of other ways that using a staffing service can benefit your expanding real estate business:

  • Specialized talent pools. Staffing agencies often focus on serving specific industries. They know how to pinpoint and qualify candidates with just the right skill sets for your real estate business needs.
  • Flexible growth.  Depending on where you are on the growth curve, a staffing firm can provide you with help at different levels of commitment, from contract to temporary-to-hire, and even direct hire placements. This means that you can access the right person at the right time as your business needs amplify.
  • Reduced costs. A bad hiring decision costs a pretty penny. The more money you spend onboarding, training, and trying to retain an ill-suited employee, the more expensive your mistake gets. Real estate investing already comes with some degree of uncertainty—you want to concentrate on your properties, not questioning whether your employees are the right ones for the job.
  • Better productivity. When you factor in the output you lose when an employee is off-track and the time it takes to replace them, it makes sense to hire a professional to get your business hiring right the first time.

Any agency worth its salt will spend time getting to know you and your needs. When you’re just getting started, you may prefer to use temporary employees to handle some of your day-to-day office requirements on an as-needed basis. As you grow, you may find that you need more consistent, full-time help. This type of work may be something you offer to a previous temp who was particularly successful (as it did in my colleague’s case), or the staffing agency can help curate a list of candidates who are ideal for the positions you’re looking to build.

The biggest benefit of using a staffing firm, however, is that it frees up your time to actually grow your business!  Who wants to be writing job advertisements, vetting candidates, and training someone who may be new to the industry when there are leads to generate and convert? You can get a better return by outsourcing the small stuff, for instance, by using apps for property investors and hiring temp employees, to focus on what you do best—investing in real estate.

Leveraging Talent When the Time is Right

With the assistance of some of our staffing firms right here in Chicago, I was able to engage appropriate talent and, as a result, eventually develop a top-performing team that makes my real estate investing business run almost effortlessly. When I started investing, I retained help on an as-needed or short-term basis. Then, as my business expanded, staffing firms provided me with temp-to-hire employees. I strategically hired those who proved their value to join my team full-time. My business flourished and, with the backing of solid employees, I now have time to show newer investors the ropes as a HomeVestors® Development Agent. Feel free to reach out if you want guidance from a tried-and-true old-timer like me.

Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.

Photo Credit | Flickr CC user Vasilis


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