- Imagine if it were possible to quickly assess the individual members of your retail leasing team’s potential for near to high performance?
- Conceive the efficiencies achieved if you could balance your leasing team’s effectiveness, ensuring within 85% of predictive accuracy that the leasing manager best suited for green field is attached to the development project, while the leasing manager best suited for infill leasing focuses on the existing portfolio?
- What is the impact on team morale of promoting your star leasing executive – who lacks the capacity to manage others – out of a desire to retain him or her? How might that promotion sabotage the very goals you set out to achieve when that leasing executive’s poor management skills begin to surface?
- What savings in acquisition and retention could you achieve and how much compression in project timelines could you recover if 85% of your new hires had the behavioral profile equal to or better than the top retail leasing executives in the country?
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Identifying Retail Leasing Talent
By Forbes J. Rutherford, Rutherford International Executive Search Group Inc.,
Toronto, Calgary, 855-256-5778
About the Author: Forbes Rutherford http://ca.linkedin.com/in/rutherfordintl leads a consortia of talent acquisition companies that allow clients to attract talent at any price point along the recruiting value chain. Rutherford International (www.rutherfordinternational.com) is an executive search and management consulting firm that supports a network of real property, private equity, venture capital and investment management firms with identification and behavioral assessment of executive talent. Furthermore, we offer rapid on-boarding and departmental enhancement strategies that can reduce 'time to proficiency' for critical front-office functions (including sales) by 30 to 50% of traditional training protocols. See: http://tinyurl.com/rutherford-group to review our integrated approach to talent acquisition.
The following is the first of a serialized article detailing the results of behavioral study conducted by a leading behavioral scientist and sponsored by Rutherford International Executive Search Group Inc. (www.rutherfordinternational.com). Through a marriage of actuarial and behavioral science, the study benchmarks the success attributes of Canada’s top retail leasing executives in the following functions: Senior Retail Leasing Manager/Director; Greenfield Leasing Manager/Broker (included repositioning of existing assets) and VP Retail Leasing. Preliminary results to date are considered 85% accurate, and the study will be expanded into additional global markets to yield additional data. The article is serialized over the month of March with brief entries published each Monday.
In my capacity as an executive search professional in real estate, I’ve been a keen observer of shifting trends in organizational design and talent for the past 30 years. Within the last decade, Baby Boomers in management have started to give way to Generation X and Y with the Millennial generation rapidly filling junior and intermediate leasing roles. This generational shift was clearly evident at last year’s ICSC conference given the number of fresh faces attending broker and owner leasing booths.
These fresh faces caused me to wonder how they may have been selected for their retail leasing role and who in the crowd had the capacity to become succession candidates to management. Some had recognizable surnames, all were eager and all were excited by the prospect of beginning their careers in a function that is foundational to creating value and a traditional springboard to promotion within the industry. The seeming promise of the pool of talent in the room seemed incongruent with the lament of old guard industry leaders who confided their frustration that for every 10 junior retail leasing representatives or agents they hired, only one would exceed their expectations.
This lament is frequently followed up with the additional complaint that after two or three years developing a protégé’s expertise, the risk of s/he being poached by a competitor was high. It was an extraordinary statistic. Imagine hiring ten junior/intermediate leasing representatives to get one that merits promotion to Senior Retail Leasing Manager, only to run the risk of losing him or her to competition. These are odds even Vegas wouldn’t consider. Admittedly this 10:1 ratio is founded on anecdotal evidence and likely an exaggeration. Even if the ratio were 5:1, however, it remains an extraordinary admission of failure in the ability to identify potential leasing talent.
How should executives mitigate hiring risk when selecting a junior retail leasing representative – without resorting to a Darwinian approach to talent selection?
Some hiring executives might consider testing candidates against known benchmarks for sales skills, but this typically yields poor results. In fact, the study observes:
Little to no correlation exists between the attributes of successful salespeople and that of high performing retail leasing professionals. While all individuals participating in the research were rated as consistently “exceeding” performance expectations in their specific retail leasing role, less than 25% of the participants in the sample scored 60+ on our non-real estate “Sales Agent/Broker/Distributor” benchmark.
The observations in this study are provocative, and underscore the importance of early assessment of the behavioral strengths of leasing representatives and placements that can effectively leverage those strengths. Read the example of a retail executive following a successful science based hiring approach prior to the Vegas ICSC conference here: http://tinyurl.com/vegasandleasing.
Four questions this survey will address:
Should any other questions come to mind, I would be pleased to offer you additional insights from the survey and include thoughts as to how the results could impact the development of your leasing team and ongoing succession strategy.
Observation 2 - Excerpt for March 17th: According to our “Predictor of Success Score (POS),” only 25% of Retail Leasing Manager/Directors have the wherewithal to be “High Performing” in a Greenfield or asset repositioning leasing environment.
Forbes J. Rutherford, President, Rutherford International, Toronto/Calgary
email@example.com or 855-256-5778
Thursday, February 27, 2014
BUILDING A TALENT PIPELINE
By Forbes J. Rutherford, Rutherford International Executive Search Group Inc.,
Toronto, Calgary, 855-256-5778
About the Author: Forbes Rutherford http://ca.linkedin.com/in/rutherfordintl leads an integrated group of talent acquisition companies that enable clients to attract talent at any stage along the recruiting value chain. Our process can achieve a 30% reduction on a client’s annual budgeted recruitment spend by simply aligning every aspect of your recruitment, interview and assessment process around the promotion of your corporate brand and applying science based hiring. As well, our approach to on-boarding and re-engineering of training protocols for front-line functions has reduced time to proficiency by 50%. The retention of effective and motivated people can become a predictable and consistent process through re-engineering of your hiring and training protocol. See: http://tinyurl.com/rutherford-group
The following is an eleven part series which details the past, current and evolving conditions related to building a talent pipeline in your organization. The article is serialized over a five week period with brief entries published each Monday and Thursday.
With the ongoing retirement of the baby boomer cohort from the workforce and the rising influence of the technically savvy millennial, the executive suite is becoming increasingly aware of the impact the war for talent is having on the profit levers of their business. Demographers have been predicting for years the seismic shift the boomers’ departure would have on consumer and workforce patterns. Even when change is predictable, however, not all industries are able to effectively adapt. Some of the industries that have struggled with change despite the benefit of economic prognostication include water utilities, pulp and paper, automotive, commercial banking and beverage manufacturing.
Real estate is quite different. The industry can work its way to the edge of chaos and yet has the entrepreneurial wherewithal to reshape itself. It is an industry that has matured over the past thirty years, and yet remains highly fragmented and unpredictable in the extreme. Urban social patterns compound demand cycles leading to both disbursed and concentrated communities that create hard to predict development patterns. Both commercial and urban residential real estate have few barriers to entry; innovation in workplace design, energy efficiency and building science are constantly evolving while creating new opportunity. The ability to identify effective and resilient expertise within this chaotic dance of competing firms is directly impacted by these conditions.
The industry has proven itself to be susceptible to elasticity, having been strategically shaped by forward thinking CEOs with adaptive corporate stratagems that embrace short or continual planning cycles. It’s not unusual for adaptive real estate companies to rely upon an ecosystem of customers, suppliers and co-venture partners that identify with the CEO’s vision for new markets, client relationship standards, technology platforms and improved business practices. The challenges within this adaptation include preparing for succession and voluntary attrition within the industry’s ranks. To adapt successfully, companies must actively build talent pipelines to ensure the growth and viability of the business.
Part 1 – A Brief History
Twelve years ago companies shifted their recruiting from offline to online, following candidates as they moved their job search from newspapers to job boards. The migration produced a 55% decline in market share for newspapers carrying jobs – today newsprint accounts for only 5% of advertised vacancies.
The utility and robustness of job board technology continue to evolve. According to Bersin & Associates in the United Kingdom, job boards have acquired a market share of 19% of new hires in the United States and 9% in the United Kingdom. Canada would fall in between these percentages at around 12%. This market penetration has been at the expense not only of print advertising but also recruitment agencies.
In response to this competitive challenge, broad sheets followed their clients by establishing proprietary job boards, linked to their syndicated newspapers through a single integrated job board. For major employers who recruit nationally, this integrated job board approach simplified things as advertisers didn’t have to place jobs in dozens of newspapers all over the country but could simply post a job to one or two national job boards.
Part 2 – Job Board Weaknesses
As a technology platform, job boards are most successful in attracting ‘active’ candidates – those who are looking for a job. However 9 out of 10 visitors to corporate career sites and job boards don’t apply to the posted jobs. Reasons for not submitting their resume are multiple. It’s likely they are gainfully employed and reluctant to have their name in play; while others are simply comparing their functional duties and accountabilities with competitive organizations. As well, thirty five percent of the working population do not actively seek ‘change,’ requiring the impetus of an intermediary.
With this low conversion rate of prospects into candidates, one might think that job boards are likely to die out, certainly progressive companies are reducing their budgets on job boards in favor of more comprehensive job marketing strategies designed to source both “active” and “passive” candidates. Job boards are not dying, their role remains a critical component of an integrated candidate pipeline.
REjobnet.com is representative of how a job board functions as the first stage of integrated candidate pipeline. Catering to commercial real estate, the site receives real estate postings from 53 countries. This volume of international real estate jobs should satisfy the intellectual curiosity of most passive job seekers while featuring opportunities for active job seekers.
Part 3 – Widening the Pipe – Search Engine Optimization
The Internet is a continuous disruptive force on our way of living and conduct of business. In the war for specialized talent, the marketplace does not rely solely on job boards as means to gather job and career information. The job board as a source for prospects is akin to a garden hose filling your outdoor pool, it will get the job done but not at the same rate as a hose attached to your local hydrant.
To increase the flow of prospects, one needs to optimize their search engine access, along with improved tools for mining Big Data. Big Data is becoming increasing accessible and cost efficient, it's created mega-shifts in workplace design, influenced adaption to process, caused the reconfiguration of value chains and the segmentation of markets. Search engines such as Google and Bing in conjunction with job aggregating spiders scrape the internet for job information and postings.
For example, Google’s search engine receives 300 million job related search requests per month. With this level of activity, there is an inaudible yet omnipresent noise factor one must consider when posting a position to attract a specific expertise. As a result, crafting job ad text and strategically posting the ad to optimize the potential of search engines has become a central aspect of digital ad placement and interactive marketing.
Part 4 – Filtering Noise in a Distributive Universe
The diminishment of ad revenue for traditional broadcast networks is a perfect example as to how disruptive technology has reduced their influence within the social fabric. The advent of the 800 channel digital universe has fractured the viewing audience by redirecting the public to a diverse array of specialty broadcasters and a bevy of themed shows. This example of disruptive technology has reduced viewership even more so by providing alternative forms of on-line entertainment such as gaming and social networking. In response, media savvy entrepreneurs adapt by applying the principle of platform convergence to create a singular interactive experience for their audience.
This same fracturing of the viewing audience has taken place in the job market; job seekers may need to see the same job post as many as five times before they are motivated to apply. In the war for talent, finding capable prospects requires a convergence of platforms. To be continued on March 10, 2014. To receive notification of the update, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Update” in the Subject.
Part 5 - Targeting the Digitally Raised Prospect - March 13th
Part 6 - Mapping the Shadow Network - Connecting to "High Performers" - March 17th
Part 7 - Breaking the Dependency on Agencies - March 20th
Part 8 - Passive Candidate Conversion - It's a Matter of Touch - March 24th
Part 9 - Changing Role of Internal and External Recruiters - March 27th
Part 10 - Building and Managing a Real Estate Talent Community - March 31st
Part 11 - Employers Need a Partner - Alignment of Client/Supplier Interests - April 3rd.
To receive notification of each serialized update, email me at email@example.com with “Update” in the Subject.