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Should You Hire Based On Where the Candidate Worked Before?


Should You Hire Based On Where the Candidate Worked Before?

Hiring from popular teams in real estate can be a rabbit hole!

It seems like a human resources dream come true: you’ve found a candidate that you want to hire who has worked for years in one of the industry’s biggest name real estate teams. You ASSUME that this must mean that she is amazing, considering she lasted five years on that high pressure team. You ASSUME she must have had great training and dipped her toes into every part of the business. You ASSUME that this dream candidate will be the perfect fit for your office. Do you know what happens when you ASSUME?

Never mind… I’ll keep it clean, but bottom line: hiring from the “best names” in the real estate industry does not mean that you are guaranteed to be acquiring great talent. In fact, sometimes it’s quite the opposite. The firing, or what I’d like to call extraction process, can be as painful as taking a deeply embedded thorn out of your own foot.

Regardless of where a candidate worked before, you have to do your due diligence. This means your normal recruitment and onboarding processes need to be in action and on high alert because if there’s one lesson we’ve learned over the years, it’s that what works for one team can be disastrous for another.

A ‘big name’ is like a parent’s perfect Facebook post. The glossy exterior could be masking something a little (or a lot) uglier. Everything from how legal/illegal the team’s operations are, how professional/unprofessional their internal processes are, how organized/disorganized the team really is.

The front facade of a team can be painted with a beautiful brush to ensure that everything looks perfect and professional, but often, what goes on behind closed doors could be enough to have CRA in knots, labour boards up in flames, and harassment lawsuits creeping up from every corner. I’m not kidding!

I have spoken with candidates who interviewed with big real estate names who then called me after to ask if that was a date or a job interview. I have had candidates who are asked to lie and forge signatures on legal documents. I have also seen teams use long term employees as warm bodies to fill a gap instead of dismissing them for their inability to do their work properly.

Case in point: a candidate spent three years of her career on a particular team. They were desperate for assistance, so they kept her despite her inability to properly reply to an email. It might sound silly that someone isn’t dismissed from a professional role, whose emails could be full of errors, blunt and lacking finesse. Worse still that this particular function was given to someone else on the team to manage. She maintained phones, pick up/drop off… basically anything that needed doing that just kept her away from emails and offer writing. Three years of her life on this team had not added any value or experience to her knowledge. She left to join another team, which was expecting a candidate with three years of solid experience, only to realize that she couldn’t write offers, and wait… she’d never done a CMA and, OMG… she made tons of mistakes in anything she wrote. None of which was entirely her fault because if she’d been trained, her career path could have been changed long ago! One candidate who worked in another team for two years required an entire year of training in a new team to undo, and re-teach her EVERYTHING they needed done and how they need it.

Moral of the story: NEVER ASSUME. We definitely don’t. If you are looking for the perfect candidate but don’t have time for the recruitment and onboarding processes that everyone needs, give AGENTC a call!

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