Real estate & recruitment
I am lucky enough to be undertaking the purchase of a house.
The interaction with an array of real estate agents has been fascinating. I'm sure many other people have experienced the entire spectrum of service on realtors, and despaired or marvelled at their knowledge, professionalism, timeliness and so on.
It occurs to me that the qualification process that a good real estate agent should go through, has many similarities to what we should all be doing as part of the recruitment process - whether we sit in agency land or RPO or within an in-house talent acquisition team; and whether we're recruitment specialists, HR managers, or hiring leaders.
How often for instance do we really understand why is the person buying, or why the job seeker is even planning a career move at this time?
What is it about this house (substitute job) that particularly interests the person and what is needed to meet their essential, wish list, and nice to have criteria?
How does the house (substitute job) compare to others and how much do they believe this is "the one" for them? What are the other options the person is considering? (a chance to check consistency of story for drivers and motivators)
How far through is the person in decision making? Like the folks who are just curious about seeing a house with no intent of purchasing, there is an alarming number of job seekers, even at very senior level, who find it acceptable to enter into a hiring process "just to be sure" of an employment offer they've already accepted elsewhere!
Who are the other decision makers in this process? Just like the agent who really should understand who is the real buyer of the house, we should know what impact if any will be had from the views of a person's partner/parents/kids etc. I recall a professional with 2 job choices, with a preference driven by his daughter liking one company's products and marketing, and not the other. And on that note, if you have a professional vowing to relocate, you'd better explore whether they've actually had this supported by their "significant other"
What are the emotional factors at play? Many realtors will tell you about purchasers who've bypassed their supposed dream home for something completely random that just "felt right". It happens with job seekers too - bypassing a dream job because an interviewer was rude or taking up a random role because of a chemistry with an interviewer.
What are the financial considerations? I've been surprised how many realtors don't qualify how a purchaser plans to fund the house, and they're then surprised how many people cancel the purchase because they cannot secure a mortgage. In the recruitment process has your candidate really thought through any bonus forfeiture with their current employer, or planned for funding their own car after walking away from that component of their current employer benefits?
I know many agents work on the basis that if they show a lot of homes to a lot of people, eventually they'll get the sales results they're seeking. I see hiring often work the same way - involve a lot of candidates and eventually you'll find the right person to take up your employment offer.
But there has to be a smarter way to sell a house, and to hire a great new employee. With just a little more effort you can properly qualify who the real buyers are and eliminate the time wasters. You'll then be applying your energies wisely, and probably saving a lot of time to boot. Who knows - maybe that time and energy could then be focussed on better service delivery; and wouldn't that be a great result?