Lessons Learned from Our Recruiting Mistakes


All right.  So the first, who?  Then what?  If I only could have known what I know now about recruiting and talent and just trying to motivate people versus just a natural motivation, what lessons have you learned?  Everyone is going to have bad hires, but to try to avoid bad hires, what advice can we give the room here?

"I'll start, because I've made a lot of mistakes in this area.  But first, who?  Then what?  It's a standard thing.  So once you see the type of people you want in your business, you have a new bar, right?  It's raised, and you just never go back. 

"So for me, I have a bar.  It's there, and I made a promise to my buyer's agents, for example, that never will I let anybody in the door that doesn't have the same standard, or higher, than we do. They don't have the stuff.  Right? 

"So I just have a system around hiring now.  They go through several filters.  I use (check) Wise Hire.  I have a lengthy interview process, and then a team interview, and so they have to go through that filter as well."

"I'll share. Recently, we've been talking about core values, mission statements.  I don't know if any of you out there are like me, but I know I've been through several of these intensives with Lars and other type of conferences over the years for probably the last ten years.  

"I've been in real estate since 2003, and I just kind of glossed over that mission and vision.  That sounded like fluff, and I didn't even know what I wanted to do, except for make a bunch of money, pay my bills.  

"So when I first started to build my team, I just started throwing people on the bus.  'Hey, get on.  Let's go.  We're doing something.'  And I could motivate and inspire and -- I don't know what the heck happened.  Then we all started to fall off the bus.  

"So really, what it boils down to is, I look at first who, decide who you are, and then what do you want to do, and then I'll find people that align with your goals and your mission, instead of trying to fit talent that may not fit your goals and kind of putting up the stuff that's going on your team, or it's just not a good fit.  

"More practical tool, also, before you bring people on, you have a real solid vision, mission, and goals, but you also want to be very thorough.  We have a nine-step interview process on our team, and that's pretty rigorous. 

"And the final step is we take their spouse out to dinner with our operations manager and her husband, and it usually works out pretty well, because he's got, like, an innate gut, my operations manager's husband, and he'll just tell me how it is.  He's a little more seasoned in the business world, so it's kind of nice to have that in my back pocket.  

"But one thing -- if you're going through an interview -- and I just had this recently happened for an agent that I had to let go just two weeks ago.  And I saw a pattern.  Actually, it's my wife.  I should probably give her credit for that.  She's my HR manager.  And we've had a couple agents that they interviewed great.  

"When people show up, they're going to look their absolute best when they're there sitting in front of the interview.  And they're going to put on their best face.  So we found that the longer we stretch this interview process, the more natural, the more comfortable they become.  

"So the first one, we have a phone interview.  Then they come in and meet with my wife, who's the HR manager, and she does a brief interview.  Then they meet with the team.  And then the office manager, operations manager, goes at Starbucks and meets with them kind of casually just to kind of get to know them.  Then they come in and meet with me.  Then we do the dinner interview.  

"And then we do the DISC test and some other assessments in between all that.  But anytime you're in that process, anyone in the team can say, 'I just don't get a good gut feeling about this person.'

Another theme that we saw in the interview stages that now we're looking at -- and we're going to avoid hiring these people -- is if they complain a lot about previous employers, that's a bad sign, because they're placing blame with previous employers.  

"Then, we thought, "Oh, we'll just give them the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe it was a horrible work environment.  They had a horrible manager."

"But if someone is just negative about and they spend more than two seconds talking about their negative traits, their previous employers or brokers, you want to run.  I could have avoided two or three bad hires just for that advice right there."

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