Hiring Quality Staff

 By: Nina Campbell
I received an email today saying "Nina, it's so difficult to find quality help that have integrity and a vested interest in their work."

Why do you think that is?

Before Jesseca came to work with me, my real estate assistant revolving door was on speed turn. Then out of desperation I hired my niece who had just finished high school. Neither one of us expected that it would last 8 years and we don't know if it's because it's harder to fire family or we just managed to persevere.

But one thing I have come to realize, and I was the biggest offender of all, in order to hire experience and talent you are going to have to pay for it.

Most of our students come to our program with past skills in professional areas. For example, one lady had been a high profile REALTOR in Manila, Philippines. Her English was impeccable and her motivation outstanding. Another lady had years of experience working for a marketing firm and was looking for a career change. These ladies and others with similar credentials were offered a wage of $12 per hour.

I wear two hats. One hat understands that it is crucial to businesses to reduce expenses in order to stay afloat. The other hat says, "If you don't pay appropriately for talent, someone else will."

So what to do?

- Be clear on the goals of your business and what type of person with which specific skills would be most appropriate to support you in reaching those goals.
- Check out references and ask as many questions as you can.
- Listen to your gut feelings; 9 times out of 10 it's right.
- Offer incentives, benefits, a liveable wage, and anything else that will make your support personnel want to stay.
- Take the time to train them, and if you don't know how or don't have the time, send them to be trained.
- Be patient, there is an expected learning curve for all of us.
- If, in a short time, they don't get it, don't care, or can't be bothered, call the next person on your list.

We work in a profession where details, reputation, and risk management are crucial. We don't have the luxury to work with someone who is not a good fit, but we have to understand that if we are looking for experience, talent, and a commitment we have to find the right person. Remember, cheaper may in fact be more costly.
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