The law of attraction: recruiting talent in property

So you have been tasked to find the perfect candidate for your organisation, but the journey is long and the road is hard. In a competitive and candidate- driven market like today’s property industry, you need to know exactly how to attract the best talent and persuade them choose you above your competitors.  

Sell, sell, sell

The balance of power has changed and as an employer you need to sell the job to the candidate as much as the candidate has to sell him/herself to you. Find out what makes the candidate tick and adjust your selling points accordingly. Is it progression within the company? Is it money? Is it stability? A Concierge might want to know if there is scope to become a Building Manager in the future. Talking about current employees and what they have achieved is always a great idea. Candidates like to hear real life examples.  


Also, sell the company brand. For more senior property roles it’s important for many candidates that the brand shares the same values and aspirations as them. And don’t forget, as the interviewer you represent the brand. If they buy into you they buy in to the brand. Establishing a rapport with the candidate is absolute key.

Show an actual interest

Make the interview flow easily and try to make the candidate feel comfortable. Show them empathy and try to see it from their perspective. Use active listening where you not only hear what the candidate says but where you also listen to their body language. Ensure you keep eye contact and in general make the interview about them without making them feel uncomfortable. Candidates expect questions but they don’t want to be interrogated.

Also treat each candidate as an individual and customise the interview to that person. You might want to do some research into their previous company. If you have several interviews that day at least make sure you read the CV before the interview to avoid mixing their name up (it does happen!)

Good questions to ask could be:

  1. Where do you see yourself professionally in the next 2, 3, 5 years?

  2. What is the most important thing you look for in a new role?

  3. What training do you think you would need or would like to undertake to support your role?

What not to do

As today’s property market is extremely competitive, it’s important to grab the opportunity when it’s there. If you see a CV that you like the look of, don’t procrastinate. Leaving it more than one week to acknowledge a candidate you are keen on hiring may result in someone else reacting faster. If you are looking to make an offer, do it within a day or two after the final interview. Good candidates get snapped up quickly and you might miss out if you take too long to make up your mind.

The same goes for not offering the market rate. Even £1000 can make all the difference in some roles. Do your research before making the offer or use a recruitment agency who can advise you on market rates.

Last, as with any human being, you might have a bad day. Try not to let this affect the interview and give the candidate a fair chance to shine. Be present and make use of active listening.   

Engage from the start

The recruitment process always starts with the job advert. When writing the advert, keep your ideal candidate in mind and use language that resonates with that type of person, and again sell the job. If a job advert sounds exciting the candidate might think “I wonder if the interview will be exciting” and already you are off to a great start in attracting the right person.

And before any of that, you need to find out how to get your job advert in front of the right candidate. There are some really good job boards, depending on the role, to make use of and social media such as LinkedIn can be a great tool for reaching out. Also networking can be highly effective as we know property is a very social and small industry where everybody knows everybody. Alternatively, you can use a recruitment agency such as Abbatt Property Services to do all that for you if you don’t have the time.


Jo Edwards, Recruitment Manager – Permanent Division at Abbatt Property Services

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