Episode #97 – How Hiring Correctly in This Current Market is a Lot Like Real Estate

Samantha: Welcome to “The Animal Health Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, executive search consultant and veterinary recruiter Stacy Pursell, founder and CEO of The VET Recruiter, provides insight and practical advice for both companies and job seekers in the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary employers hire top talent, while helping animal health and veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

In today’s podcast, we’ll be talking about how hiring correctly in this current market is a lot like real estate. Stacy, thank you for joining us.

Stacy: Hello, Samantha. I’m glad to be here.

Samantha: Stacy, this is an interesting correlation that we’re drawing for today’s podcast. Have you always drawn this correlation during your career as a veterinary recruiter and executive search consultant?

Stacy: Yes, I have, and I’ve explained this to quite a few people through the years, both candidates and hiring managers. In fact, this conversation came up just recently with a client of mine. That’s because the hiring manager asked me how easy it is to find someone.

Samantha: You mean how easy it is to find a qualified candidate in today’s job market?

Stacy: That’s right. And I used the real estate analogy to answer their question. I told him that finding top-notch candidates is like real estate. Let’s say you have a house for sale. Someone trying to sell their house might ask a question similar to what this hiring manager asked. They might ask, “How easy is it to find a buyer for my house?”

Ultimately, the answer to that question depends upon a number of different factors.

Samantha: What factors are those?

Stacy: Those factors include how attractive the house it, whether or not it’s a modern design, whether or not it’s been updated recently or is in need of repairs, how it’s priced, etc. Since there are a number of factors involved, the answer to that question is not a simple one. It’s complex, and because of that, it requires a lot of time, energy, and effort to make it happen, to be able to sell your house to someone who is interested in buying it.

Samantha: So in the case of hiring qualified candidates in this market, that answer is also not a simple one. Is that the case?

Stacy: Yes, that is the case. The answer is complex, and once again, it’s complex because it depends upon a number of different factors.

Samantha: And those factors are similar to the ones we just discussed regarding selling a house?

Stacy: They sure are. The first question you would ask is how attractive is the business? For example, is the veterinary hospital modern and updated or is it in need of improvements? Does your veterinary hospital have modern technology and current equipment? What about salary and benefits? Are those competitive?

Samantha: I see what you mean. Asking “How easy is it to find someone?” is not an easy question to answer.

Stacy: And those are just the questions for attracting top candidates in this job market. Once you’ve attracted them and have started engaging them, there are other factors involved, as well.

Samantha: What are those factors?

Stacy: If you’re an employer or a hiring manager, what is your response time? For example, if The VET Recruiter presents a candidate to an employer, and we don’t hear back from that employer for 10 days, there’s a good chance that candidate has gone somewhere else. In contrast to that, if we present a candidate and the employer responds the same day, then the employer has a much better chance of successfully engaging the candidate.

Samantha: So response time in hiring is just as important as response time in real estate?

Stacy: That’s right. If you’re selling a house and someone reaches out to you about it, but you don’t respond to them in 10 days, then you can be fairly certain that they’ve moved on to other houses. You have to respond quickly in real estate and you have to respond quickly in the employment marketplace.

Another factor is flexibility.

Samantha: How is that a factor?

Stacy: Hiring, just like real estate, involves a series of conversations. What happens during those conversations dictates what happens with the house, or in our case, this open position that an employer is trying to fill. The rule of thumb is the sooner you can have those conversations, the better.

There’s a saying that goes, “Time kills all deals.” That saying is relevant in both real estate and in hiring, as well as in other areas of business. The longer that you wait, the less likely that a deal is going to occur. The longer that you wait to engage people and have conversations, the less likely you’ll be to sell your house. The longer that you wait to engage candidates and have conversations with them during the hiring process, the less likely you’ll be to hire the person that you want to hire.

Samantha: Stacy, can you give some examples?

Stacy: I certainly can. For example, if we present a candidate to an employer and that employer responds the same day AND can work around the candidate’s schedule to set up an interview right away, then that employer is in a much better position.

We actually had a client that re-worked their interview process so that they could be more flexible. When we present a candidate to the hiring manager, they respond the same day, and if they like the candidate, they agree to schedule an interview with the candidate the next day or as soon as the candidate is available. The change that the client made recently is that they will make a decision the same day that they interview a candidate and they will make an offer to that candidate if an offer is warranted.

Samantha: So the employer could go from seeing the candidate’s resume on one day to making an offer of employment to that candidate the next day if they’re able to schedule an interview and that interview goes well?

Stacy: That’s right! But that’s how quickly you have to move, both in real estate and in the employment marketplace. If you don’t move quickly, you lose out. The housing market is hot right now. And I’m going to use the real estate analogy again, but in a slightly different way. This time, the house represents a top candidate.

Since the housing market is hot, owners are many times receiving multiple offers from interested buyers. In some cases, an interested buyer makes an offer on a house too little, too late. The house has already sold, and it wasn’t even on the market that long. When you have a hot market, time is of the essence.

Samantha: It’s a case of you snooze, you lose.

Stacy: It’s absolutely a case of you snooze, you lose. And the same goes for the employment marketplace. The job market is hot right now for candidates. There are numerous job opportunities or a lot of “interested buyers” to once again use the real estate analogy. Like a home owner selling their house, a top candidate can receive multiple job offers. And like a great house, that candidate might not be on the market for very long.

If a hiring manager “drags their feet” or takes to long to make a decision or take action, they could find out that another organization has snatched up that candidate. Just like a prospective home buyer can discover that the house they were going to make an offer on has already been sold.

Samantha: So that’s why your client changed its process.

Stacy: That’s exactly why this particular client changed their process, and I’m pleased to say that client is enjoying more hiring success as a result.

And there is yet another way that hiring in today’s market is like a real estate transaction, and this way directly involves a recruiter or search consultant.

Samantha: What way is that?

Stacy: Working with a search consultant is like working with a real estate agent, from both the perspective of the employer and the candidate. In this analogy, the employer is the house buyer and the candidate is the house seller. I know that in the majority of home sales, there are two real estate agents, one for the buyer and one for the seller. In a hiring situation involving an Animal Health recruiter or Veterinary recruiter, there is just one. However, for our purposes, the analogy is the same.

When you’re trying to sell a house and you’re working with a realtor, do you communicate directly with the people interested in buying the house? You do not. You communicate with your realtor. And when you’re trying to buy a house and you’re working with a realtor, do you communicate directly with the home owner? You do not. You communicate with your realtor.

The realtors in a home buying situation have discussions with all parties involved and with each other in an attempt to bring about a win-win situation for everyone. It’s the same with recruiters. A search consultant has discussions with all of the parties involved—mainly the hiring manager and the candidate—to help bring about a win-win situation for everyone.

Samantha: So if hiring managers, like the one at your client, and candidates viewed hiring and working with a recruiter more like a real estate transaction, they would understand it more and quite possibly have more success and achieve their goals?

Stacy: Yes, I believe that’s the case. I think the real estate analogy is one that works very well, especially considering how the employment marketplace parallels the current housing market.

Samantha: Stacy, thank you for joining us today and for sharing all of this great information with our listeners.

Stacy: Thank you, Samantha. I look forward to our next podcast!