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Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

By Alicia Gage, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Associate Vice President, Human Resources

mm_irem-panelHow do we attract and retain top talent in commercial real estate? Few people are more attuned to this subject than Marla Maloney, Cushman & Wakefield President, Asset Services. At the recent Institute of Real Estate Management’s (IREM) Fall Conference, she joined a panel of industry peers to share best practices for hiring, training, and retaining the right people.

As real estate professionals, we are in the people business. Our property management professionals strive to provide superior customer service to our clients and their tenants every day. As the face of the buildings we manage, it is critical we develop a successful formula for attracting and retaining the top talent in the business.

ATTRACTING: Employee referrals can be a great, cost-effective way to attract top talent.

“You’re always looking for good people, but you meet good people through good people,” Maloney said. Know your brand; recruit full time; and use the right resources.” According to a study by JobVite, referred candidates are typically cheaper to hire, onboard faster, and stay at their job longer than other candidates.

In addition, employers must now consider the growing multi-generational workforce as Millennials and Baby Boomers collide. Maloney mentioned the best way to accommodate is to offer “the best of both worlds, old and new.” Finding a balance between open-concept Millennials and continuity-focused Baby Boomers can be challenging but is possible.

RETAINING: Once we find top talent, retention is critical. A culture that includes flexibility and work-life balance is coveted in today’s world. Thanks to technology, employees have instant access to their files and emails, giving them the ability to work at times that are convenient for them.

“Our role as commercial real estate executives is to care for physical assets, but we’ve built a capable team,” Maloney said. “It’s important to recognize that people have lives—daycare, parents, etc. In the end, they meet their objectives.”

To remain an employer of choice, Cushman & Wakefield focuses on the newest and best practices as well as legacy practices that work. At the end of the day, our business is only as good as our people.

Read more about the panel at GlobeSt.com. What do you consider best practices when it comes to attracting and retaining top industry talent?


gage-alicia-headshot-cropAlicia is the HR Director for Asset Services in the US, working with leadership and local management to integrate and grow the service line through hands-on people initiatives and strategic partnership within the business.



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