Yes, it’s true. I’ve been here for about a year now and allow me to elaborate on why I call it that (it’s not just as simple as the fact that I am in Alabama itself).
I made the plan to move to Alabama from North Carolina in January 2013 and made the move in March 2013. I made the move without employment, despite having had several telephone interviews with no momentum in the way of an offer. It was a gut instinct and I have to say I’m glad I followed it. I didn’t land a job in the Montgomery apartment market, anywhere close to home. I landed a job in Birmingham, about an hour and a half commute (one way) from where I’m living. That lasted all of eight months due to the commute and more extenuating factors that will come in a later post on renovation properties. So I was officially unemployed within an industry that I repeat, I am extremely passionate about.
Then my ex-husband decided to move here in January 2014 in order to be closer to our son. He actually had several telephone interviews as well and did manage to land a job without a Skype interview or physically being here. Unfortunately, we found out very quickly why they hired him so quickly…..desperation. The property was troubled to say the least and on top of that any form of management was non-existent. After about a week we both realized it was just not going to work out. We have both been doing this for much too long (23 years collaboratively between the two of us). So he stepped away. Unemployed and away from what he calls home.
While each of our stories happened at least a year apart from one another, I assure you, we found our circumstances to be very much mirrored images of one another. No one will hire you in this area unless they know you or you’re from the area. Or you know someone who knows someone who knows someone.
What prompted this post? A lot actually.
The experiences above. When I’ve said this to people, “It’s really all about who you know and it’s very unfortunate.”, they’ve agreed with me and nodded their head in silent & humble agreement. It’s sad that not only is it in existence, but people around here are even aware that it’s occurring.
The second thing that prompted this post is an article I read this morning about networking and the individual’s opinion that it was not important (networking, that is). I assure you, in a market like this, not only is it important, it’s required for survival. Maybe in another market, but not this one.
What I’m trying to say is, “DON’T DO THIS!!!!” I want to scream it from the rooftops. This goes right back into hiring practices. Do not catch yourself as a property manager picking up the phone and calling that leasing person who was a rock star from two years back because you have an open position. Don’t call that maintenance supervisor from six years ago because you remember how he reacted when seven sprinklers burst one winter. Don’t do it. Not only is it poor practice but you are not allowing the door of opportunity to be left open long enough for a potentially really good candidate to walk in! (In this instance, yes, I’d be referring to myself and my husband in examples listed above)
Not only that, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. I’ve done it before. It hurts like a SOB. I intentionally picked up the phone and called an individual that had been on one of my propertys when I was a regional. I had a leasing position open on my property where I was working as a property manager. The individual came, we interviewed (short, to the point, not as elaborate as it needed to be) and she was hired shortly after.
Oh. My. Gosh. My manager on site back then must have kept tight lipped about a lot of stuff just because this individual was amazing at closing and marketing. Both strong skill sets. I didn’t care…..I’d had enough of the attendance issues, insubordination, just to name a few of the less than desirable attributes that were being displayed. There are two principles of thought….this person was always like this and I just didn’t see it as a regional and was not told about it….or two, this person thought they could get away with it because they “knew” me, I had “hand picked” them to work alongside me. See where I’m going with this?
You’ve just intentionally allowed yourself to be ran over and be a part of a problem. Don’t do it. Wait. Don’t call someone you know.
And on a side note, to broaden your scope of hiring, remember there are options of hiring someone out of state or with the inability to make it to an interview at the property…..it’s called Skype, FaceTime and any other webcam technology that exists. Utilize it. Open the doors of opportunity for others and for yourself. (Technology and Skype is actually how I was awarded the job in Birmingham and Prattville….these management companies are based out of competitive markets in Dallas and Atlanta, respectively, and they were aware that to find a well qualified candidate, that they’d have to look beyond the surrounding market and potentially hire someone out of state or all together new to the market.)
This post is two-fold – do not be a part of the hiring problem in hiring someone you know. I assure you, regret will come along with it. And always network – you’ll never who you may meet.