How to Screen Your Staff and Temps

When Real Strategix began 4 years ago I began personally “temping” to pay the bills while I established myself as an independent consultant.  Once word got out of the niche service Real Strategix supplied I literally thought that I could be a full-time TEMP and make far more money than any Principal could pay me.  I could pick my own hours, I was able to make afterschool sports, I was able to be a mum and be home for my kids.  I thought at the time that the reason why people were being so flexible was an egotistical one that they were so happy to have me on board to assist in any way due to my 2 decades in the industry and my established career.  I was wrong.  4 years later this is still the case for any good temp and I will tell you why.

The industry is in dire need of assistance.  Property Managers are job jumping due to having the ability to do just that.  If they have a disagreement with the office manager or the other property manager, they simply can up and leave and find another job the next day.  Employers are NOT checking references and employees are giving out friend’s names to call.  “This is Mary’s number she was my senior 3 years ago but does not work for ABC Real Estate anymore “.  This is not a good enough reference check – Mary is possibly a friend who more than likely did work with the potential employee, however, Mary will NOT tell you the real reason this person left the role because …they are friends.

We hear it far too often when reference checking our temps and our recruitment team are under strict instruction that if we cannot speak to the supervisor or an office manager who is currently still at ABC Realty then I am sorry we are not willing to take a risk on placing you in an office that needs a temp for 2 reasons

  • A temp is there to assist and make the office run smoother and if we don’t know your history and how you work then I am sorry it is hard enough to be understaffed let alone having a “nightmare” temp as well
  • Our reputation is everything. We pride ourselves on “not just sending anyone” We would rather miss out on a contract than have a “nightmare” temp make thing’s even worse.

Every one of our temps can tell you that our screening process is thorough – we get told this quite a bit that we are a lot harder and enforce more rules than other agencies.  Sometimes we have applicants turn us down due to our procedures, but you know what – this is fine with me.  If you are not willing to abide by our rules and regulations to ensure we are providing the best applicants to an industry in need then I am sorry we have dodged a bullet and so has the agency we would have sent you to.

Agency owners I am sure you have similar screening and reference checking procedures as you are employing staff on a permanent basis however we have to be far more strict as we are sending in temps to generally in most instances clean up a mess and I can tell you first hand having done the temp role personally that walking into an office that has had a Property Manager leave unexpectantly that the temp having to play private investigator is by far the toughest job they will have.  Our team are strong and ethical and have been literally “put through the ringer” to become temps.  We also sit them for skills tests, search them on social media, they must undertake a phone interview followed by a preliminary interview with a recruitment assistant and then if deemed suitable they then have a final interview with our Recruitment Manager.

You may be thinking “overkill” but we do not.  From sitting in every single role since I was 17 years old beginning as a Receptionist through to Senior Property Manager, Department Manager, Trust account Manager and now Consultant and Trainer and Assessor I can tell you – we NEED to send you the right people or they will be making your life even harder.  Personally, I feel that if you or another recruitment agency is NOT doing the listed procedures then they are failing you.  It hurts me to say but we all know there are some bad eggs out there and the last thing that you want is one to end up on your lap so please make sure when recruiting you are thorough do not think that because Sally has a lovely smile and told you the horrible story about what her last employer did to her is the best fit for your agency, Sally is not.

Lauren Kropp

Director – Real Strategix