At Property Personnel, we believe our team is one of the best in the industry, setting high standards of honesty and integrity since day one. Heading our team as founder and managing director is Anthony Hesse. In our final post in the ‘Meet the Team’ series, we asked Anthony about his role at Property Personnel, and how things have changed over the 30 years he’s been in the industry.
Name: Anthony Hesse
What do you do? I am the founder and managing director of Property Personnel.
How long have you worked at Property Personnel? I started up the company back in August 1988, so I am now in my 30th year running the business. Scary, as many of the Property Personnel team weren’t even born then!
What was property recruitment like when you first started and has it changed? Nearly everything was incredibly different then. We had no computers, no email, no internet and no mobile phones for starters, and the average starting salary for a sales negotiator was about £4,000! Very few companies had a Lettings department, and we had hardly any competition. During our first 5 years of trading, we only had one competitor, and they no longer exist. Now there are hundreds. What hasn’t changed is that it is just as difficult to recruit quality candidates today as it was back in the late 80s.
What challenges do you face on a daily basis? Without a doubt, the biggest challenge is the shortage of (the right) candidates available. They either have unrealistic salary demands, don’t want to work the hours/weekends required, or are just not up to the standards that our clients expect. We work with some amazing companies who give us some excellent vacancies, so it is very frustrating not to be able to fill these roles quickly. Also, the behaviour of some candidates leaves a great deal to be desired!
What is the ideal candidate like? This will depend partly on the job role, as the ideal skill sets for a sales negotiator are very different to those of a property manager, for example. However, when I recruit I always look for the following traits: A great work ethic, a positive mental attitude, adaptability and, above all, coachability. A candidate can have all the ability in the world, but without these traits, rarely makes a great employee.
What’s your favourite thing about your job? I love working with my team, and watching the way their recruitment careers develop. I also love the positive feedback we get from candidates and clients alike.
How do you unwind after work? I love all sport, especially football, rugby, cricket and tennis, though these days I watch rather than play! I am a Portsmouth FC season ticket holder (along with my three grown up sons) and can be found supporting them home and away most weekends. I also love mountain biking, hill walking and sea fishing. Finally, I am a big fan of red wine, especially Bordeaux and Rioja.
What makes a good client? There are quite a few different factors. Above all, we like working with clients who value what we do rather than regarding us a ‘necessary evil’, clients who don’t do whatever they can to avoid having to use us even when they have instructed us. Good clients are ones that candidates want to work for, ones with great brands, great reputations, pay well and offer a good work/life balance. Before working with a new client, we always ask ourselves the question “Would we work for them?” Added to this, we are motivated by a client who does not try to negotiate us into the ground, and one who pays us on time!
What’s the weirdest job that a candidate has come from? There are a couple of more recent ones that spring to mind. The first was a ‘Pizza Slapper’ – I had no idea there was such a job. The second was a Porn Star, though we can’t reveal how we found this out!
What makes a CV stand out for you? I see hundreds of CVs, so the first thing I look for is layout and length. Any more than 2 pages long and I start to get bored, and fancy fonts and different colours are a turn off. The content should be concise, in chronological order, and should emphasize relevant experiences and achievements. Contact details are also important but surprisingly often are omitted or incorrect! Finally, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are a massive ‘NO’ for me. I’ve even received CVs with the words Curriculum Vitae spelt wrong – not a great start!
What makes a CV go in the bin? A poorly laid out one littered with spelling / grammatical mistakes, and/or one where the candidate has consistently job-hopped.
If you could give one piece of advice to a candidate what would it be? Never, ever give up on what you really want to do.
If you’d like to chat with Anthony, or any other member of the Property Personnel team about how we may be able to help you, please do get in touch– we’d love to hear from you.