CEO at Aleph Integrated. Building a world where talent and hard work can transcend borders.
Operators in the manufactured housing communities industry face unique challenges in today’s competitive landscape. As owners and operators navigate the complexities of talent management, they must adapt to the changing workforce, leverage technology and find innovative ways to attract, retain and develop their teams. In this article, I will explore practical strategies I have found that can help industry leaders overcome these challenges and thrive in this dynamic sector.
1. Utilizing Resources To Optimize The Hiring Process
To ensure a successful hiring process, owners and operators of manufactured housing communities should leverage available resources to improve their recruitment strategies. One approach is to use an applicant tracking system (ATS) that streamlines the hiring process and provides valuable insights into candidate performance.
In addition to using a good ATS, incorporating personality job fit assessment tests can further refine the recruitment process. These tests can help a company quickly identify candidates whose personalities are compatible with the job requirements and company culture, which can lead to improved team dynamics and overall performance.
2. Implementing Effective Onboarding And Training Programs
Effective onboarding and training programs are essential for retaining top talent and ensuring the success of new hires. Owners and operators of manufactured housing communities can invest in comprehensive programs that cover industry-specific knowledge, company culture and essential skills. For example, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) offers an online course on “Managing Your Manufactured Home Community,” which provides valuable insights into property management, legal issues and marketing strategies. By incorporating such courses into your onboarding and training processes, you can equip your team with the necessary skills to excel in their roles.
3. Fostering A Culture Of Continuous Learning And Development
One way to achieve a culture of continuous learning and development is by offering employees access to industry-related certifications, workshops and conferences. For instance, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) offers a range of professional development opportunities, such as the Certified Community Manager (CCM) designation, which provides in-depth knowledge of the manufactured housing industry and enhances the professional credibility of community managers.
Another approach involves the development of internal programs that allow individuals at all levels to enhance both tactical and intangible skills. This can be a cost-effective way to promote continued learning by leveraging the power and insights of existing internal resources, like experienced senior staff. For example, I’ve worked with companies that execute mentorship-like programs designed to help new talent hone important skills they will need before being promoted. Other enterprises schedule regular senior advancement seminars, with peer-led presentations on everything from management techniques to new technologies in the industry.
4. Embracing Global Talent And Nearshoring Opportunities
As the global workforce continues to evolve, I believe owners and operators of manufactured housing communities should consider expanding their talent pool beyond local markets.
When seeking out global talent, look beyond the specific job title you have in mind. If you were in the U.S. and needed a construction manager, you’d generally think about someone who came up in the construction industry. When you’re recruiting abroad, you might consider someone who has an architectural degree from a top university but could apply their skills to an adjacent industry, like construction.
When looking at résumés, look at those individuals with multinational job experience, even if that experience has always been out of the country or in a different industry. An individual who is familiar with how a multinational project works will be more accustomed to the processes, software and culture; be able to adapt quickly; and may be thinking about new markets where they can leverage those skills. One example I witnessed was when a company hired a highly qualified construction manager based in Mexico. This individual had hands-on experience managing construction projects for a large multinational chain store operator. The construction manager’s expertise in design and project management proved invaluable to the company’s expansion plans, resulting in more efficient construction processes and higher-quality housing communities. And because he only traveled to the U.S. for site visits and collaboration with the U.S. team, the company realized significant savings on employee compensation without compromising the construction manager’s standard of living.
Also, for smaller companies, think big! Having the opportunity to work internationally with foreign counterparts is often highly appealing to even long-tenured, senior-level talent. Don’t assume they won’t work for you! A smaller firm can shoot way higher than they would imagine shooting in the U.S. I witnessed another success story that involved hiring a comptroller based in Mexico who had previous experience managing the finances of a multinational company. This hire proved to be a game-changer for a small real estate company operating in the manufactured housing community space.
As the manufactured housing communities industry continues to evolve, I believe owners and operators must adapt their talent management strategies to stay competitive. By utilizing resources to optimize the hiring process, implementing effective onboarding and training programs, fostering a culture of continuous learning and development, and embracing global talent and nearshoring opportunities, industry leaders can attract and retain top talent, drive innovation and ensure the long-term success of their businesses.
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