For Hire Online
The Internet helps employers and job seekers connect.
When Carol T.
Kellogg, CCIM, moved to Charlotte, N.C., in November 2004, she worked with
several local executive search groups to find a job. It was a frustrating
experience. “I worked with four headhunters, but none of them had real estate
experience. They all claimed to have relationships with developers and promised
great things, but no leads came from them,” Kellogg says.
Her next step was to contact the local chamber of
commerce, “which was very helpful in introducing me to the ‘big boys’ of retail
real estate development,” she says. She generated several leads herself by
going directly to the developers and asking if they had positions available. “I
landed lots of interviews in this manner, but no one had available positions at
Finally she turned to the Internet. After three-and-a-half
months, she found a real estate manager position with York Development Group
through Monster, an online job search engine. “The listing went up Wednesday; I
applied that morning, interviewed on Friday, and landed the job that
afternoon,” she says.
Making the Connection
The Internet dramatically has changed the methods job
seekers use to find and apply for positions and the ways companies recruit new
employees. Many people still find jobs by networking, employment specialists
say, but if job seekers are just out of school, attempting to break into a new
field, or relocating like Kellogg, their networking contacts may be few and far
Commercial real estate professionals may find the
experience of applying for jobs online very different from traditional
job-hunting methods. One of the biggest advantages is the freedom to search and
answer ads at any time. Those who want to land new jobs while still working can
post résumés and respond to listings during nonbusiness hours.
Another plus is the exposure to a wider geographical
market and all job categories, making it much easier for those relocating to
determine the quality and depth of the job market in other parts of the
country. It also lets those transitioning to new careers get a better idea of
the qualifications employers expect.
Routes to Go
Commercial real estate professionals can travel two main
avenues when job-hunting online, and most employment specialists recommend
using both, in addition to traditional methods such as networking. Job hunters
can post résumés and search for opportunities on general online job boards and
use more specialized boards.
In terms of résumés listed, the top sites are Monster,
Career Builder.com, Yahoo!HotJobs, and America’s Job Bank. Monster is most
heavily used, listing some 25 million résumés, compared to Careerbuilder.com’s
9 million résumés. All the sites allow users to search by location, job
category, and salary range.
Job seekers also can search by keywords. For example,
entering CCIM into Monster’s search function recently returned numerous job
listings citing the CCIM designation as a qualification for the positions.
General terms such as commercial real estate broker and real estate analyst
returned more than 1,000 listings. More-specific terms such as site-selection
specialist brought up about 400 jobs. Both job hunters and recruiters can
streamline the search process by using CCIM as a qualifier in job listings and
searches, as it serves as shorthand for a particular set of skills and
Another route is to use niche job search sites, such as
SelectLeaders and RealEstateJobs.com, both of which specialize in commercial
real estate positions. The Web sites of CCIM Institute, Urban Land Institute,
and other industry organizations carry links to SelectLeaders. The Institute of
Real Estate Management links to RealEstateJobs. com. CoreNet Global maintains a
career services network for corporate real estate professionals.
In addition, nearly all the large national commercial
real estate brokerage and development companies, as well as many regional
organizations, list available positions on their Web sites.
The Hiring Side
Companies can save tremendous amounts of money using
online recruitment methods. Posting jobs to their own Web sites costs virtually
nothing; a Monster listing is $325; and a 60-day listing on SelectLeaders is
In addition, many companies further reduce costs by using
software to sort through online résumés searching for certain words or
qualifications. For example, after switching to e-recruiting several years ago,
health-care giant Humana has cut its cost per qualified résumé from $128 to
$.06, an annual savings of nearly $8.3 million, according to Fast Company
Those figures are good news for commercial real estate
professionals in charge of hiring. Many companies already use online services
to find support staff. Linda Day, CCIM, president of BW Phillips Partners
Realty in Homewood, Ill., used both Monster and Craigslist when hiring
accounting personnel. She found little difference between the quality of
applicants on either site, although Craigslist was free and Monster charged a
fee. “We received résumés from a wide range geographically and the … quality
was very high. It helps you to know what the true market is.”
A 2000 Forrester Research survey rated Craigslist as the
most effective online job board; its own research shows its job board receives
twice as many page views as Monster, its nearest competitor. Len Magnani, CCIM,
managing principal for Lee and Associates in Pleasanton, Calif., finds the site
to be very useful. “It is similar to a newspaper ad but it costs less and you
get more responses,” he says.