Technology Solutions

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 that time.”

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 between.

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, Yahoo!HotJobs, and America’s Job Bank. Monster is most heavily used, listing some 25 million résumés, compared to’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 experience.

Another route is to use niche job search sites, such as SelectLeaders and, 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 $400.

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 magazine.

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.


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