Technology has Changed, but Good Recruiters Still Focus on the Basics: Advice From My 15 Years in Executive Recruiting


When I started recruiting in 2002, you could call it a “whole other world” compared to recruiting today. And I honestly believe the skills that I learned back then made, and have kept, me successful all these years.

Back then, there was no LinkedIn, no Google, no Social Media, etc., to speak of. We did have a great database of candidates going back to when the company started in 1977, but other than that, you had to truly dig and hunt for candidates anywhere and everywhere. I spent a lot of time calling companies that were members of certain associations, using Biz Books for every city imaginable to find out who the top companies were in that location and industry, and trust me when I say I made 50 calls every day before noon!

It was truly “hunting” and sourcing from every place imaginable. We even had yellow pages from cities around the country. We faxed all the time and some of us were even still on dial-up internet.

I am grateful that I started before the world of Social Media and LinkedIn came. Personally, I think those things have become too much of a crutch for recruiters. I still apply the old methods today because they work. If everyone could be found on LinkedIn people like my colleagues and me would not be needed.

If I could give advice to any new recruiter today, it would be:

• Stay on the phone, use social media and LinkedIn only as second and third sources.
• Call those associations, call everyone.
• There is nothing like a personal referral.
• And keep in touch with your candidates. Most of my clients are former candidates and it makes life so much simpler.
• Treat everyone the way you want to be treated, return every single call and email.
• When you truly care about your clients’ and your candidates’ well-being, the rest will just fall into place.

I feel truly blessed to have been with such a wonderful company as Joseph Chris Partners for 15 years. We are celebrating our 40th anniversary this year and have taken many of today’s leaders in our industries through their entire careers. We have a lot to be proud of these past 40 years. Here’s to 40 more!

Written By: Claire Spence, Executive Partner



There was a time not too, too long ago when I stayed awake at night, sometimes all night, worrying about how I was going to pay my mortgage. The stress was crippling, and almost all areas of my life suffered as a result: my health, my career, my relationships, and certainly, my happiness. Crushed under the weight of overwhelming fear, I couldn’t see a way out, and worry consumed almost all my waking hours.

Fortunately, I found an answer, and I’ve managed as a single mom to keep my daughter living in the only home she’s ever known. A safe home in a safe neighborhood, close to schools and services.

The type of insecurity I experienced is common, especially in the aftermath of the financial crisis. More than half the country, in fact, has reported that they’ve worried about how to pay the rent or mortgage and many have been forced to cut back on healthy food or medical care, or take second or third jobs, or move to unsafe, more affordable neighborhoods.

So Joseph Chris Partners’ commitment to support our Habitat for Humanity chapter here in Houston is one that is close to my heart.

The need for affordable housing hits home for many, especially as development and construction continue in our big and small cities alike. Neighborhoods that once offered affordable options for many families are transitioning into price points well above what they can afford as a result of affluent buyers increasing demand for upscale living options closer to city centers, forcing them to look elsewhere. Even here in Houston, long-touted as an affordable city, we’re seeing high-dollar development edge out families living in traditionally affordable areas of town.

And while attitudes about affordable housing development are evolving, the “Not in my backyard” or NIMBY issue remains one of the largest obstacles to offering safe neighborhoods to those struggling with the high cost of housing. If affordable housing is relegated to those areas not in anyone’s backyard, residents there who want more for their families are given little hope of providing it.

Habitat for Humanity provides that hope. Hope for home ownership. Hope for safe streets, access to key services, options for education, creation of strong neighborhoods. Through programs like the ones Habitat for Humanity offers, families are thriving.

Our first Build Day with Habitat for Humanity, Houston, is June 3rd. We’d love for our local friends and colleagues to be a part of that with us. And with a goal of $40,000 to commemorate 40th year in business, we’d certainly appreciate any donation to help us reach it.

This industry is like no other. We create beautiful spaces for people to live and work in. We grow communities and create opportunity. We transform landscapes and lives. We repurpose and reinvent and redevelop. This amazing industry has treated us well. But most of us remember when things weren’t so good. Many of us may have had sleepless nights worrying about how we were going to pay our mortgages. There are still many families who have those worries, and we all have the power to change that.

If you’d like to learn more about Habitat for Humanity, check out their website here: And if you’d like to support Joseph Chris Partners and our efforts to raise $40,000 for our local chapter to build a home for one of our neighbors, you can do so here:

Written by: Angie Truitt J.D. Senior Partner

The Value of Industry Mentors

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Over the course of my executive recruiting career, I have heard countless stories related to the value of partnering with an industry mentor who provides insight, advice and feedback. I firmly believe high performing professionals in our industry have a key thing in common: there is zero tolerance for mediocrity and remaining in the safe and comfy “comfort zone”. One way to be certain that doesn’t occur is to seek out industry mentors or coaches who inspire, encourage and push personal and professional development. Partnering with the right mentor or “board of advisors” throughout the various stages of your career can make a significant impact to a professional who is coachable and an avid learner.

While some mentoring relationships happen quite naturally, the quest to identify the perfect mentor can take a bit more effort, but anything worth pursuing is rarely easy. If you have been considering seeking a mentor, here are a few thoughts for consideration:

1. “A real friend or mentor isn’t on your payroll” ~ Prince

Prince certainly had a bold but valid point in that statement. Although not always true, preferably great mentor relationships occur outside the workplace and friend zone in order to offer the most unbiased feedback and insight. A mentor who comes with no preconceived notions or thoughts can dig in and understand your needs and offer insight as to where improvements or strategy changes are needed. True growth demands the good, bad and the ugly be discussed and a mentor who desires to offer that can do so more easily if the sensitivity factor is a non-issue. After all, mentors are not meant to make one “happy”, but rather to guide to the best of their knowledge.

2. “One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination” ~ John C. Maxwell

Seeking a mentor who is respected with relevant industry experience is most productive. When considering who might fit that bill, a common mistake is going straight to the busiest, most recognized and visible mentors. This approach may work occasionally, but choosing key leaders within your industry and market might offer additional possibilities for those able to invest the time in a mentoring relationship. Consider identifying potential mentors who are functioning at a more senior level today but have been in your shoes and can easily relate to current experiences. It is with the real-life experiences – and let’s face it, mistakes – that a mentor pulls from and can offer sound advice and guidance.

3. “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” ~ John F. Kennedy

The ability to be 100% open and honest with a respected industry leader, who is fully committed to your personal and professional growth and success is both a unique and extremely treasured relationship. Great mentors see the overwhelming value because often they too were mentored early on and throughout their career and the experience received from that investment played a critical role in their success. Mentors see the value in directly influencing others, helping to harness unique talents and skills and even revisiting their own past lessons and hurdles. As Clint Eastwood wisely once said, “What I think the mentor gets is the great satisfaction of helping somebody along, helping somebody take advantage of an opportunity that maybe he or she did not have.”.

So, what are you waiting for? Start working toward a mentor relationship and better yet, become someone’s mentor and impart your wisdom and experiences to those who want to learn and develop. Mentoring makes a difference!

Combatting Stereotypes About Older Employees In The Job Interview Process


In the past and somewhat in today’s market, employees over 50 are subject to inhibiting stereotypes that can bring about frustration in their current positions, and cause difficulty in securing new job opportunities. The myths about employees over 50 are that they are tired, resistant to change, technologically limited, and are unwilling to work under younger superiors, but in our research and experience there are strategic tactics to successfully combat these unfair assumptions.

For older workers, one goal of an interview is to challenge any stereotypes regarding age. Though unfair assumptions, the burden of disproving these stereotypes is unfortunately very real. But it can be done, and done effortlessly! Ultimately, it is how an older employee combats these myths while interviewing that will ensure an unbiased hiring process, and give them a fair shot at securing the position.


“Older workers are worn out…their best days are behind them.”

Show your energy and enthusiasm in the interview. Speak clearly and upbeat.Don’t groan when you sit down, nor complain about an ache or pain or previous injuries. While there is nothing naturally wrong with these actions, conducting yourself in this way will inherently create an undesirable persona of your temperament outside your professional capabilities; you only have a short amount of time to demonstrate -and confirm- to the hiring manager that you are able to get the job done, and well. Communicate about your healthy lifestyle, your exercise routine. Exercise, drinking plenty of water and eating healthy is essential to feeling good, energetic and fresh.

“Older workers are resistant to change.”

Communicate and give examples of your willingness to learn new things, your ability to adapt to new processes, systems, an acquisition, different leadership, or a change in business plan. Also, share the latest book that you have read and the importance of continuous learning in leadership, self-development, economics and your industry niche. If you have been with only one company in your career, communicate about their resistance to change if that is the case or your desire to learn from another company’s leadership. That promotes growth.

“Older workers cannot or do not want to, grasp modern technology.”

Emphasize your technological experience on your resume, and verbalize your proficiencies in the interview by providing examples of circumstances when you learned new computer or device skills on the fly, or utilized technology to solve a problem.

Take classes in new technology if you do not have a working knowledge of necessary programs. For instance, most organizations require employees to comprehend Microsoft Outlook for use. Be proactive for your future by enrolling in a user workshop, or purchase training books or get a tutor. Make time to do this.

Demonstrate a willingness to learn. You may not know everything about computers when you walk into your interview, but take comfort in knowing most individuals are in the same position. Larger companies have unique programs and databases that require employee training. Be confident, and let your interviewer know that you are willing and able to be trained. Your confidence creates certainty for others.

“Older workers are unwilling to be led by a younger manager or team.”

Explain why you want to work for the organization. If you have a strong personal connection to the corporation, leadership team and the industry it will help employers, see your sincere interest in working for the company. The more homework you take the time to do, the more likely you will form a connection with the company and the leaders.

Demonstrate a willingness to be a mentor to those with less experience. Share some examples if you feel it to be applicable. Companies that hire younger, cheaper employees can miss out on the invaluable knowledge, experience and mentoring capacities of a seasoned professional. Show your unique value by learning from and aiding your team.

We’re here to help.

In closing, companies today are growing so fast that managers do not have time to hand-hold. There is also a shortage of talent in the Industry and it appears that it will be that way for some time. The combination of today’s demographics and economic times have created opportunity for those over 50 to bring immense value to an organization. Using the tips provided will ensure the hiring managers are seeing that value and not allowing untrue and unfair stereotypes to get in the way.

If you’d like to talk with us about specific ways to help you advance in your career after 50, please give us a call!

Written by: Veronica Ramirez, President/CEO

It’s that recruiter again; why you should answer the phone


Look, we get it: you get lots of calls from recruiters, and they call at inconvenient times, and they keep calling, and you hope if you don’t answer, they’ll eventually give up.

And some do.

And with them, possibly an opportunity that could have changed your life.

Luckily, I work for a company that has a great reputation in our industry, and we’re very niched, so professionals are usually happy to hear from us, or at least willing to answer the phone when we call.

But occasionally, there’s that candidate who is irritated that they received a call from me, especially at work, and slams down the phone angrily before I finish my introduction.

And here’s what that person missed:

  •  A chance to learn about a specific opportunity I was calling about;
  •  A discussion about career goals and the options to achieve them;
  •  The opportunity to sell your own company’s brand and brag on its culture to someone who has conversations with hundreds of people every week;
  •  The ability to network with a very connected person in their industry;
  •  A discussion about what’s happening in the market, including compensation and upcoming trends;
  •  The potential to refer other professionals to someone in the industry who can help them achieve their career goals;
  •  A chance to seek help filling a tough position in their own company.

I get calls and emails from recruiters, too, and I respond to them all. Not because I’m unhappy where I am, but I realize all the chances I miss if I don’t. One persistent recruiter reached out again last week after contacting me several months ago. I promptly replied to her that things were amazing in my world, and I listed all of the reasons, but I invited a conversation to see how I could help her connect with professionals who might be interested in her role. I was able to refer some great folks to her, and, more than that, I think her takeaway was that I love my job, and I love my company, and I love working for clients in the real estate development and construction industry. Should anything come down the pipeline that’s not in her wheelhouse, but is in mine, maybe she’ll remember that happy recruiter she talked to at Joseph Chris Partners and refer me some business.

You really never know where a conversation with a good recruiter will lead you.

It might not lead anywhere at the time, but down the road, that recruiter may remember you, and may call you back about something amazing. And when that call comes, you’ll be really glad you answered the phone.

Written By: Angie Truitt, J.D., Senior Partner

The Talent Struggles of Residential Home Builders Today Are Real


In 2006, the economic downturn that started for Home Building in 2006 and most other industries in 2008, greatly impacted production home builders in many ways, but the impact on hiring remains even today. Between 2006 and 2012, new talent did not enter the field of home building because companies were cutting back on employees, not adding them. At the same time, many employees in preconstruction and purchasing, construction and construction management, and land acquisition and development who were caught in the early rounds of layoffs left home building for other industries and never came back.

This lapse in people entering the field combined with the layoffs that forced talent into other sectors of the industry created real problems for home builders that are hiring in today’s market. The market is robust, the demand is real, but unfortunately, so is the shortage of professionals in certain skill sets.

Obviously, we know from our high school economics class that increased demand drives costs higher, and in this case, it has resulted in new compensation structures for many home building professions. For example, purchasing professionals are consistently receiving up to 30-40% more in base pay across the experience spectrum, from purchasing agents with very little experience, all the way up to professionals with responsibilities at the corporate level.

Another area of shortage are construction management professionals, including superintendents and project managers. There were so few entering the field for so long, so there is a pronounced gap in those who have 15-25 years in the industry, and those who have less than 5 years under their respective tool belts.

The industry is in a good place right now and growing steadily. Per the National Association of Home Builders, 2016 was the best year for home building in 12 years.

What the industry needs right now requires something from both employees and employers: It requires more people willing to join this wonderful industry of home building BUT it also requires the home builders themselves to come to the realization that because we went through such a lengthy and pronounced downturn, they must step up to the plate and adjust their compensation paradigm to get the desired talent they want and need.

We at Joseph Chris Partners understand both sides of this challenging issue and are here for both our clients and candidates to help educate and further the growth of this wonderful, much needed industry.

Written By: Claire Spence, Executive Partner

Five keys to identifying committed partnerships in recruiting


So, why should we work with your company?

Well maybe you can’t be that direct with a client, but you should be thinking it.  The companies you represent in the market are your brand, and as marketing experts will tell you, your brand is your most valuable asset.  So, if you are known in the industry for working with any client for any fee, your brand becomes devalued.  Here at Joseph Chris Partners, we have 40 years of industry knowledge and experience under our proverbial belt. Clients come to us for hiring solutions, and that has allowed us to be very selective when choosing our partners.

Early in my sales career I was told that the only thing worse than no contract is a bad contract.  That applies to clients as well.  If you don’t vet your client and negotiate a fair contract, then you open yourself up to recurring disappointment and failure.  Good recruiters are like any other professional in any type of business:  you must respect yourself, your company and your profession.  If you suspect the client does not share that view, then move on.  We spend too much time and effort on a search not to be respected and treated like a business partner.

So how should you handle yourself when you have the prospective client on the phone or sitting in front of you?

1.)   Go into the meeting or make the call with a positive, open minded attitude, but be prepared to say no thanks to a bad deal.

2.)   Do your research and show interest in their company history and business model.

3.)   Who is the hiring manager, and can I contact that person directly? If you don’t have a direct line to the hiring manager or a senior human resources professional, it’s best to move on.

4.)   Find out if the vacant position is a source of pain for the business. Is it a replacement search or is it a new position?  I once had a prospective client tell me they were just sticking their toe in water.  They wanted to see what kind of talent was out there. Yes, that was a no!

5.)   Are they using other recruiters? Do they have their own talent acquisition team?  I usually say no if they are using more third-party recruiters.  To me that is a signal that they have trust issues with recruiters and are probably putting me in the same category.  I usually tell them that my time is too valuable to compete with other search firms and to re-plow the same ground.  

These are just a few of the questions you can ask.  The point is that you need to negotiate a fair contract with a client that sees you as a valuable service provider/problem solver, not as a necessary evil.  Be fair, honest and straight forward in your communication and actions. You may gain a valuable client and business partner.  And the potential loss by not taking every client?  Protecting your personal brand and that of your company, and not wasting your time and resources.

Written By: Mark Hall, Executive Partner


Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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A valid question asked at one point in time in our professional or personal lives. Or in some cases, just singing along in the car with The Clash on the way to office will suffice, no air guitar performances though, please! Safety first!

I enjoy music. All kinds of music. I grew up studying classical piano so naturally it is engrained in my DNA. Music and lyrics speak volumes and I find situations in my daily life end up with a lyrical reference to a song. Most of my staff conference calls include a song reference, it is just how I roll. Life is a song, so sing it, right?

So, should I stay or should I go? This is a daily discussion that I have with industry professionals at all experience levels. While the market continues to be robust, it brings about many career opportunities especially to those who are not actively looking to make a change. Common questions or concerns arise such as:

Why leave a position where you are happy and enjoy the company and culture?

“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” – As only U2 can eloquently say this, it can be a poignant question or reflection for a professional posed with a career opportunity. Most people truly are happy with the company and the people with whom they work and that is a wonderful thing. When a truthfully amazing opportunity is presented it is a good time for a gut check. Have you found what you are looking for? Is it available in your current role or company? Check your career goal progress and know what you have available and how far out that may be if you stayed in your current role. What, if anything, is holding you back?

Is the position a lateral move or does it offer additional responsibilities? What is the title?

“The Times They Are A Changin” – Thanks to Bob Dylan for that reminder. Everything changes: organizational structures, divisional and regional layers added/removed, company ownership, to name a few. The changes occur due to company merger or acquisition, becoming a publicly traded organization, or succession planning within private companies. When considering another career option, it is wise to not focus alone on title but rather overall responsibilities and reporting structures and the type of organization. While a VP of Sales and Marketing title says a lot, the same position with a seemingly lesser title can be just as expansive and more. Does the position report to a divisional department head or directly to the President/CEO? One can often have more direct impact working side by side with the leader of an organization. Likewise, a lateral position move isn’t always a bad option especially with a company of much larger size where many opportunities for promotion and leadership experiences potentially exist. The key is to find out about the company, it’s culture and what the growth opportunities are within without making a blanket assumption that the roll is not of interest. You never know until you explore!

Counter offer? Sure, I’d consider that!

This one is a ringer for The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” or better yet, Chicago’s “If You Leave Me Now” could be even more ideal. In my nearly 19 years’ experience of executive search, one thing I do know is that Counter Offers can be a very bad gift wrapped up like a ring box from Tiffany’s. Sure it is pretty and it must be amazing inside, right?

When a company is faced with the resignation of a key employee it is almost a given some sort of counter offer to stay is presented. These offers typically provide a bump in base salary, additional bonus opportunities, or even a promise of promotion. Unfortunately, the acceptance of a counter offer can often lead to a less than positive outcome by lack of further career advancement or worse, termination – but on the company’s terms, not the candidate’s.

If someone would consider going all the way through the process and receive an offer, only to remain in their current role, the question really comes back full circle to those above.

Have you found what you are looking for? Are you where you want to be in your professional career trajectory? If not, consider confidentially speaking with an executive search specialist who can provide on target consulting and insight. You’ll never know until you pick up the phone and say – “Hello.” (Thanks, Adele.)

Written By: Erica Lockwood, Equity Partner


Changes in Hiring Operations


Changes in Hiring Operations:

We here at Joseph Chris Partners are consultants and recruiters for builders and developers working with human resource departments as well as hiring managers and corporate leaders. Through our work, we have noticed many changes to our clients’ hiring operations over the past few years.

Medium to large builders and developers have added to their internal recruiting departments for organization, professional processes, non-confidential positions and getting the word out through social media. Human resources departments want to protect the brand and reputation of the company by making sure that every professional has a good experience in the interview process so those professionals, in turn, will share positive information about the company, improving its brand. Companies of all sizes partner with respected and industry-tenured recruiters to attract talent for hard-to-fill or confidential positions. They all recognize that a bad hire really negatively affects the synergy of their company and is very costly on many fronts.

Acquisitions, organizational restructuring, and lack of communication from corporate and bonus structure revisions have all contributed to the lack of trust between employer and employee currently permeating the industry. That fear has made hiring challenging for some companies. To overcome the lack of trust, companies have turned to internal employee connections and referrals as well as third party sources like recruiters who all serve as intermediaries the candidates feel they can trust to give them the “real story” about the position, the real bonus opportunity, company culture, personality and ethics of who they report to, land positioning and financial health of the company.

To avoid making a bad hire, companies are making the hiring process more robust by increasing the number of team members involved in interviews, adding personality and aptitude testing, and including spouses and family members in the process. Hiring managers are also becoming brutally honest during conversations with final candidates to ensure there are no surprises and the potential for fall-out is minimal. Honesty in communications helps the candidates gain trust in the company, its leaders and the specific opportunity.

Thankfully, our industry has recovered nicely from the downturn. Yet, the recent rapid growth has created hiring challenges for builders and developers. Certain skill sets have become much harder to find, so companies are more open to relocating from other cities, hiring those who left the industry during the downturn to either work in a completely different field or start their own companies.

5. Companies today are more accepting of resumes that do not show tenure with companies from 2007 through 2014 due to the downturn and acquisition changes. They recognize that there were a lot of good people in uncontrollable situations.

6. Companies are attracted to leaders with recent pre-downturn experience because they know how to handle challenges, disruptions and the uncertain situations that are a part of the building and development business. They are looking for candidates who have pre-downturn experience, but those candidates must be open to new technologies, different processes, continuous learning, creativity and collaborating with other leaders in the division or company. Hiring managers are attracted to candidates who are open to learning from others, have intellectual bandwidth, curiosity, confidence to share their point of view, fit within the company’s culture, have a strong drive and work ethic, and willing to pay a price to earn credibility.

While some of the hiring processes have changed, the goal of companies in our space is the same: to find dedicated, skilled, creative, intelligent professionals who will add value and be great brand ambassadors. Even though technology has improved, allowing companies to access more candidate resumes than ever before, nothing replaces the ability to connect with people, learn what drives them, understand their career goals, and find them the right place to reach their potential. That’s what we do, and our 40 years of success in this industry prove that we do it very well. We are happy to support companies with their hiring strategies to ensure they are on the forefront of trends and changes, not left behind with outdated methods trying to catch up to their competition.

Written by: Veronica Ramirez, CEO

Integrity and Recruiting


I practiced law for 13 years, and in that time, I heard a lot of lawyer jokes. And I get why: you only need them when something is wrong, and they usually cost you money you would rather spend on anything else. They rank just barely above politicians and debt collectors on the Top 10 Most Hated Professions list. Most politicians are lawyers, though, so I’m guessing we can safely call them tied and not be misleading anyone.

Still, there are a lot of great lawyers out there. Amazing lawyers. Lawyers helped create the foundation upon which our democracy was built, and lawyers safeguard our freedoms every single day. But it’s the bad eggs, the ambulance chasers, the slick, sly, lying lawyers that make it tough for the good ones.

It’s the same in recruiting.

At Joseph Chris Partners, integrity is at the top of our list of core values, and I’m thankful to be working for a company full of consultants, not used car salesmen.

When I was a young recruiter, I was ordered by the owner of the company I worked for at the time to do something that I believed was wrong. I refused. She called me insubordinate and told me I didn’t have what it took to be a good recruiter.

I’m the only daughter of a military lawyer father. I couldn’t be insubordinate if I tried. It’s literally not in my D.N.A. But my parents taught me the importance of honesty, and to be sworn in to the State Bar of Texas, I had to pass an Ethics exam and take an oath that I will conduct myself with integrity. So I will never hesitate to stand up for what is ethical and honest, like I did that day.

I knew I was a good recruiter. I just wasn’t recruiting for the right company. I am now.

I talk to a lot of people each week, and it’s interesting what they have to say about recruiters. Some have had wonderful experiences. Others, not so much. Usually the complaints fall into one category: overpromising.

“I want to talk to you about this amazing opportunity with this incredible company that’s offering a salary twice what other companies are offering. You interested?” Uh, who wouldn’t be? Unfortunately, that’s a hook used by some executive recruiters to get the best talent to share a resume, and the opportunities rarely live up to the initial hype. The old “bait and switch” tactic gives the candidate a bad taste for recruiters, and the rest of us suffer for the used-car-salesman types.

It also affects how potential clients view our services and whether they will work with outside recruiters. Some recruiters promise the sun, moon, and stars just to get a contract signed, and when reality sets in that the firm can’t deliver the company’s biggest competitor’s CEO in just two days and under the company’s hiring budget, the hiring manager’s frustration with recruiters typically lasts longer than that one interaction.

There is no upside to not being truthful and authentic with your candidates and clients. Our goal here at Joseph Chris Partners is creating career-long connections with professionals in the real estate development and construction industries. We listen because we really can’t do our job otherwise. We want to understand what both candidates and clients are looking for so we can make the best match.

Managing expectations on both sides is a critical piece to getting to that match. A candidate may believe their skill set is so in demand that they deserve a 100% increase in their base salary, and other recruiters may have even fed into that belief by telling them they are worth that just to get a resume to add to their database. A client may believe they can find their next CEO for a bargain, and a recruiter focused only on bringing in new clients may agree.

We don’t do that.

We share the industry knowledge we gained over our 40 years in the business and through conversations with professionals in the real estate development and construction world every day with both candidates and clients so their expectations are grounded in reality. We continuously share feedback during the search process so there are no surprises for either side because the last thing we want to do is get a great candidate an offer just to discover he thinks he’s worth $50,000 more than the company will pay, or that the company’s budget is $50,000 less than the candidate will accept.

That requires diligence on our part from the very first conversation. We must know everything candidates and clients know to do our jobs effectively. And we must share our expertise openly from the very first conversation. There is no benefit to talking a candidate into something that isn’t a fit, or pushing a candidate on a client for a sake of a sale. When your goal is to make meaningful connections with both candidate and client, trust is required, and without honesty and integrity, trust will never be earned.

Certainly, trust and integrity go both ways, and when we discover candidates are being less than truthful, or clients are hiding significant information from us, we have no problem ending those relationships. Because a successful partnership must have trust from both partners, and that’s how we like to view our connections in the industry: as career-long partnerships.

Just like there are a lot of great lawyers out there, there are a lot of great recruiters as well. A few shady “Wolf of Wall Street” types have given the industry a bad reputation. If you find yourself needing help from a recruiter, either to find a job or fill a job, just make sure that recruiter is open and honest with you. Ask lots of questions, and really listen to their responses. If you aren’t comfortable, feel you’re being “sold” rather than understood, feel pushed rather than consulted, and you don’t feel like your recruiter really cares about you and your success, you probably need to keep looking.

If you’re in our industry, we’d love to talk to you. If you’re in another, we can probably refer you to someone we trust. Either way, don’t settle for one of the shady ones because there are far too many good ones out there.

Despite what a Google search for “Recruiters are…” may tell you.

Written by: Angie Truitt, Senior Partner