HOA-manager-qualifications-thumbnail.jpgDoes your homeowners association have adequate staff for the services that you provide? Are HOA staff members being supported and trained to ensure that they deliver an exceptional resident experience?

There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to staffing your community effectively and creating an engaging lifestyle experience. Staffing a community is ultimately a people business - you have to do right by the association and the candidate, and you need to make your match carefully.

In fact, when it comes to association management, staffing is both a science and an art all its own. That’s why it’s smart to partner with an HOA management company that offers value-added tools and services to help populate your community with the people who can create the lifestyle your residents deserve.

How do you create that exceptional lifestyle (and staff) experience? Here are 5 essentials for adequate and appropriate HOA staffing: 

1. Assess your HOA’s current versus future needs.

No community is stagnant. As times change, so do the demographics and lifestyles of your residents. Currently, your needs might be clear-cut: you may have a compliance manager, compliance inspector, concierge, security, seasonal staff and lifeguards. But what if part of your community’s vision is to become more lifestyle-oriented? What if your aging population means there’s a transition to an active-adult community in your future? Then you may need more specialized staff, such as a lifestyle director, who can manage and oversee those changes. An HOA management company that’s adept at staffing can help you fill the vacancies now and plan for the roles you’ll need in the future.

2. Make sure your association has adequate staffing support and resources.

Staffing is no small task. Does your current association management company have the resources to take on this responsibility? Look to a firm that has a human resources team and recruiter who is experienced in developing teams for lifestyle communities. They should have the knowledge and expertise to pair your community with the ideal candidates. Think of them as the ultimate matchmaker. Beyond interpersonal and recruitment skills, they should also have the legal know-how to protect your association from liability and ensure your HOA is abiding by state and federal staffing regulations.

3. Balance understaffing vs. overstaffing in your community or building. 

The challenge here is money – and both understaffing and overstaffing come with costs unique to themselves. If your community team is on the thin side, then you won’t have the manpower to accommodate residents’ needs. That means unhappy residents, which ultimately translates to fewer residents (and lower revenue from assessments). With overstaffing, you’re paying for professionals you don’t need, which also costs you money. A staffing expert can help you strike just the right balance, which will enable you to stay true to your fiduciary responsibilities. 

4. Remember that finding the right “fit” matters.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for staffing, and it should never be approached that way. A great corporate recruiter and your HOA management company's HR department will take the time to get to know your unique culture, along with the vision for the culture you ultimately want to create. The recruitment team should be able to tell the difference between an expressed desire for staffing versus what the community really needs – sometimes the most critical requirements aren’t expressed verbally. Rather, they become apparent after getting to know the community’s unique culture and challenges. 

5. Retain great HOA staff members, but be prepared for change. 

So you’ve just been connected with a great new team member. The job is done, right? Wrong. A great HOA management company will put employee retention programs in place so you can keep your best people for the long-term. They should provide support, training and resources to associates so that they feel appreciated and supported from the beginning. At the same time, remember that change happens (and it's not always a bad thing). If the associate is promoted, retires or relocates, the management company should have a strong transition plan in place so that your association is supported in the meantime.
There are many factors to consider when it comes to staffing your community effectively and ensuring that associates are the right fit for your association. That's why it's particularly important to partner with a management company that provides your association with excellent staff support, including a robust HR team, with recruitment, training and benefits. 

Saturday July 20, 2019