Matthew Cumber, managing director of Countrywide Surveying Services
You only have to scroll through the news section of the Mortgage Introducer website to appreciate just how many high-profile moves occur across the industry on a regular basis, and these are only the ones which are reported upon.
Behind the scenes, the recruitment processes is a constant cycle for many firms due to a natural turnover of staff. It’s a fact of business life that many people will move on at some stage of their career, either through choice or occasionally through necessity.
Successful staff retention is a challenge for all firms, as is recruiting the right people to match any potential growth plans. Here, at Countrywide Surveying Services, we have long, in-depth discussions between the senior management and HR teams around how best to retain integral staff members, as well as how to attract the next wave.
As such, back in the summer, we announced the appointment of Ashley Miskin as surveyor development manager. This was a newly created position which will help us focus our attention on targeting the right type of personnel into the industry.
Ashley’s role is centred on increasing Countrywide’s complement of surveying professionals by exploring a wider recruitment pool to attract new and existing talent though his specialist knowledge and understanding of residential valuation and recruitment.
As a company who is committed to investing a significant amount of resource in attracting new talent into the surveying industry, we are all too aware that a competitor may benefit from our significant investment in such an extensive training and development programme somewhere down the line.
Whilst this always smarts a little, we are at peace with this fact and maintain confidence in our own ability as a company to be able to hold onto the people that really want to be here.
And this is evident in the fact that we currently have 25 people who have been working with Countrywide Surveying Services for over 20 years – with this rising to between 35 and 40 years in a few cases – with many more having 15 plus years under their belts. This longevity makes me immensely proud and it demonstrates that we, as a business, are doing something right.
The quality and continuity of staff is vital for businesses of all shapes and sizes and whilst it’s important to maintain a healthy and robust employee retention strategy, it’s equally important not to fall foul of holding people back and stunting their future growth. Even if this does mean them having to leave the organisation at some point.
The human valuation factor remains vital and whilst new recruits may not stay with us for their whole career, this is fine. We understand our role in the chain and we will continue fulfilling our duty when it comes to attracting the ‘best in class’ talent into the industry and helping to oil the wheels of the mortgage journey for all concerned.