For example, the most popular way to break-in new hires,
whether true rookies just out of university or those who have
come into the practice from other brokerages or even other
industries, is through the mentoring process, where a veteran
manages a new hire’s immersion into the company through a one-on-one relationship.
Unfortunately, these symbiotic associations don’t always pan out.
“All these companies tell new hires that the managers are going to
train them,” says Schenk, “but business has gotten so bad, the managers are down in the trenches trying to make money for themselves and
have no time for training.”
"Training takes time and everyone is busy, so mentoring often
fails," adds Spencer. "Plus, there are other problems: one assumes the
mentor knows what he or she is doing and that is often not the case;
there is no structure or clear road map as to how to make the mentoring
work; and the mentor often makes the new hires do menial work – the
'hey, go make some cold calls for me' syndrome."
Having listed all the problems, Spencer is, nevertheless, a firm
believer in mentoring. “There is no substitute for an outstanding mentoring program,” he asserts.
"A good mentoring situation," says Spencer, who has written employment training programs for large companies, "is
structured and begins with the new hire learning about the company and the immediate corporate environment, then understanding the market and finally making initial contacts and
showing properties. "
"'In a best case scenario, it
is going to take someone
six months to learn the
In a best case scenario, it is going to take someone six months to
learn the business in a structured approach, he says.
Gary Grochowski, SIOR, a senior vice president for CORFAC
International in Troy, MI., says his company does a lot of recruiting
out of college campuses because, “we like to train them our way. We
don’t want to have to get rid of someone else’s bad habits.”
At CORFAC in Troy, the formal training period is about 12 to
13 weeks, with the first weeks involving intense mentoring, or as
Grochowski calls it, “shadowing.”
In addition, only a select few people in the company do mentoring
and the process is fairly structured.
“Typically, the new hires are commissioned right away,” says
Grochowski. “To soften that blow (no salary), depending on how
much they hustle and show aptitude, we’ll put them on smaller assign-
ments right away and we’ll have them do showings.”
For new trainees, the secret to success, Grochowski observes, is to
recruit those who have the drive and that intangible thing called sales-
manship, and, secondly, to make sure they get their feet wet early.