Seeking New Opportunities
THE SCENARIO: Your current employer has been having a difficult time meeting a huge client’s expectations, and the dissatisfaction has been made known to a few team members. Given
that there is a possibility of your employer losing the contract,
several colleagues have decided to leave, resulting in quite a few
open positions. When the client asks about the high turnover, you
voluntarily explain that due to the lack of trust in your employer’s ability to keep the contract, everyone has begun seeking new
opportunities—including you. After that discussion, you send the
client an unsolicited copy of your resume with a cover letter indicating your availability as an independent property manager.
THE RISK: Creating an atmosphere of uncertainty between
the client and employer can be considered a violation of
Article 1. Loyalty to Client, Firm, and/or Employer which states
that a member shall not engage in any activity that could
reasonably be construed as contrary to the interests of the
client or employer. By continuing to entrust the management
of its assets to a firm that appears operationally unstable, the
client may feel its cash flow could be impacted and choose
to sever its business relationship with your employer. It is
also important to remember that soliciting employment opportunities from a client through slanderous discussions is
an unethical business practice and could also be found to
violate the Code.
CONSIDER THIS: You can confidently tell the client that your
employer is currently working through turnover challenges
by personally vetting new talent to keep up with the demands
of a changing industry. Share the client’s feedback with the
employer, too. By doing so, you demonstrate loyalty to the client, who has expressed a valid concern, and your employer.
Toni R. Harris, CPM, ARM ( firstname.lastname@example.org), is regional vice president of the East Coast portfolio for Avanath Realty in Bethesda, Md.
THE SCENARIO: During a recent IREM Chapter meeting, you
mention to another member that there is a property manager
position open at your company, which is an AMO Firm, but
your employer is “shady” and is only looking for people who fit
the “look.” After making this statement, you decide to leave it
there and change the subject. Unknown to you, the member you
spoke to applied for the position, but because of your comments
decides to rescind her application. The position remains open
for an unusual amount of time, creating an unexpected hardship on operations at an already challenging asset.
THE RISK: As a member of IREM, you must be careful not to
mislead potential team members of a firm with unsubstantiated comments. Your statement could result with your being
found in violation of Article 5. Relations with Other Members
of the Profession, which states that a member shall not make,
authorize or otherwise encourage any false or misleading
comments concerning the practices of IREM Members. While
you may think your comments are harmless, remember that
individual experiences with employers in our industry may
vary. The statement about the firm being “shady” also could
be seen as a lack of loyalty to the employer and a potential
violation of Article 1, referenced in Dilemma 1.
CONSIDER THIS: As an IREM Member and industry leader,
your presentation of information is also a catalyst for how
others see you. When telling others about an opportunity at
your company, leave any negative emotions or experiences
out of the discussion. Tell the potential team member that
while all organizations have their challenges, you would
strongly encourage them to pursue this opportunity based
on the qualifications they present.
Let’s face it, employee turnover in any industry is inevitable. Any IREM Member
involved in hiring has a complete understanding of how costly it can be for our
businesses. When faced with employee turnover, it is important to adhere to IREM’s
Code of Professional Ethics when both recruiting and hiring.
Here are some talent management scenarios that could arise while doing standard business. How would the Code apply to them, and how could you change your
What Would You Do?
By Toni R. Harris, CPM, ARM