In this edition of The Hiring Squad, Kent Elliott, principal at RETS Associates, a leading national real estate recruiting firm, connects with Bob Andrews, senior vice president and regional manager at CenterPoint Properties. They discuss CenterPoint’s recent West Coast expansion, as well as the necessity in securing an agile recruitment partner for the identification and placement of top talent to effectively support growth.
Kent Elliott (KE): What led the way for CenterPoint Properties’ pathway to West Coast expansion?
Bob Andrews (BA): CenterPoint Properties has always been dedicated to serving our customers’ complex industrial property, logistics and infrastructure needs; creating sustainable jobs; and building communities. With that desire firmly top of mind, our endeavors have become successes, successes that continue as we look to hit milestones that drive our business. A key driver is growth, and we’ve made some big moves in the way of increasing our national footprint. This included expanding our presence on the West Coast through various purchases in Southern California, Northern California and Seattle. The expansion has been a turning point for the company as it has further strengthened our presence from a national perspective, poising us for further growth.
KE: What challenges did you face in supporting the expansion?
BA: Like most businesses that go through an expansion, we faced typical challenges, such as staying savvy to market trends and securing new opportunities. In the same manner as other businesses on a similar track, we had to identify and secure top talent who could step in and support our growth. They have to have a passion for the industry and want to be a part of something bigger that’s only increasing in size. We needed to find individuals who could gain a keen understanding of our core values and understand the long-term vision for the company.
Two years ago, there were just two people in the West Coast office, and today there are eight and growing. While this increase might not seem significant to others, it was a big deal for us and crucial in helping us accomplish our business objectives.
KE: How did you staff quickly and effectively to avoid operational disruption?
BA: RETS Associates played a significant role in avoiding operational disruption by providing strong and effective staffing support as we’ve moved through the expansion. Partnering with an agile recruiting firm that truly understands a company’s needs and has a deep pool of top notch talent relieves a great deal of operational stress and keeps the wheels of business turning – even accelerating the pace. Most recently, two great candidates were placed in our operations group and in a very quick manner, which was very helpful. At the end of the day, it’s that agility that makes all the difference, especially in the face of expansion. I recommend that for those companies looking to make major additions to staff, they do their homework to make sure the recruiting firm they tap into has that speed and quality of talent necessary to accommodate rapid growth.