Author: Chris Hingle

Which Way to Pay?—Taking a smart approach to rewarding results

Which Way to Pay?—Taking a smart approach to rewarding results

Negotiating an executive pay package is often the crux of the hiring process. It affects not only the expectations of the new talent and the hiring manager, but also the outlook of other employees throughout the organization. To ensure long-term success, there are a number of elements beyond the bottom line that job candidates and their employers should consider when addressing compensation.

The right mix

Leaders gravitate toward opportunities that reflect the way they work. Compensation reflects culture, and the balance of base pay, bonus and benefits should be a reflection of both the position and the company. For example, strategic thinkers looking to make a long-term impact will be attracted to different incentives than leaders driven to close the next deal and be rewarded immediately. An established company will need different ways to attract talent than a start-up with less certain, but potentially larger, growth potential. Someone who thrives in a high-stakes, fast-paced work environment will find the pursuit of bonuses much more rewarding than a fixed salary, even if the total amount of compensation is comparable.

Align expectations

Well before the salary negotiation, it’s helpful for both candidates and their potential employers to lay out what they expect regarding employee performance, business culture, professional development and pay style. No employer wants to offer more than necessary. But it does no good to reach the end of an arduous search and interview process only to find the company and the candidate have incompatible visions of compensation.

Be consistent

It’s tempting to drive a hard deal in salary negotiations in a down economy or a bad business environment, but a longer-term outlook is important. If new hires, their positions and their compensation are thoughtfully matched from the beginning, high-value employees will note the consistency and fairness of executive compensation when they make their own employment decisions. Keeping pay policies consistent in slow times also helps keep people from jumping ship as soon as the economy improves.

I’ll Be Doing What Now? How a Thorough Job Description Can Make or Break a Candidate Search

I’ll Be Doing What Now? How a Thorough Job Description Can Make or Break a Candidate Search

There are a lot of boilerplate documents lurking in the files of personnel departments – disclosures, government forms, workplace policies – but job descriptions shouldn’t be among them.

Updating the wording of a position description may seem an insignificant step when faced with an important hire, but many companies forget that prospective candidates read it closely for clues about the company’s culture and employee prospects. All too often, hiring managers jump into a high-stakes executive search without a second look at the document that actually outlines the company’s expectations of the successful candidate.

A highly specific job description helps align expectations and attract the most suitable candidates. For example, requiring “excellent communication skills” says very little, in contrast to noting that a given position requires weekly presentations to C-level management, development of employee training programs, workplace conflict resolution and the editing of market analyses. Likewise, a “strong management background” could just as easily describe the effective oversight of three people as it could 300. Exactly how many people will the new hire be expected to oversee? Will he or she have profit and loss responsibility?

Candidates never complain of having too much information about the company and the position they are exploring, just as hiring managers rarely complain of receiving too much background on a candidate. For both parties, a detailed and up-to-date job description can greatly smooth the hiring process. Case in point: Christopher Frederick’s carefully written email campaigns have helped discover candidates who meet the exacting requirements of employers. By carefully outlining job responsibilities and opportunities, Christopher Frederick can attract top talent from its extensive network of real estate professionals in weeks rather than months.

For more than 25 years, firm principle Chris Hingle has helped match clients’ needs to the specific talents of mid- to C-level executives. To learn more about our recruiting expertise and affordable services, contact Chris at

James J. Cunningham,  Executive Vice President,  Marquette Companies, Chicago

James J. Cunningham, Executive Vice President, Marquette Companies, Chicago

Within a week, Christopher Frederick helped us complete what had been a challenging search for an on-site property manager. We needed someone who brought an asset management background, strong operating experience and who’d proven capable of creating value for owners. Chris applied his recruiting expertise to identify, assess and recommend only the most qualified respondents from his extensive digital network. He brought a depth of experience and advice to the process we would never have received using traditional job websites.

Patience is a Virtue: Making Careful Career Decisions in a Recovering Market

Patience is a Virtue: Making Careful Career Decisions in a Recovering Market

Since 2007, the mantra of those in the real estate business could have been “Do what you can.” Homebuilders found projects wherever they could. Companies in commercial development, sales, finance and other areas cut back in the interest of self preservation. Likewise, professionals made many hard decisions to keep their careers afloat.

Five years later, growth has finally resumed. For many, “what you can” now means potentially jumping to a better position at a different company or in a different city. Career advancement after a period of emaciated budgets is usually long-awaited and always hard-earned. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember the value of patience and long-term planning when tempted by the chance to change jobs.
After years of putting in extra effort and making tough decisions just to keep their current positions, it’s understandable that highly skilled people may want to jump ship as soon as the economy begins to improve. But a broader perspective reveals important reasons why a hasty job change can be a bad idea.

It’s a mistake to assume the job market will remain consistent during a recovering market. Sought-after leadership positions might be rare at first, but acting on the first advancement opportunity that arises could mean passing up a better position or a better contract if growth speeds up 12 months later. Employees who stuck it out through the recession also have an edge at their current companies when things improve. Executives may reward them for their past sacrifices or make use of their demonstrated loyalty once the company finally has a chance to fill out the ranks of its leadership. In either case, it does a career no good to make a lateral or slightly upward move, only to see a better position arise soon after you’ve made a commitment.

What’s more, companies want managers who’ve shown they can solve problems. Leaving because of conflict at a prior workplace shows potential employers you know how to look after your own interests. Sticking it through, though, by working out personal differences and having the courage to address conflicts until they’re solved demonstrates that a job candidate won’t just leave for greener pastures as soon as conflicts inevitably arise at the new position. Always be sure your job search is motivated more by career goals and the pusuit of the right opportunity rather than by the chance to leave an immediate work situation.

Patience is a virtue, and considering the possibilities five or ten years out is a smart decision with any career move. As evidenced on our jobs page, more and more real estate employers are coming to Christopher Frederick to find the best people for a wide range of sectors and positions. Opportunities are finally emerging, and it’s once again time for leaders in the real estate industry to plan the best course for their professional growth.

For more than two decades, Christopher Frederick has been a trusted executive search partner to the real estate industry. To learn more about how we can help your company benefit from our extensive network’s fast and affordable new search process, contact firm principal Chris Hingle at Or visit our website at

John Eilermann, Chairman and CEO of McBride & Son Companies, St. Louis, Mo.

John Eilermann, Chairman and CEO of McBride & Son Companies, St. Louis, Mo.

In the 20 years we’ve done business together, Chris Hingle has been our go-to recruiter for major executive searches, helping us find the people who have led our continued growth. We recently used his new e-mail recruiting service to find a new director of estimating, and within a week Chris found four outstanding candidates and recommended two for interviews. The process was fast, affordable and, in terms of service, miles beyond our previous experiences with traditional job-posting sites and social networks. We can still count on Chris’ in-depth knowledge of the industry. It’s also reassuring to know he still offers a six-month guarantee, although we’ve never had to use it.

Big Changes at Christopher Frederick – Better Services Will Help Companies and Job Candidates Alike

Big Changes at Christopher Frederick – Better Services Will Help Companies and Job Candidates Alike

In today’s market, companies have no trouble attracting interest in their top positions. Not only has the economy created a surplus of real estate professionals seeking new jobs, the Web is saturated with places to put employment ads in front of potential candidates. Yet this shift in hiring has made the process less personal, and even less effective, as hiring managers often find themselves with a pool of potential talent that can seem a mile wide and an inch deep.

At Christopher Frederick we’re excited to introduce a cost-effective way to leverage the reach and speed of social networking while offering the screening expertise and customer service of a headhunter. For no upfront cost, firms can reach our network of real estate professionals 150,000 strong and let deeply experienced executive recruiter Chris Hingle find the strongest candidates among the respondents. Unlike impersonal job boards, we consult with each client to create a carefully tailored email announcement distributed only to parts of the country relevant to the employer. Furthermore, we make personal contact with exceptional candidates who might not respond to a job notice. This includes many high-quality people currently employed who are not actively searching for new positions. Potential candidates interact with Christopher Frederick, saving personnel departments the time and trouble of screening responses, then we pick the most qualified people for the client’s consideration.

This service’s cost also sets it apart from traditional executive recruiting. Our extensive and efficient network allows us to charge affordable fees that fit most real estate firms’ budgets, paid only if we find the perfect candidate. For more than 25 years, Christopher Frederick has conducted national executive searches for leading real estate companies. In recent years, times have changed for headhunters just as they have for everyone else. And Christopher Frederick is pleased to offer this completely new approach to recruitment that meets the needs of cost-conscious managers without sacrificing quality service.

To this end, we’ve also redesigned and our monthly newsletter. Give our new site a visit to learn more about the benefits of becoming part of our professional network, or read about how we can tailor a custom campaign for your next executive search. New offerings on the site include: regularly updated job listings, network information, newsletters and other tips on hiring and being hired in today’s economy.

To learn more about how we can help your company benefit from our unique new approach to executive search, contact firm principal Chris Hingle at Or visit our website at

Bill Saint, President and CEO of CLASSICA HOMES

Bill Saint, President and CEO of CLASSICA HOMES

We have known Chris Hingle for over 10 years and have relied upon his professional expertise in the homebuilding area for advice regarding personnel and placement. Chris is an extremely dedicated and driven individual who has stayed focused and on top of the housing market, while many in his industry have fallen by the wayside. Chris takes a personal and passionate interest in each client and is willing to go the extra mile in meeting their needs and delivering excellence. I highly recommend him for anyone in the homebuilding market looking to find key people for their team.

Frank J. Pizzica, CEO of Arthur Rutenberg Homes

Frank J. Pizzica, CEO of Arthur Rutenberg Homes

We’ve had notable success using Christopher Frederick’s new targeted email recruiting for both mid-level and C-level positions. The firm’s extensive network of real estate professionals and Chris Hingle’s recruitment expertise in selecting the strongest finalists helped us discover first-class people at an affordable cost and in a surprisingly short amount of time.

Rick Harb, Managing Partner, Marquette Companies, Chicago, IL

Rick Harb, Managing Partner, Marquette Companies, Chicago, IL

Our firm engaged Christopher Frederick to assist us in the national search for our EVP. We worked directly with Chris Hingle, Managing Principal, who provided us the resumes of more than 30 qualified candidates from companies throughout the country. His personal involvement showed the value of his talents as a recruiter, and Chris never stopped until we were completely satisfied that we had found the right person. With his guidance and advice, we ultimately hired an extraordinary individual to help lead our company’s future.

Bob Dominy, President of Merion Realty Management

Bob Dominy, President of Merion Realty Management

Three years ago, I was asked to found a property management company to oversee the investments of a private equity firm. In that short period, Merion Realty Management of Wynnewood, Pa., has grown rapidly to encompass 38 communities with 10,000 units in ten states. Our business saw same-store NOI increases in excess of 10 percent in both of the last two years. What’s more, a further $280 million private equity recapitalization and a $50 million foreign commitment have us looking forward to more even growth in the future.

Running a business that now employs 300, the biggest thing I can emphasize is that there are many different successful ways to approach recruitment. What’s important is that you consider recruitment and management together as a system. It is imperative that you carefully define what you want in a candidate, how decentralized you want the position to be, its reporting structure, incentives and the expected career path of the new hire. If you fail to do this, you will not only be fooling the candidate but will also be fooling yourself.

Our recruitment system at Merion is unique. We like to hire managers-in-training immediately upon graduation following on-campus recruitment sessions. We do our utmost to retain an entrepreneurial flavor, and we also believe strongly in promotion from within. By the time an employee has held several positions of increasing responsibility, we know his character through and through.

But no matter how well you plan, there are always times when positions cannot be filled from within or by college recruitment. In that case, we find it most effective to contact an experienced executive recruiter like Christopher Frederick. Such a professional is infinitely more effective than the various job websites. That’s because a talented recruiter’s Rolodex tends to contain the names of many people who are outstanding in their current positions but are not seeking new employment. Without that network, your search may consist of only second-tier candidates.

Cake or Candles? Emphasizing What Matters in Your Career

Cake or Candles? Emphasizing What Matters in Your Career

It’s hard to play down the importance of first impressions. That initial handshake, a colleague’s recommendation, the first glance at a resume—these things are all critical to capturing the face time that can lead to a career change. But when the time comes for a company to entrust a new person with a part of its future, that decision is based on traits found at a much deeper level.

Think of a birthday cake. The sight of one at the office generally raises excitement, even among those who would rather slam their heads under the lid of the copier than listen to their colleagues sing. For most, a tastily decorated dessert in the middle of the day is something to look forward to. After it’s gone, though, no one thinks much of how it looked. While the taste may linger on the drive home, few will remember the color of the candles it once held (or, hopefully, their number.) In a sense, the hiring process is the same way.

Leaders remember the traits of job candidates that extend inside the outer layer of presentation and courtesy. Degrees, past positions and professional accomplishments will attract a company’s attention, but a successful hiring manager will want to know more about the person who achieved them. It’s important for those seeking new positions to keep themselves from becoming distracted by the minutia of resume formatting and networking strategies. That’s just icing. Once the interview begins, they’ll need to show the strengths and values within them that can lend trust and confidence to their potential employers. They’ll need to be ready to demonstrate their character and their attitude. They’ll be challenged to outline their knowledge and unique experience in their field. And throughout the process, candidates will be given the chance to demonstrate their judgment, drive and perseverance.

Like the candles on a cake, people soon forget the superficial parts of a job application. But it’s the good stuff inside that executives remember and that candidates should make the focus of their careers.

For more than 25 years, Christopher Frederick has helped companies find executives with the inward traits that demonstrate leadership and potential. To learn more about how we can enhance your next executive search, contact firm principal Chris Hingle at Or visit our website at

Re-Think Recruitment – How technology and market forces change the game

Re-Think Recruitment – How technology and market forces change the game

As readers of this newsletter have likely noticed, Christopher Frederick kicked off 2012 with an exciting new approach to executive recruitment—personalized email campaigns that connect our extensive network of real estate professionals with companies seeking leaders.

In just three years, Christopher Frederick has grown its network to include 150,000 ambitious and highly motivated people. That number is expected to rise to 200,000 by the end of the year, making it one of the fastest growing networks of real-estate professionals in the country. These are leaders in all sectors of real estate, including homebuilding, multi-family, office, retail, industrial, land and hospitality. Some are actively looking for new positions, while others are simply keeping an eye out for emerging opportunities. In either case, hundreds of individuals join the network daily and enjoy the value of Christopher Frederick’s newsletters, recruitment emails and self-assessment tools. Over the coming months, a complete redesign will make the newsletter and the website even more useful to clients and prospective candidates.

Through our personalized email campaigns, Christopher Frederick is now able to leverage our network to help hiring managers fill their top positions faster, easier and more affordably. Ours is the only executive search firm that can combine decades of success in traditional headhunting with the speed and affordability enabled by today’s technology. All clients need to provide is a detailed job description. Christopher Frederick will then send a professionally crafted email campaign to thousands of high-quality potential candidates and select the most qualified respondents for the client’s review. The result is leadership positions filled in weeks, rather than months, and at significant savings compared to traditional recruitment services.

Emails are targeted based on location and expertise. We can reach a wide range of professionals in property management, construction, leasing, sales, acquisitions, development, asset management, finance, accounting and many other areas. Subscribers can stay abreast of career opportunities in the industry, while employers can advertise positions with a more refined approach than is offered by traditional job boards. Above all, clients can still bank on the sterling reputation of Christopher Frederick and its founder, Chris Hingle, whose experience allows him to find, screen and assess the talent and capabilities of professionals like no other recruiter.

To learn more about how we can enhance your next executive search, contact firm principal Chris Hingle at Or visit our website at

Guts and Glory – Trusting your instincts in an evolving market

Guts and Glory – Trusting your instincts in an evolving market

With the real estate market finally showing hints of recovery, now is the time to start thinking bold. For a company, that could mean exploring new markets or making visionary executive hires. For an individual, it could mean seeking out a more challenging position with a new company or finding ways to earn new responsibilities from a present employer. That’s not to say the markets for jobs and property are guaranteed to flourish in the short term. But eventually they will, and executives must begin to take stock of how their recent years in business will shape their analysis of emerging opportunities.

As the Great Recession wore on, those who kept the faith in their careers, ambitions and businesses emerged from the experience wiser and with a broadened perspective. Adapting constantly to worsening market conditions forced many to learn new skills and endure turns in their professional lives they didn’t anticipate. But the experience of the last four years was also cause for people to gain confidence after overcoming challenges they might not have realized were within their abilities. Leaders in real estate should feel assured of their judgment and their ability to make business decisions going forward. The same intuition that saw them through the difficult times will also help them spot market improvements and weigh new investments against their potential risks.

“No guts, no glory” will come to define the first business opportunities as the real estate market turns around. Fortunately, instincts and confidence rooted in experience will help decision makers know when it’s time to trust their guts and move forward.

For more than 20 years, Christopher Frederick has helped clients find executives with the judgment, experience and drive to grow their businesses. To learn more about how we can enhance your next executive search, contact firm principal Chris Hingle at Or visit our website at

Born to Run: Identifying the talents that make leaders stand out

Born to Run: Identifying the talents that make leaders stand out

As the clouds continue to lift from the U.S. economy, we in real estate face the opportunity to grow and contribute like never before. As the market changed, so did our skills and our strengths as we created innovative ways to weather the downturn. A new economy calls for new goals and personal reflection on what each of us really wants to accomplish in the long term. This transition point in the market will open new doors and create opportunities to pursue leadership avenues that might not have seemed possible before.

It starts with attitude and belief. To seize on the new directions the real estate business is going to take, we must hearken back to when we had no limits placed on what we could accomplish. When kids are asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” they never answer that question based on fear or on what they can’t do. It is always based on aspiration. True leaders and successful entrepreneurs approach the question the same way, allowing their dedication and confidence to override any fears of failure. Once they find a business they believe in, they feel as though they were born to run it.

Today’s executives need that youthful lack of limits. Coupled with the perseverance that carried them through the Great Recession, a company’s leaders should have the confidence to dismiss any doubts about their ability to achieve objectives they are passionate about. Likewise, the knowledge earned by doing business in the worst of times makes us all prepared like never before to approach a real estate market that will evolve and grow in new directions. Most of all, we have the chance to realign our efforts with those goals central to our lives and our careers—those traits that make us born to run!

For more than 20 years, Christopher Frederick has helped clients find forward-thinking men and women to lead their businesses. To learn more about how we can enhance your next executive search, contact firm principal Chris Hingle at Or visit our website at

Jim Rosewater, Regional Vice President, Arthur Rutenberg Homes, Charlotte, NC

Jim Rosewater, Regional Vice President, Arthur Rutenberg Homes, Charlotte, NC

I’d like to share with you a true success story about our company, Arthur Rutenberg Homes, and a custom homebuilder who found a career-changing way to break out in the Charlotte, N.C., market.

After 18 years in the business, Mitch Genda formed his own custom homebuilding company in 2007. Unfortunately, the housing market in Charlotte collapsed the next year, and Mitch found himself chasing renovation and remodeling work rather than custom build jobs. He was familiar with Arthur Rutenberg Homes’ sterling reputation in Florida, and in 2010 Mitch and his business partner became franchise owners.

Arthur Rutenberg Homes is the largest franchisor of custom homebuilders in the country. After Mitch began working with the company, he opened a beautiful model home in Fort Mill, S.C., in June 2011 to rave reviews. It was staffed by a sales team trained to use Arthur Rutenberg Homes’ unique, personalized floor plan process and rapid quoting system. The results of his relationship with Rutenberg thus far speak for themselves:

  • 15 pre-sold custom homes in 2011, most between June and December.
  • 3 pre-sold custom homes thus far in 2012.
  • The homes represent 10 different designs – demonstrating the strength and diversity of Arthur Rutenberg Homes’ Southern Design Collection.
  • The 2011 gross revenues of Mitch’s franchise, and the total number of homes sold, outperformed all other private custom builders in the greater Charlotte market. Not bad for a start-up in a down market.

Mitch, like all Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchisees, uses state-of-the-industry software to manage his business. The purchasing systems allow his team to make line-item cost comparisons with all other franchises, enabling lower costs. Pre-negotiated national purchasing programs with leading brands also help ensure the use of the right products at the right prices. These services are in addition to many other operating resources that help franchisees grow their successful homebuilding companies.

Arthur Rutenberg Homes continues to expand in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. With the assistance of our trusted recruitment expert Christopher Frederick, the company has recently established new franchises in Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C., and Orlando, Fla.

New Services for a New Year: Using Networking and Technology to Deepen Your Search

New Services for a New Year: Using Networking and Technology to Deepen Your Search

Whether searching for a new position or the perfect person to lead your company, few tools are as empowering as the Web technologies that now connect thousands of colleagues, job seekers and managers to one another. Job seekers now effectively create opportunities by passing along tips and connections that would remain undiscovered 10 years ago. The New Year calls for new innovation and a fresh approach to the job search.

To that end, Christopher Frederick offers a range of Web-based tools that go beyond the standard job boards and social networks. Our DiSC assessment service – a technology used by 135 Fortune 500 companies – provides employers and applicants alike with a quantitative inventory of their top work traits and leadership-relevant personality characteristics. We offer a widely read e-newsletter with insightful recruitment tips each month. And Christopher Frederick is proud to announce its new service that allows companies to promote their executive positions within our carefully curated network of 125,000-plus real estate professionals, entrepreneurs and driven individuals we communicate with on a regular basis. For 25 years, we’ve prided ourselves on producing world-class executives, and now Christopher Frederick takes business social networking to another level by creating highly personalized e-mail campaigns targeting the most qualified candidates by region and expertise. Consistent with the quality of our successful newsletter, this service integrates our network of professionals with technology that creates a streamlined process without sacrificing our sterling service.

“Our last two searches produced amazing results using our new, personalized e-mail campaigns. One client specifically called for executive candidates in a certain location, and the other targeted a specific type of industry experience. We put together a first-class promotion with rich content that was very well received by our network of professionals. Both searches concluded successfully, with our clients finding their targeted candidates within a week.”

— Christopher Frederick founder Chris Hingle

Regardless of the approach, the services offered by Christopher Frederick are rooted in decades of traditional executive recruitment expertise. Firm principal Chris Hingle knows how to find, screen and assess the talent and potential of professionals like no other recruiter. To learn more about how we can enhance your next executive search, contact us at or visit our website at

Home Is Where Your Mother Is: A Holiday Letter From Chris Hingle

Home Is Where Your Mother Is: A Holiday Letter From Chris Hingle

No one could inspire quite like my mother. Her kindness was so broad and her love was so deep, she seemed to treat everyone as she would a member of her family. It didn’t matter who you were, what you looked like, or where you came from. To her, everyone was worthy of the warmth and concern I treasured so dearly as her son.

Joan Marie Bernissant Hingle

As the holidays approach – including our first Christmas since she passed on this year – it reminds me of just how formative mothers are in our development as business leaders and as people. Her passion for life inspired me to pursue the things I care most deeply about at home and in my career. I credit the direction my life has taken, in large part, to the integrity and respect my mother showed me throughout my life. That influence was also fundamental to developing my confidence as an individual and my desire to enrich the lives of my own family, the YMCA youth I volunteer to help and the professionals who turn to me for advancement in their careers.

With the year drawing to a close, I find it’s enlightening to reflect on the way we treat those around us and the ways our parents have shaped our character. Just about everyone can relate a poignant story about a parent’s sacrifice or guidance. Some of the greatest lessons in leadership come from family pushing us to discover our best and go the extra mile to achieve it. In my life, my mother was a constant source of encouragement and emotional support as I founded my business and strived to treat others as well as she treated me.

Soon my family will prepare for a much-loved Christmas party back in New Orleans that’s become a 60-year tradition. As I think about the elegant, loving woman who helped start it and who brought joy into the lives of those around her in so many ways, it gives me pause. Family and love are the essence of the holidays, and I can’t think of a better way to mark the season than by sharing my appreciation for my mother. In remembering her, I’m reminded just how much strength and purpose a mother can bring to our lives. By sharing a small piece of her story, I hope it inspires you to take comfort in the people around you and the inspiration they’ve imparted during this time of celebration.

I sincerely wish you and your family a happy, joy-filled holiday and a prosperous New Year.


Headhunting the Headhunter: How to Make the Most of Your Executive Recruiter

Headhunting the Headhunter: How to Make the Most of Your Executive Recruiter

Corporate leaders are not walking job descriptions. The traits that allow them to excel – knowledge, intuition, drive, talent, personality – are almost impossible to see between the lines of a resume. That’s why it is critical to conduct an executive search with the holistic approach of a professional recruiter.

Much has changed in real estate and in the broader economy in the last few years, as firms became leaner and connecting with candidates online became more dynamic. Even as Linkedin streamlines old-fashioned recommendations and sites like SelectLeaders bring a raft of talent to your computer screen, those tools are only useful if they enhance an informed search. Filling high-stakes positions successfully takes experience, industry expertise and detailed knowledge of the demands of a given position. It also takes an ability to detect talent beyond the trappings of application materials. How a company approaches its search can mean the difference between finding candidates who are merely qualified and those with the true potential to take the position to new heights.

How, then, to find the best recruiter – to headhunt the headhunter? Results trump pedigree. Look for a firm with a long track record in your industry, keeping in mind that recent market conditions mean many firms take on a broader client base within real estate than they used to. Likewise, at a time when few are hiring, a recruiter’s pool of potential candidates can be much more important than recent placements. A skillful recruiter builds upon his or her network of potential candidates in good times and bad, including many qualified people not explicitly looking for work through other avenues.

Christopher Frederick, for example, has been building relationships with executives across the broad spectrum of the real estate industry for more than two decades. On the digital side, we’ve also built a database of professionals tens of thousands strong to help locate specific talent across a wide cross-section of the industry. We’re engaged with our professional network, keeping more than 125,000 informed, educated and inspired by our monthly e-newsletter. As a result, our recruiting process is streamlined and discovers world-class executive candidates quickly and with sterling service.

The bottom line: Executive leadership builds business, and finding that talent demands the consideration and expertise of a professional. Hiring the right executive recruiter means finding a partner who does more than sift through online profiles and screen candidates for interviews. An executive recruiter should be a trusted adviser, using unique expertise and connections to help your company make a sound investment in its future.

At Christopher Frederick, we help our clients invest in the leadership that drives business forward. To learn more about how we can bring our resources and extensive experience to work for your firm, contact Chris Hingle at or visit our website at

Tired to Inspired – Taking stock of what motivates the workforce

Tired to Inspired – Taking stock of what motivates the workforce

Demanding more from employees may seem easy when the company’s future and their jobs are on the line. But inevitably another vexing question arises for hiring managers and executives: How can companies keep employees inspired in an environment of economic uncertainty, added stress and fewer raises?

Responsibility Motivates:
During the country’s last recession in the early 2000s, two studies explored what people value in the workplace. One, of 500 workers surveyed by Right Management Consultants, found that 83 percent responded they were “motivated by challenges at work.” Another study by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center found the chance to do important work that provides a feeling of accomplishment was the most significant factor in job satisfaction, with salary ranking only third. Giving employees responsibility and a sense of investment in their efforts can have a profound effect on how hard they work.

Invested Interest:
Today more than ever, managers need to be more engaged with their employees and key executives. That often means finding ways aside from compensation to invest in people and thank them for their loyalty. If you don’t reward employees for the additional skills and responsibilities they’ve acquired during the challenging last few years, someone else from another company will as soon as the economy turns around.

Walk over to an employee’s desk and talk face-to-face about a question or a project update once in awhile, rather than doing everything by e-mail. Take time to ask people about their goals and ways they think your business can operate better. Take individual staff members to lunch on your dime. Small investments in time and chicken salad can pay dividends, as employees will care more about an assignment if they sense that you care about them.

Knowledge is Power:
Managers can help relieve overworked employees by encouraging collaboration among those whose skills complement each other. A hiring freeze can even become an opportunity, if it motivates a team to find efficiencies through working together. A smaller staff also provides managers an opportunity to learn more about employees’ personalities and the unique ways they each communicate, work and solve problems. People perform best when their assignments match their skills.

Leadership Inspires:
If micromanagement is a curse, then careful delegation is a blessing. Employees with particular aptitudes and ambitions should be given responsibilities accordingly. Allowing some leeway on decision making and demonstrating that you’re willing to take a risk on employees’ ideas empowers them. Few things inspire more than a sense of ownership in a given project and a true stake in its outcome.

The challenges of the recession have made all of us stronger, smarter and more productive. Survival in recent years has required us to become even more committed to our businesses, and in the long run that experience will help us excel. A new economy calls for new leaders, and those who inspire their organizations now will reap success in the future.

At Christopher Frederick, we help firms in the real estate sector find the executives who know how to motivate in a challenging business climate. To learn more about how we can apply our 20-plus years of experience to your next executive search, contact us at or visit our website at

Engage to Empower

Engage to Empower

“Empowerment isn’t defined by the things you control but by your ability to inspire others.”
– Christopher Frederick founder Chris Hingle

We’ve made it this far. After three years marked by fear, hesitation and consistently bad news, today’s real estate professionals have adapted to meet the needs of a changed market. Employers, facing uncertain regulatory conditions and a dearth of confidence, remain reluctant to hire, leaving employees and executives alike working harder than ever to help their firms perform. The upshot is that the experience of the last few years is empowering. The knowledge, perseverance and even humility earned through the economic downturn are, in fact, assets for aspiring executives and ambitious employees.

New skills developed on the fly as the industry weathered its greatest storm in decades make employees more valuable than ever. Now is the time to take stock of those new assets and feel empowered to take risks in your career. For example, an associate of mine recently turned around an ailing department, performing beyond expectations despite dismal business conditions. Yet he was unhappy because higher-ranking executives, feeling stressed by economic demands, continued to pressure him despite a stellar performance. Instead of staying unhappy and acquiescing for fear of being fired, he decided to confront his boss. This bold move empowered both of them: The higher-ranking executive by gaining valuable insight into how the department was able to exceed its goals, and my associate by making the case for more autonomy while earning further respect from his boss by addressing him honestly.

Likewise, job seekers can benefit by confronting problems and challenges rather than hiding behind the comfortable status quo. In my 20-plus years of executive recruitment, I’ve found that self-knowledge is one of the most empowering tools available to aspiring applicants. That’s why I recently began offering customized DiSC self-assessment profiles from a company trusted by hundreds of large firms. Rather than denying weaknesses or assuming strengths, those who take this assessment give themselves – and even potential employers – an objective inventory of the strengths and traits that make them perfect for a given position.

Now is also the time for successful executives to step outside their comfort zones. Even motivated people can get stuck in stale, defensive mindsets following a recession. With a workforce empowered by its do-or-die efforts in recent years, we shouldn’t be afraid to take risks. Take stock in what you’ve learned and sacrificed in recent years, then empower yourself to act. Press for that promotion. Explore those daydreams of jumping ship or striking out on your own. Better yet, let your confidence empower others as well. Consider volunteering to help those who are less fortunate, or simply lend a hand to a struggling co-worker.

One has to play to win, and the time for standing on the sidelines waiting for better times is over.

At Christopher Frederick, we’ve spent more than two decades finding the perfect candidates for our clients’ top positions. To learn more about how we can empower your firm in its next executive search, contact us at or visit our website at

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