Habitat - November/December 2017 - 12

COVER FEATURE

Maintenance Technicians

Recruiting & Retaining the Industry Backbone
BY ASHLEY CALHOUN AND KELLY COLE
THE MULTIFAMILY INDUSTRY'S rapid growth would be
stagnant without talented community maintenance technicians. The industry often views recruiting and retaining this
role in a negative light. However, when positioned correctly,
multifamily offers some important benefits that can make a
career intriguing. Those who choose to be residents in multifamily communities don't see their community maintenance
technicians as an added amenity but as an expectation as part
of their residential experience.
"The apartment industry offers a rewarding career path," said
Lisa Russo, Foundation Coordinator for the Atlanta Apartment
Association. "The industry not only offers you a steady job right
now, it's a career with growth opportunities. We see individuals start as a groundskeeper and work their way from a maintenance technician to a regional supervisor. That's something
that not every industry can offer." Apartments are in every city
in America. There are career opportunities in the apartment
industry wherever you go.
The apartment industry is a competitive field. Dorothy Long,
who has owned her own executive search and placement firm
in multifamily since 1984, sees a "shortage of good people. We
see that especially here in Atlanta, Nashville and other markets
where there is a lot of new construction going."
In Atlanta the number of new multifamily properties has
increased demand for maintenance technicians, Long said.
"Our applicants must be EPA certified to fit the needs of our clients. It is equally important that they pass a background check
and drug test as well. When a resident calls in a maintenance
request, they need to know the person entering their home has
the trust of their employer."
A talented maintenance technician can practically chart
their own future. It's up to property owners, then, to sell
them on the industry and the potential career path in the
apartment industry.
RECRUITING TALENT
In a competitive market, the natural inclination might be to
poach an employee from a competitor. But there are benefits to bringing in new blood, Russo said. "Companies don't
mind fresh talent because they're able to mold them to the
company culture."
Georgia Apartment Industry Education Foundation
(GAIEF), is working to recruit new technicians through relationships with high schools, technical colleges and workforce
programs. With high school students, Russo said, a work-based
learning program has become a great learning opportunity
12 | H A B I T A T | w w w.atl-apt.org


http://www.atl-apt.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Habitat - November/December 2017

Chair’s Message
Legal Corner
Maintenance Technicians
Disaster Prep
Government Affairs
Education Connection
Foundation Update
Volunteer’s Corner
AAA Gold Patron Member Profile: Valet Living
New Members
Advertisers’ Index
Habitat - November/December 2017 - Intro
Habitat - November/December 2017 - cover1
Habitat - November/December 2017 - cover2
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 3
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 4
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 5
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 6
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 7
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 8
Habitat - November/December 2017 - Chair’s Message
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 10
Habitat - November/December 2017 - Legal Corner
Habitat - November/December 2017 - Maintenance Technicians
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 13
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 14
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 15
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 16
Habitat - November/December 2017 - Disaster Prep
Habitat - November/December 2017 - Government Affairs
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 19
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 20
Habitat - November/December 2017 - Education Connection
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 22
Habitat - November/December 2017 - Foundation Update
Habitat - November/December 2017 - Volunteer’s Corner
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 25
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 26
Habitat - November/December 2017 - AAA Gold Patron Member Profile: Valet Living
Habitat - November/December 2017 - 28
Habitat - November/December 2017 - New Members
Habitat - November/December 2017 - Advertisers’ Index
Habitat - November/December 2017 - cover3
Habitat - November/December 2017 - cover4
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