Legacy Property is a major force in Australian residential property development. Focusing on the Sydney market, it has successfully completed or is in the process of delivering more than $4.5 billion in projects. These include sites such as Box Hill Heights, Caddens Hill, Greenway at Marsden Park, Capitol at Bondi Junction and Montrose at North Sydney
It also works with many tier-1 organisations in the finance and property space. These organisations include ANZ Bank, CBA, ING, Metrics Credit Partners, Qualitas and Max Corp.
Despite the scope of the portfolio, Legacy Property remains a small and nimble organisation, with a strong team and a collaborative spirit. “Because we’re a growing company, we need to make sure that we all understand how every wheel in the car makes the process work,” Janet Ireland-Nelson, Legacy Property Office Manager & Team Assistant, said. “So we have very effective and open communication with everybody in the office.”
At the same time, there are also a host of personal capabilities required of someone working in a small business, as they will need to wear many hats at times, and be willing and able to take the initiative and work independently.
The need to get all of this right, and recognition of the fundamental flaws in the traditional hiring process is what led Legacy Property to AbilityMap, Ireland-Nelson said. “People that you interview can be exceptionally good at interviews, and be very proficient at giving you the answers that you want. However, sometimes they end up not being the hire that you needed,” she added.
“We needed to look deeper inside the characteristics of the person to find the right fit. We need each candidate to score high enough on our value choices before we can be comfortable that you’ll be a right fit for the team.”
According to Ireland-Nelson, it also helped that the AbilityMap platform itself was very simple and easy to use, with excellent and clear reporting. This allowed the company to take the platform and immediately ingrain it deeply into its processes.
Company Culture begins with Leaders
One of the first things that Legacy Property did with AbilityMap was have its leadership and executive team run through the mapping process. This then provided the organisation with a series of personal attributes and capabilities “benchmarks” that it could compare new candidates to in order to understand how compatible they would be with the company culture that the leaders had crafted.
With the hires Legacy Property has made since adopting AbilityMap, the team used the tool for screening purposes. Based on the quality of the resume sent in, the top candidates were given the AbilityMap questionnaire to fill in. The highest score matches would be invited in to begin the interview process.
This screening process works. For the roles that AbilityMap has been used as a screening tool so far, all candidates passed their subsequent interviews with senior members of the Legacy Property team with flying colours.
The Model Of A Successful Hire
One of the successful hires that Legacy Property has already made by leveraging AbilityMap was for a newly created role. As with any newly-created role, there is always an initial question about how the role (and individual) will fit with the organisation, but as Ireland-Nelson said, this hire “slotted in as if he’s been here a long time.”
“He actually exceeded what we were thinking,” Ireland-Nelson said. “He’s young, vibrant, and has some great ideas. He also fits exceptionally well and gels with our values. He scored very well with AbilityMap, and so we invited him to come in for an interview. He met with the company leaders over a series of interviews, and each one fed back that he was definitely what we were looking for.
“He just ticked all the boxes as he was coming through the hiring process.”
Looking At Workforce Growth With Confidence
AbilityMap Enables Workforce Growth While Maintaining Company Culture
Legacy Property now intends on making AbilityMap a long-term part of the company’s HR process. The executive team have all completed it themselves, as that information informs the cultural matches they’ll be looking for with future hires, and the company has signed a multi-year agreement to continue to use the software.
For now, it’s being used exclusively as part of the hiring process. However, one area that Ireland-Nelson and the company are keen to explore is AbilityMap’s ability to support succession plans and the creation of new mid-management roles as the company continues to grow.
“As you move forward, you’re thinking about how you deal with things and how you can make even better use of the program,” Ireland-Nelson said. “Additionally, AbilityMap itself is continually evolving. That’s why we’ve signed up for the additional multi-year subscription. We can see that as we’re moving forward, we can work hand in hand to continue to shape our company culture and people.”
One area where AbilityMap is going to be particularly important, Ireland-Nelson added, was promoting long-term stability in the organisation. Legacy Property wants to buck modern trends and establish longevity in its team.
To do this, Legacy Property not only needs to hire the right people, but also ensure that it’s meeting their needs and goals. AbilityMap provides that by highlighting each individual’s professional and personal capabilities.
“We’ve had staff here that have been here five years plus, or almost ten years, and that longevity does make a difference to the office environment, and team dynamics,” Ireland-Nelson said. “Everybody looks forward to seeing each other”.
“Once we get you here, we want to keep you, so we need to make sure that we stand by our values and culture as to what you thought we were, to actually ensure that we are exactly what we say we are.”
It is so common for smaller organisations to overlook formal HR processes for hiring and rely instead on the hiring manager or owner’s “gut instinct.” The success of Legacy Property highlights the value of bringing AbilityMap’s scientific approach to recruiting and talent management for organisations of any size.