Craig Rodrigue leads a team of seven recruiters at UDR, a leading real estate investment trust that specializes in managing, buying, selling, developing, and redeveloping luxury apartment homes. He has spent his career connecting people to great opportunities and currently, he and his team are responsible for recruiting at UDR communities across the U.S.
So how does he do it? We recently sat down with him to learn about how he’s been able to rise up the ranks and find success.
“Recruiters need to invest time to learn about the departments he or she supports. To bring the right people on board, they truly need a deep understanding of business objectives and needs.”
What does it mean to you to be a Hiring Hero?
“Finding the right fit for the team and then seeing that person thrive in the role is what it’s all about for me. I love making that match! It is why I do this job. If our recruiting team can do that, then we directly add business value and everybody wins.”
You’ve worked at several companies over the years, but what excited you about recruiting at UDR?
“UDR is a company that puts employees first and that’s so important to me. They invest in their team and provide lots of opportunities for growth within the organization. I like knowing that when we hire someone new they have the potential to rise up the ranks—no matter the position.”
That’s excellent! And so, what would you say is the most important thing in building a successful recruiting team?
“Before anything else, it’s critical to become an expert in the space you work in. Recruiters need to invest time to learn about the departments he or she supports. To bring the right people on board, they truly need a deep understanding of business objectives and needs. For example, at UDR, we hire hundreds of maintenance technicians and because we understand how important this role is for resident satisfaction, our recruiters look for candidates with customer service expertise on top of the required technical skills.”
Do you have any examples of how you’ve been able to build and grow strategic partnerships at UDR?
“One thing our team is really focused on is building strong relationships with our hiring managers. We aren’t afraid to over-communicate to make sure everyone is aligned. Getting to know them deeper than surface-level and delivering on commitments can really help establish trust.”
Do you have any processes in place to help make sure that recruiters are always in sync with the hiring managers?
“Whenever we have a new position open up we do an intake meeting with the hiring manager to understand exactly what they want. It’s critical to ask a lot of questions during this part of the process because at UDR each property is different with different needs.”
“Not only do we want to eliminate hurdles for candidates by simplifying the application process but we want to go above and beyond to excite them, too.”
And when it comes to hiring, how important is the candidate experience?
“Very! Not only do we want to eliminate hurdles for candidates by simplifying the application process but we want to go above and beyond to excite them, too. Delivering enthusiastic, well-qualified candidates to our hiring managers only strengthens that trust.”
What advice would you share with someone who is just starting out in the recruiting space?
“Work on becoming an expert communicator. Being able to talk with people across the organization regularly to find solutions is so valuable in this role. I think the biggest thing that has allowed me to be successful is that I am very approachable and my team knows that I have their best interest in mind. Oh, and don’t ever be afraid to fail or try something new. I’ve failed many times but it’s always taught me a lot.”
Join the UDR team! Committed to promoting from within and growing talent, UDR is recruiting for a range of jobs across the country. Check out some of the roles Craig and his team are hiring for right now!