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Compass taps Facebook vet as ‘chief people officer’

By August 23, 2017 No Comments
Compass taps Facebook vet as ‘chief people officer’

Compass, a national brokerage that’s raised more than $210 million in venture funding, has hired a Facebook and Amazon vet to oversee staff management and professional development for its agents.

The appointment of Madan Nagaldinne as “Chief People Officer” comes as Compass continues to snatch up real estate talent across the country, while also grappling with defections by some previous high-profile hires.

“Madan understands how to meet the challenge that comes with being a hyper-growth startup: preserving a culture focused on community and collaboration while also rapidly scaling the company toward our mission of helping everyone find their place in the world,” Compass CEO Robert Reffkin said in a statement.

Madan Nagaldinne

Nagaldinne will join the executive leadership team and oversee the company’s human resources strategy, including staff recruiting, compensation, benefits, performance management and learning and development, Compass said.

Compass created a “Chief People Officer” position as a “result of the company’s rapid growth and focus on staff development.”

The brokerage has doubled its staff over the last 12 months and has nearly 100 open staff roles across its 30 offices nationwide, the brokerage said.

Nagaldinne won’t focus on recruiting and compensation for agents, said Compass spokesperson Emily Sackett. (Compass only counts its salaried employees as staff, not its agents, who work as contractors.) But he will be tasked with fostering a robust community and professional development for the brokerage’s agents.

Nagaldinne most recently served as chief people officer of healthcare technology firm Outcome Health. He previously spent time at Facebook as head of human resources for its global sales team, and Amazon, where he led the company’s expansion into Asia, Compass said.

Compass has built a reputation for using signing bonuses, favorable commissions splits, equity and promises of top-notch technology and support to lure top-producing agents — particularly when the brokerage muscles into new markets.

Recent star agents that Compass has hired include Coral Gables, Florida-based Audrey Ross and Beverly Hills-based Tomer Fridman.

But a number of high-profile agents and execs have also jumped ship after relatively short tenures, often returning to their previous brokerages.

Sackett said Nagaldinne’s hiring was not related to agent turnover at the company.

“Compass has extremely high standards for our agents as both top performers and strong culture carriers,” she said, addressing departures from Compass. “Unfortunately, there are times when either we or an individual agent feel that Compass is not the right match.”

Compass has hired 400 agents in the last year, representing a 60 percent increase in its agent count, according to Sackett. She noted that the brokerage boasts a high employee satisfaction rating on Glassdoor, and she claimed that it has an agent retention rate of 98 percent. (When asked how Compass calculates that figure, she said she would look into the matter.)

“Clearly an impressive pedigree on this guy, and the whole management team is indeed impressive,” said real estate consultant Brian Boero about Nagaldinne.

“But it’s still hard to see Compass as being defined by anything other than it’s lavish outlays on agent recruiting and office space.”

Email Teke Wiggin.

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