A bad hire can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to some estimates. Recruitment advertising fees and staff time, training and onboarding for replacement hires, the negative impact on team performance, disruption to incomplete projects, and more all add up for employers.

Hiring the right person for a job is a tall order for any employer, including community associations and management companies.

Reviewing cover letters, resumes, and recommendations, checking references, performing background checks, and conducting multiple rounds of interviews are expensive and time-consuming, but they’re necessary steps in the candidate selection process.

For the past 25 years, volunteer board members and management company executives have been able to look for one other distinction that can set candidates apart: the Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA®) credential.

When CAI launched the CMCA program in 1995, the goal was to provide a level of confidence to community association board members and residents—that the credentialed community association manager has the necessary skills to manage their community.

A manager has job duties that vary greatly: governance, legal, and ethical conduct; budget, reserves, investments, and assessments; contracting; financial controls; risk management and insurance; meetings; and human resources. The CMCA exam, administered by the independent Community Association Managers International Certification Board (CAMICB), tests managers on each of these topics. Those who pass the test can confidently state that they possess at least the minimum knowledge required to be a manager.

The CMCA program has grown consistently and considerably—from 1,650 credentialed managers within the first two years and a national organization, the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers (NBC-CAM), to more than 20,000 credentialed managers and the international CAMICB.

Many management companies now require entry-level managers to achieve their CMCA credential within a few months or a year of being hired. Well-informed community association boards also look for CMCA-credentialed managers when hiring a manager directly or signing a contract with a management company.

Of course, the CMCA isn’t a guarantee that a manager will be the right fit and, to be sure, there are great managers who haven’t earned the credential, but those four letters should make hiring decisions easier—and could save your community or company time and money in the candidate selection process.

Daniel Brannigan

Daniel Brannigan

Daniel Brannigan is CAI's Director of Publishing and Managing Editor of Common Ground™ magazine. He has been editor of CAI's flagship publication since 2010 and previously edited CAI's newsletters Community Manager, Minutes, and Law Reporter. Daniel has helped guide Common Ground to awards for feature article design and single-topic issue from Association Media & Publishing's EXCEL Awards. Community Manager picked up six awards for general excellence and newswriting under Daniel's guidance from 2007-2010. A former reporter, Daniel is a graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, daughter, pug, and cat.

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