By: Carrie Rossenfeld
IRVINE, CA—A recent study by commercial real estate executive-search firm RETS Associates shows that young candidates are behaving as if have the upper hand in today’s robust market, the firm’s principals Jana Turner and Kent Elliott tell GlobeSt.com. The study shows that the majority is satisfied in their current position, but 71% say they’ve been actively pursuing a job.
“Employers need to be aware that just because they are satisfied doesn’t mean that they are going to stay for very long,” says Turner. “Nearly 50% said that they would only be with their current employer for less than three years, and 64% said they would relocate.”
Elliott says 50% of the respondents have had three or more interviews, “yet 65% are satisfied. This is an opportunistic group.”
The firm sent out nearly 400 surveys to young candidates of public, private, large and small commercial real estate companies that were primarily West Coast based, and they had a 50% response rate. They held positions in financial analysis, property management, acquisitions, brokerage, asset management and other areas of the industry. A total of 96% of respondents were employed, reflecting a healthy unemployment rate and robustness in the industry.
Turner says, “It’s been very rewarding to see their enthusiasm and interest, and they left many comments.” She adds this generation is different from previous generations in many ways that haven’t been fully recognized by the industry. “I don’t think they get the accolades and notoriety they deserve—they’re so bright and talented. “
It’s fascinating that more than 60% of respondents said they would relocate, says Turner, adding that growth potential would be a driving force for relocation. “There’s a lot more mobility from young people today than in the past. We’ve placed people out of New York into Denver—from the financial-analyst area more than other areas.”
Elliott points out that these relocations are very low cost. “The companies say, ‘We’ll get you a U-Haul and a gas card.’ These young kids don’t have a lot of baggage.”
The survey also showed Millennials don’t engage in a lot of interpersonal communication when job-searching. They’d be more likely to use social media and email to communicate than a phone inquiry or job fair, says Kent. Turner points out that most of the time their firm—as many others do—chooses to post available positions online rather than via another method, so this may be one reason why young professionals use this method of communication more often.
“These are very knowledge-based people,” says Turner. “They ranked confidence and ambition high as two of the traits that have contributed to their success, but felt that optimism, empathy and generosity were least impactful on that success. Also, almost 80% liked a team environment over an individual environment, and the work/life balance was top of mind, along with sustainability and philanthropic issues.”