Although the U.S. unemployment rate is fairly low at 5.5%, RETS estimates that the commercial real estate industry is currently posting unemployment at half that level. Business is expanding, hiring is brisk, and well-qualified candidates can be selective in their professional options. The most successful organizations will have a hiring plan in place and will be ready to act quickly when a leading candidate is identified.
Speed is essential, but companies must also reach out to impress candidates with fresh opportunities and assure them of a good fit in their organization. Most candidates are currently employed, often with very good compensation package and benefits, so firms must be ready to step up with offers designed to attract top talent. Candidates are seeking positions with a career path from both short and long term perspectives. A difference in healthcare coverage, and/or a flexible work schedule and paid time off can make or break an agreement. As a REIT Vice President recently told RETS, “Two weeks of annual vacation time won’t bring quality, Millennial generation talent on board in this market.”
IT’S RAINING JOBS IN SEATTLE
In the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions, Berkeley Davis reports that the job market is driven by direct hires, with fewer temporary positions than in recent years. “RETS opened our Seattle office in 2013, and the timing has been terrific,” she says. “We’ve seen steady growth and are performing 5 to 10 searches each quarter now.” The positions recently filled in these regions include Vice President, Property Management; Vice President, Facilities & Project Management; Asset Manager; Property Manager; Assistant Property Manager and Financial Analyst. In a region where overall unemployment is down to 4.6%, highly qualified candidates are a hot commodity in the commercial real estate industry.
HOT SHEET – AUGUST 2015 TRENDS
• A strong market has developed in Seattle, and most openings are for direct hires rather than temporary roles. Experienced candidates can be selective in choosing a new position.
• Advice for all markets served by RETS: Have a detailed hiring plan in place, and be ready to offer a competitive compensation and benefits package when a leading candidate is identified. If your company’s benefits are not of a market caliber, this could be a sticking point, and candidates will expect added compensation.
• Employers must effectively market and sell both the position and the company during the interview and hiring process. Be prepared to move quickly for top talent, and build in touch points with candidates as a way to attract and support them in leaving their current position to join your organization.