Commercial real estate companies are facing severe labor shortages in several market sectors, from industrial development and construction to property management and financial analysis. While the industry has a natural proclivity for traditional office space, it is going to have to quickly adapt to hold onto current employees in the midst of the so-called Great Resignation, as well as attract new talent. Flexible work schedules is at the top of the list of employee demands.
The work environment has shifted over the last few years, and companies are beginning to recognize this,” Kent Elliott, principal at RETS Associates, tells GlobeSt.com. “Current employees are seeking new job opportunities that provide a flexible work schedule. Schedule flexibility gives employees the freedom to control their time, which is highly appealing to today’s workforce.”
According to Elliott, a recent survey from Manpower Group Solutions found that 40% of job candidates held flexible work schedules as one of the top three considerations when looking at prospective jobs. “This perk is an absolute must for employers, who must accommodate their employees’ schedule or risk losing them to other employers that will provide this accommodation,” he adds.
While flexible work schedules are becoming increasingly important, compensation is still the top factor for candidates. “Many companies are increasing compensation packages and offering items such as signing bonuses or enhanced splits to sweeten the pot for top talent,” says Elliott. “When you are in a negative unemployment market, as we are now in many CRE sectors, it becomes pricier to take someone out of their current job and place them somewhere else.”
These are not temporary changes in employee behavior. Elliott expects the dearth of talent to continue for the next several years, giving prospective employees the upper hand in negotiations. “We are seeing increasing labor shortages across all areas of CRE, and it may take several years for this to abate completely,”’ says Elliott. “The combination of the pandemic and people switching careers during this time has exacerbated the situation and slowed recovery to the labor markets.”
This is why it has become so important for companies to understand the needs and demands of talent to find and secure the best candidates. In light of the current labor shortage, companies need to separate themselves from the crowd to recruit and retain the best possible talent. By offering competitive compensation packages and flexible work schedules, including the option to work from home, [commercial real estate] companies can emerge from The Great Resignation even stronger and, more importantly, position themselves for future strength.”