The unspoken truths of the current property recruitment landscape

the-unspoken-truths-of-the-current-property-recruitment-landscape

The property industry is in a frenzy, and if you’re not feeling the heat, you’re already too far behind. The landscape of recruitment has shifted dramatically, and as estate and lettings agency owners, you need to understand the new rules of engagement—or face the consequences. Here’s the brutal truth: you have just two weeks to get someone through the screening process before extending a job offer. Yes, you heard that right—two weeks. Anything longer, and you risk losing top talent.

Why the rush? Because your competitors, along with the counter offer, are hotter than ever. In this tight market, exceptional senior talent is highly sought after, and they know their worth. The days of leisurely recruitment processes are over. If you can’t move quickly, someone else will, and they’ll ****** that star candidate right out from under your nose. It’s a cutthroat environment, and the early bird gets the worm.

The market is bustling with activity. Companies are focusing on succession planning and recruiting for growth. But here’s the kicker—despite all the noise about the upcoming election, it will not impact hiring across the property sector. This industry is fundamentally about people. We need people to build, sell, and grow our businesses. Politics might sway the economy in various directions, but our need for talented individuals remains constant.

Now, let’s talk numbers. The recent increase in the UK minimum wage has sent ripples through the industry, forcing many agencies to reassess and raise their basic salaries. This change, while beneficial for employees, adds another layer of complexity for employers. Competitive salaries are now even more critical to attract and retain the best talent. It’s a candidate-driven market, and they have options. If you’re not offering a compelling package, including a competitive salary, you’re not going to secure the rockstar candidate you are hoping for.

Moreover, candidates are increasingly looking for more flexibility in their roles. The traditional 8am-8pm, every weekend business model is being questioned. Do we really need to adhere to such rigid hours to be successful? The modern workforce values work-life balance, and flexible working arrangements can be a significant draw for top talent. As employers, we need to adapt to these expectations if we want to attract and retain the best.

Technology is also improving efficiencies in recruitment. Nearly 90% of Rayner Personnel’s first stage interviews are now an initial 30-45 minute coffee chat over Teams or other video platforms. This approach not only saves time but also helps get a better understanding of the candidate early in the process. Leveraging technology allows for quicker decision-making and ensures you don’t miss out on top talent due to outdated recruitment practices. Most recruitment agencies, like Rayner Personnel, now offer pre-screened video introductions that accompany the CV. This enables you to fast-track the first stage, beating the competition and attracting the right candidates more efficiently, saving time and avoiding long, drawn-out interview processes.

In this competitive market, a proactive headhunter will win the race. Reactive job board recruitment or posting a job on Indeed hoping the perfect rockstar has had a bad day and is on a job board is over!

To win in this market, you need top-performing staff who can add to the bottom line and become your leaders of the future.

And let’s not forget company culture. It’s more important than ever. What are you doing as a business to showcase this? Your website, Glassdoor, and social media pages are critical tools in demonstrating your company culture. Candidates are researching you just as much as you’re researching them. They want to know what it’s like to work at your company, what values you uphold, and how you support and develop your team. Highlighting employee testimonials, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and showcasing your company events and initiatives can make a significant impact. A strong, positive company culture not only attracts top talent but also retains it.

Where are the next generation of leaders? Where are our future MDs and CEOs coming from? It’s a pressing question. As business leaders, we must focus on identifying and nurturing potential within our ranks. This means investing in training programmes, mentoring, and creating clear pathways for career advancement. Developing future leaders requires a proactive approach, ensuring that talented individuals have the support and opportunities they need to grow and excel. Are we, as businesses, doing enough to cultivate this next generation? If not, we risk falling behind.

So, what does this mean for you? Speed, decisiveness, flexibility, technological integration, proactive headhunting, a strong company culture, and leadership development are your new best friends. Streamline your recruitment process. Be ready to make an offer within two weeks of identifying a potential candidate. Counter offers will come, but if you’ve done your job right—offering a fair salary, clear career progression, a supportive work environment, flexible working options, and leveraging technology—you’ll be the employer of choice.

Stay ahead of the curve. Recognise that the game has changed, and adapt accordingly. Your business depends on it.

Josh Rayner is CEO of Rayner Personnel. 

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