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Industry Report: Hiring Talent Takes More Than Money

Hiring the right people can make or break a company and 2021 saw one of the most competitive job markets in recent memory. A true jobseekers market, more than 20 million people quit their jobs in the second half of 2021 according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics end of year jobs report. 

The real estate market, being the fickle thing it is, was not immune to the “great resignation” as 60% of 300 firms and companies that responded to a survey from Ferguson Partners, that was conducted for SitusAMC, saw some sort of voluntary employee turnover throughout the year. Nearly 75% saw junior employees voluntarily quit while 67% saw mid- and high-level employees voluntarily leave. 

“Millions of workers are rethinking how they want to live their lives after the pandemic, and they are not willing to settle for less,” said Holly Mickens, Managing Director of Talent Solutions at SitusAMC. “Despite significant growth in the real estate industry, talent is becoming harder to come by, limiting companies’ ability to support business demand.” 

Here are three key trends that SitusAMC observed in 2021:

1. Companies are hiring voraciously 

  • According to the study, more that 157 million people are currently employed in the country, and 10.9 million jobs remain open. To add to the frenzy, job creation continues. In January 2022, the economy created more than 467,000 new jobs, smashing expectations, and the unemployment rate stood at 4%. As the Biden Administration pours even more money into the economy, we can expect the intense competition for talent to continue. It 2021, 53% of real estate companies boosted their workforces by an average of 10.5%, according to the Ferguson Partners Survey. Seven-in-ten firms expect to increase hiring in 2022, by an average of 8.6% 

2. Salaries jumped 15% to 20% on average 

  • In 2021, the industry started to proactively adjust salaries primarily at the junior levels. This was not only a tactic to attract and retain workers but also a response to the longer hours cited by employees’ concerns across the board amid industry growth. 

3. Employees are gaming the system 

  • Employees are increasingly looking to leverage their bargaining power in the current landscape. SitusAMC has seen many candidates going through the interview process and receiving offers specifically with the goal of negotiating counter offers from their current companies. Given the uptick in hiring, people are “window-shopping” and are curious about what the market has to offer, without being serious about moving.  
  • Uncertainty surrounding the current environment has been contributing to this phenomenon. Some candidates are proceeding to the offer stage but then get cold feet and choose to stay at their existing firms, where they have already established credibility. Meanwhile, starting a new role in a remote situation, where employees don’t get the opportunity to fully integrate with their team or management, is not attractive to everyone. 

In speaking with candidates, SitusAMC found that most candidates were leaving to pursue growth and learning opportunities (55%); company culture (20%), work/life balance (10%); broader scope of work (10%); and relocation (5%). 

So where are companies finding talent? The survey found that proactive sourcing was the main avenue of hiring new employees, with 60% of respondents finding new talent this way. This was followed by referrals (20%); direct applicants (10%); networking (5%); and internal hires (5%). 

SitusAMC concluded its report by saying that companies that found success focused on sourcing candidates in creative ways. Offering not only competitive compensation and benefits, but workplace policies that prioritize work/life balance and more flexible ways of working. 

Click here to view the study in its entirety. 

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at kyle.horst@thefivestar.com.
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