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Head of Development - WRM

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As a Senior Manager, Austin heads up deverellsmith’s Land, Development & Construction team. He has background in real estate and over 8 years of recruitment experience the majority of which has been spent recruiting into the property sector within Australia and the UK. Austin specialises in sourcing the best talent in the market rather simply the best currently available. With a proven track record of creating alternative strategies designed to attract the best talent.

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Who was the employer?

WRM Real Estate Services is a real estate property & facility management company, based in Milan, which provides a full range of specialised services to real estate investment funds and other real estate investors.

WRM Real Estate Services’ highly qualified team aims to maintain and improve the value of real estate assets over time. By integrating all aspects of dynamic asset management, WRM Real Estate Services can respond effectively to the specific needs of different real estate asset classes, aiming at achieving the client’s priority objectives.

What was the situation?

WRM was seeking a new head of development to spearhead a number of major projects in the development pipeline. This was a newly created role due to the business seeking expansion.

Austin Mooney, Development and Construction Manager at deverellsmith, managed the assignment.

Were there any challenges?

The search took place during the pandemic, so candidates were reluctant to move during an unstable market. Austin advised the client to partner with deverellsmith on a retained basis to provide reassurance to the candidate and enable prospective hires to understand that the business was committed and invested in the role.

As the role was based in Central London, but the company headquarters are in Italy (including the hiring manager) we had to work hard to maintain momentum throughout the process and keep candidates engaged whilst already being wary due to market conditions. This was tackled by prioritising regular check ins, feeding information between both parties, meeting the candidate for a walk around the park and generally keeping them interested.

What was the recruitment process?

A detailed brochure was created for prospective candidates, which was important due to the nature of the market and the company not having a careers page on their website.

The pack included the company’s long-term goals, a message from the CEO, quotes from the team, details of the culture and general breakdown of the role. This tool was significantly useful when engaging with a passive audience. It also gave the candidate another point of reassurance that the client was committed to the search.

In addition to the candidate brochure, Austin harnessed every applicant attraction resource on offer by deverellsmith. This includes market mapping executed by deverellsmith’s unique data and research function, Linkedin Recruiter, job boards, head hunting and access to our 250k+ database.

Austin screened 20 candidates and finalised the shortlist to 5 which were all taken to the interview process. WRM then took 2 to second stage and offered 1 candidate the position.

The entire process took 6 weeks, the course of action was agreed and structured early on between both WRM and deverellsmith, so all stakeholders had a clear idea on what to expect.

What was the outcome?

The candidate has since been promoted to Director of Development and now oversees more projects and people.

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