Having recruited into the Build to Rent sector for 3 years across the London and Midlands markets, it’s been interesting to see the impact current events have had on hiring into the sector. The cost-of-living crisis, inflation, rising interest rates and recovering from a global pandemic has resulted in candidates’ expectations increasing. From rising salary expectations to preference over hybrid working, organisations are inevitably feeling the pressure (Office of National Statistics, July 2022).
It’s clear to see Build to Rent is resilient in comparison to other real-estate sectors due to continuous rental growth and the security of income. However, as the sector has not yet reached full maturity the level of experienced talent is finite compared to the likes of more developed sectors such as Purpose-Built Student Accommodation or Hospitality.
So, what can you do to ensure your organisation not only attracts experienced talent, but also appears to a wider audience within property?
Here are my top tips:
1. Streamlined interviewing stages
The speed of hiring is a contributing factor to whether a business is successful in hiring the best candidate they meet. In today’s climate, strong candidates have multiple interviews and job offers at a given time, so reducing your interviewing process from four to two stages will ensure you are able to hire the right candidate swiftly. Rather than inviting an applicant to multiple stages, ensure they meet their potential direct line manager and a key decision maker within the first or second stage to ensure time is used efficiently. If a process is prolonged candidates can lose interest or be approached by competitors.
2. Sell your organisation to candidates
Pre-pandemic, businesses were spoilt for choice when it came to job applications in comparison to today. Candidates are aware of the shift in the market and due to this, it’s never been more important to sell the role and business opportunities with strong applicants. We find ourselves in a “candidate-led” market, with there being more vacancies available than candidates actively looking, so how are you going to make your opportunity stand out from the competition? In job advertisements or during the interview process focus on what this opportunity could mean for a candidate's career. Discuss the many benefits!
3. Outline career progression
From speaking to a plethora of candidates, the main motivator for moving from one organisation to another is more “progression”. They want a clear impression of what their career development will look like upon joining your business. Setting a clear road map of how they can achieve their next promotion will not only ensure a better return on your investment, but ultimately result in increased longevity with your business.
4. Off-sector talent & training
Regardless the level of seniority, people always want to enhance their skill sets and if this is offered you will attract more candidates and increase employee longevity. Organisations should also broaden the pool of applicants they consider hiring from transferable sectors such as Purpose-Built Student Accommodation, Residential Property Management or Fitness and Leisure to name a few. Candidates from these professional backgrounds could offer a fresh set of skills and outlooks on various duties while also learning new skills. Engaging with off-sector talent will enable the sector community to grow and generate more interest into Build to Rent.
I would be keen to hear from you and what your thoughts are on hiring in the BTR sector in 2022, so let’s meet for a coffee to discuss further.