This report is your comprehensive benchmark of salaries and employment trends within the UK property market. The report is based upon the analysis of our permanent, interim and contract placements across our property recruitment disciplines and our forecasts and recruitment advice for the coming year.
The report also brings together sector-by-sector intelligence on current employment trends and offers advice on staff recruitment and retention.
Since our inception in 2006 we have seen the highs and lows of the property market and the impact this has had on employment. This past year has been the most unpredictable yet exceptional, driven by the industry’s perseverance, innovation and creativity. Despite what can only be described as political turbulence, the property employment market has had its strongest year since 2015 and we have seen a 27% uplift in vacancies advertised year on year. If we have learnt anything from these wavering market conditions it’s that there is always opportunity as long you are prepared to think outside the box and react quickly, and there has been some inspiring examples of this in the past year.
As specialists in property recruitment and executive search, businesses rely upon us to introduce them to talented professionals who will help drive their business forward and in turn people come to us to help advance their careers. This means your success and our success are one in the same, and by working together with this in mind we can plan and build a success story that everyone can be proud to be part of.
We hope the salary report is of value to your employment and career planning and we look forward to being your trusted recruitment partner over the coming year.
Despite external economic, technological and political pressures having a variable impact on hiring demand, headcount growth remained a primary focus along with streamlining internal processes to reduce time to hire in candidate short markets. There has been some distinct trends across key real estate specialisms and despite modest economic growth there was still a number of salary increases fueled by skill shortages.
We saw a steady increase in recruitment levels year on year in the majority of sectors across the UK. Salaries for regional based roles rose for the second consecutive year in back office support, new homes, estate agency and development, this was led by the uncertainty of travel, rising commuter and living costs in London.
The most significant change in hiring patterns over the last twelve months was the shift towards contract and interim, which is now an established strategic hiring solution in the majority of property sectors. In skill short professions, hiring managers adapted their interim strategy to help ease workload pressures on existing teams. In sectors where businesses needed to respond quickly to variable economic conditions, hiring managers built out their agile and flexible workforce. Another trend that emerged from employers looking to reduce their time to hire was to use interim recruitment solutions as part of their interview process.
Skills shortages were prevalent across the industry. Facilities Managers, Land Buyers and mid to senior level Valuation Surveyors were impacted the most resulting in significant salary uplifts and counter offering. As the talent constraints intensify, employers are resolving to switch their focus to training and development and aiming to hire professionals from parallel sectors with transferable skills. Encouragingly, new homes employers are taking proactive measures to protect against skill gaps where pressure from skills shortages have been an ongoing challenge, employers are becoming more accustomed to making quick decisions on individuals with skill sets in high demand.
The estate agency sector has seen prevalent candidate movement prompted by concerns over job security, causing a flight to alternative professions and the consolidation of high street branches, which led to candidates seeking new employment in their local area. The rise of hybrid and online employers offering more flexibility have led to traditional estate agencies beginning to offer rewards beyond fee income to compete for top talent.
Interestingly, there were a number of diversity led hires for RICS qualified professionals in general practice and residential development as hiring managers sought to balance genders in less female represented teams. We also continued to see diversification in the boardroom to help strengthen strategic positions with an increase of female appointments and professionals from non property related backgrounds.
Whilst external pressures hampered market sentiment the biggest threat to successful hiring over the past twelve months was the time to hire, which was amplified by skills shortages and inefficient internal procedures. In some cases the hiring process extended beyond six months, which meant firms missed opportunities to hire the right people for their business. In a candidate led market where competition for top talent is acute hiring managers need to streamline their processes.
The growth of interim and contract hires will continue over the next year as these strategies are further cemented to stay ahead in highly competitive employment sectors and to stay agile with the best skills in uncertain market conditions.
Time to hire needs to be recognised as an opportunity cost. Value needs to be placed on faster, more effective internal decision making processes to ensure positions are filled by first choice candidates.
High calibre candidates are attracted to new employers by more than just monetary gain and employers will have to review their employment
value propositions carefully to ensure a competitive advantage. Consider tailor made packages that include work life balance, progression and skills development to not only attract but retain your new hires.
We predict that candidate movement will begin to slow up until Q2 2019 due to the anticipated impact from Brexit. Would be job seekers will delay moving to a new employer and make more conservative career decisions, opting for more established brands and prioritising job security over progression. That said, candidates in some professions will feel the pressure of rising living costs and we expect to see an increase of job seekers actively seeking higher income
We expect to see more employers over the next year offering new and existing employees flexible working environments and work at home initiatives as an alternative to salary increases.
Flight to regions will continue to be driven by both candidates and organisations avoiding Central London costs.