The increase of large scale regional sites to meet housing targets led to significant employment market growth at all levels. Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester in particular saw healthy growth and hiring activity. Facing a competitive hiring market, employers have historically competed for permanent New Homes Sales and Marketing as well as After Care professionals through salary increases. Notably, a key trend has emerged where hiring activity has shifted more towards contract and interim, with employers opting to hire flexible skill sets while training permanent employees in house. This has resulted in hiring managers able to seek flexible skill sets from outside the new homes sector and hiring interim staff to fill gaps. In turn, this has helped alleviate pressure on salary uplifts and critical shortages.
Employers are also seeking interim staff as part of their interview process, as we are seeing many temporary new homes candidates considering permanent employment once they know a business and are comfortable in the environment. We anticipate there will be significant growth of contract and interim hires going forward as new homes employers continue to recognise the value in building agile work forces in variable market conditions to fill gaps and protect their core teams.
The downward trend on prices in the Prime Central London market continues. Subsequently, hiring managers are seeking candidates with experience within the international new homes market, with a particular focus upon those with Mandarin language skills. Salary increases for these skills prevailed and we anticipate that competition from employers will continue as more notable prime developments reach delivery stages.
An emerging trend in private sector candidates movement to Housing Associations signifies the continued commercialism and growth of the public housing sector. Candidate attraction has been led by hybrid schemes offering private led and shared ownership and the perception of job security from a solid, long term pipeline. This trend was particularly prevalent for the movement of Estate Agency candidates chasing job security into the new homes sector.
With the competition for land and pressure on planning applications, boutique developers are increasing unit sizes and beginning to compete with large developers for in-house sales teams, whereas historically they generally outsourced to an agency. Focus on candidate attraction to build in-house teams has led to competitive employee propositions, including equity stakes, flexible working, increased commission and signing on bonuses. We anticipate that as competition for sales teams prevails, this will negatively impact retention and we will see a trend for job hopping.
Ensure you offer clear progression and salary increases for longevity and performance.
This will help to alleviate time pressure in filling skills gap and to upscale teams faster.
Consider flexible skills and allocate part of your recruitment budget to in-house training.
This will help to ensure you hire your first choice candidate. Don’t lose out because of slow decision making.
Give enough time to put high quality teams in place.
Ensure you are available for interview and give timely feedback.