Loyalty a top priority for property industry employers

Property industry employers view tenure as one of the most important factors when looking for new staff



Property/portfolio managers, asset managers and residential valuers are three of the professionals most sought by employers as candidate movement and the preference for people with solid tenure in previous roles impacts hiring decisions, according to recruitment agency, Hays Property.

The company’s latest Hays Quarterly Hotspots list of skills in demand shows staff movement is creating vacancy activity as people decide to change employers.

"The movement of candidates onto the jobs market to explore their options and change employers is fuelling an active jobs market," says Chris Kent, regional director of Hays Property.

"The majority of vacancy activity is the result of replacing departing staff rather than the creation of new roles. Employers will act fast if an employee leaves a business critical role.”

Kent says this movement isn’t a reflection of the unemployment rate, but is actually a positive sign that candidates believe they can improve their prospects by looking for a new job.

"As a result, overall vacancy activity is expected to increase this quarter…But employers prefer candidates with a solid history of tenure with their previous employers. Candidates who have changed employers often aren't viewed as favourably as those who have been loyal for several years.

Kent says his company has also seen the recruitment process lengthen as employers become more thorough when assessing candidates.

"They often want to make sure their candidate of choice has a broad skill set so that they gain the most value from new hires."

#pb# According to Hays Property, another trend impacting today's recruitment market is the preference for companies to recruit on a temporary-to-permanent basis in order to trial a candidate in the role.

"Many employers prefer temporary assignments to not just cover workload peaks, but to trial a candidate to ensure they are a good fit, both in terms of skills and with the business' culture, before offering them a permanent job," he says.

"Fixed-term contracts…are also popular as they help control costs. Those candidates prepared to commit to contracts running through until Easter are highly desirable.”

According to the Hays Quarterly Hotspots list, demand exists for the following skilled professionals in Australia's property market:

Property/Portfolio Managers - This is an area which is seeing growth as a result of the acquisition of properties and portfolios. Regulations have been put in place to ensure that new properties and portfolios are managed efficiently and this has led to the need to recruit property/portfolio Managers. Property managers are usually required to have at least three years local experience and be REST certified.

There is also always a shortage of Property Managers in the residential sector. Demand for these professionals is on-going since turnover in this role is traditionally high; tenure in this field is usually only a few years.

• Property Officers - These positions are often contract based and are available in the government sector. 

• Property Coordinators - This position supports property management officers and demand for appropriate candidates is high.

• Asset Managers - The purchase of multi-site portfolios by investment funds has created more demand for these professionals.

 Corporate Real Estate Advisors - As there is ever increasing demand to maximise the value of real estate portfolios, these professional are sought after.

• Development Managers - We are seeing activity in property development starting to pick up with sites being acquired and developed. These sites require Development Managers.

• Lease Administrators - Lease Administrators are essential to the leasing function and when a role becomes available due to turnover or annual leave, a replacement needs to be found almost immediately. Roles are often offered on a contract and temporary basis.

 Senior Leasing Executives - Retail - As there are several large new shopping centre developments and upgrades in regional areas, there is more vacant space to fill with tenants.

• Senior Quantity Surveyors - Business Development - There is currently sufficient work for consultancies but they do require additional projects in the pipeline to maintain workflow. As a result they are requesting Quantity Surveyors with connections and business development skills to attract new work.

• Residential Valuers - Given the number of valuation firms and the tendency of Valuers not to move around, demand remains for experienced and available Residential Valuers.  There is particularly high demand for Valuers willing to work in regional areas. This is largely as a result of banks controlling who is referred to the jobs and the payments for the valuations are low.

• Plant and Equipment Valuers - This is a specialised field and there is a shortage of Valuers with across the board experience, for example in areas as diverse as mining equipment to chicken processing plants. Many who do have such experience start their own businesses and contract out.

• Body Corporate Managers - BCMs - generally only remain in this field for a few years then look for a different role in response to the high pressure nature of the work. In addition, BCMs receive a lower salary compared to other property roles. As a result, candidate attraction can be a challenge.

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