The market sentiment from last year was that 2013 marked the end of the downturn in the UK market and it is widely believed that 2014 will see significant growth; some say the strongest since pre-recession. Having seen a clear change of pace in the transactions market towards the end of 2013, it is expected that this momentum will translate into a further rise in the levels of market activity and a dynamic 2014.

So how does a more stable economy and improved market conditions in the real estate sector translate into recruitment activity and trends? Following on from an increase in recruitment activity in Q4 of 2013, we have seen a notable change of pace for this year to date and a number of key changes and trends taking effect:

Harder to recruit

The real estate recruitment market is increasingly leaning towards a candidate driven market. More roles in the market create multiple options for jobseekers who are looking for new positions, meaning drivers including career opportunity, attractive remuneration and competitive role responsibilities are key to successful recruitment.

Competitive Packages

As competition for the best talent increases, packages offered to potential employees are becoming more aggressive and enticing. Increased basic salaries and in particular, bonus potential, are key drivers to movement in the market.

Harder to retain staff

With a more fluid market and with competition for the better candidates rife, property professionals are more aware of the alternative career options for them and are inclined to look at different opportunities and assess what they could gain from a move. If these professionals are not being suitably remunerated or are not progressing in their current role, retaining headcount is much harder.

Counter Offering

Increasingly, we see candidates who are at the point of handing in their notice (having been offered a new role), being counter offered by their current employer. In the recent Estates Gazette Salary Survey, 39% of respondents who were offered another job subsequently decided to stay with the same employer. Employers are aware of the challenges and cost implications of recruiting and therefore the employees/candidates can become subject to a ‘bidding war’.

As the year unfolds, we expect the above trends to become more prevalent resulting in progressively competitive recruitment conditions and a return to the days of a candidate driven market for certain skill sets. A strong knowledge of the candidates’ drivers and career goals is imperative, as is solid candidate management from the start of the recruitment process to the end.

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