Employee recruitment carries on in real estate
While monitoring the real estate industry, employers are displaying continued willingness to make new hires. Companies are developing growth plans and new players are entering the market, particularly in the warehouse and industrial sector, says Marta Kulik, HR Business Partner at Cresa Poland.
The commercial real estate sector was looking forward with hope to the year-end a few months ago, waiting for a quantum leap in the fight against the pandemic and a return to ‘normal’. Because of this, some job applicants did not take part in further stages of recruitment processes and put off changing jobs until after the pandemic, driven by a general lack of safety and employment uncertainty in a potential new workplace. And yet, despite the development and roll-out of vaccines, there was still no breakthrough in sight in the early weeks of 2021.
Small steps, but still progress
“I do have a feeling, however, that we are all in a sense getting used to this situation and learning to live and do what we can. Now, after almost a year of the pandemic, most companies have reviewed their market positions and overcome their first ‘shocks’. Some market segments are continuing to boom, including the warehouse and industrial sector, which is benefiting from the exponential growth of e-commerce. The office market is also making small steps to recovery. Although some companies are still busy trying to bring operating costs down and renegotiating their lease commitments or subleasing some space, some are resuming acquisition processes. Hospitality, F&B and retail, however, remain hit hard by the pandemic,” says Marta Kulik. “This year, real estate developers and advisors will focus both on retaining their best employees and on attracting new top talents who might want to leave employers that fell short of their expectations during the pandemic. And although many applicants are still waiting on the sidelines to see how the situation will unfold, some are already showing more willingness to look around on the market and engage in interviews with potential new employers.”
Creative decision-makers in demand
According to Cresa’s expert, some of the most wanted professionals on the job market are high-skilled specialists in investment, financing and connecting clients with products or end-users. Among them are also land brokers, asset and property managers. Value management and acquisition of prime sell / buy opportunities will be even more important to employers. Warehousing teams will need staff for such departments as operations, sale and finances. The property market will also increasingly value employees who, in addition to having relevant real estate experience and expertise, are good at crisis management, proactive, creative and capable of making decisions quickly.
Empathic employer is worth its weight in gold
In the past year many people were faced with an unprecedented challenge to maintain a work-life balance. The winners were those working in organisations whose corporate culture is built on mutual understanding, trust and empathy. “Workers began to value flexibility even more: an opportunity to work from home, if needed, combined with a safe in-office environment. Many lack a suitable workspace at home or want a change, to shift from home to office to stay in good mental health. After months of working from home it has turned out that in contrast to face-to-face meetings full-time home office does not support bonding or winning new mandates; it also proved less efficient for some companies in the long term,” says Marta Kulik. “That’s why it is critical that HR teams also ensure a safe workplace so that every employee feels comfortable in the office.”
New growth opportunities
Real estate is still an attractive and stable work environment in comparison with other industries. “The pandemic has clearly shaken up the market, but there are people who keep looking for growth opportunities, have relevant experience and contacts, and yet face a glass ceiling where they work. They are open to new proposals. I think that some will think about changing jobs more boldly over the next couple of months, make the right decisions and progress towards achieving their career objectives,” concludes Marta Kulik.
Marta Kulik is HR Business Partner at real estate advisory firm Cresa Poland. Her key responsibility is to drive the company’s strategic objectives and to develop HR solutions. Before joining Cresa, Marta worked for an international recruitment business Michael Page, where she was responsible for specialist and manager recruitment processes. She successfully completed recruitment projects mainly for FMCG, real estate and stock exchange listed companies. She also has experience in the financial sector. Marta is a graduate of the University of Łódź, the University of Aveiro in Portugal, and Koźmiński University in Warsaw.