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The Power of One - Recruitment in the New Zealand Property Industry

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The start of 2019 has seen a busy time for the Property industry in terms of Recruitment. From graduate level roles, right up to Executive level, moves have been made across all sectors recently that has led to the need for fresh, and more importantly, skilled additions to the roster. This is a direct result of the changing landscape of the industry, with domestic estates experiencing capital structure changes, and overseas fund managers targeting our little market as a haven for investments. However, feedback from Clients has largely been exasperation around the lack of available talent in key areas. Businesses are posting adverts for roles that should be appealing to any budding Property professional but are finding themselves declining a constant stream of candidates from various non-related industries.

Domestic Skill Shortage

The biggest trend seen in the industry at the back end of last year and the beginning of this, has been the lack of intermediate grade talent across the disciplines. The sweet spot of 3-5-year post qualification experience when a candidate can hit the ground running, adapt quickly and integrate into a role with minimal upheaval to the business, is becoming the proverbial mythical creature to many line managers. With unprecedented growth in the industry, the foresight to staff accordingly is late to the game. A perfect storm of limited talent pool, inflated salaries and a penchant of every fresh graduate to want to be a Development Manager has led to the initial shortlisting for a role, that once was rich with budding young property people, is left now barely making a dent into a Manager’s email inbox data allowance.

Bridging the Gap

This situation then generally leads to gaps in the teams across disciplines within the organisations. People start to take on extra workload, service and delivery timelines sometimes suffer, and you are left with even less time to meet and assess potential candidates. So, what is different about the agency recruiter – apart from youthful exuberance and, usually, a full head of hair? As fringe members of the industry, specialist agency recruiters spend an exorbitant amount of time being across market research, trends, analysis and movements. It is our job to know what our clients need (sometimes better than they do), whether it is how to up skill staffing across their business or advising the next career move to get to the coveted, highly sought after, ever elusive, DM role. The value-add of a professional recruiter who is truly a specialist in their industry is the power to identify that presenting a single, qualified, culturally aligned Property professional is worth more to a business than a fluffed-up shortlist that takes time to progress through the process to ultimately end up back at square one.

Trusting the Process

While avoiding traditional clichés around the value of collaboration and teamwork, the value of strategic partnership with recruitment options should carry the same weight as any other service. From the initial prompt market advice provided, to understanding a detailed job brief, then identifying the aptitude of candidates coupled with their personality traits, only one candidate may fit the mould and be submitted. The trust that your chosen Agent has provided a single candidate that matches the need, rather than submitting a list with a few also-rans, is a parallel that spans both industries. If our business was looking to relocate offices and we were presented with only one option for viewing, would we sign a lease without seeing alternate options? The answer would be, if the majority of our needs had been addressed and we trusted the Leasing Agent and valued the partnership, then sign us up long term! This is the power of one. Implementing this mentality and utilising the power of second interviews, team meet and greets and thorough reference checking, alongside being open to seeing talent that comes to market even when there is no specific need, are the primary tools used by savvy Directors and MDs to ensure they are succession and growth planning to ensure the longevity and prosperity of the Industry. 

Written by Matt Webster - Senior Consultant Property


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