As 2017 comes to a close, we can see that in spite of the disruption caused by Brexit negotiations and the economic outlook for the UK, property and surveying has been one of the most resilient areas within construction and property.
Recruitment is a priority for many employers and demand for talent remains high. Most employers (82%) plan on hiring this year to support growth, however persistent skills shortages continue to impact productivity and employee morale. While there are talented professionals looking for new opportunities, their scarcity means employers need to be prepared to act fast and offer more in order to secure top talent, and utilise temporary staff in order to alleviate pressures on their existing workforce.
Salaries rising with demand
According to the findings of the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 guide, salaries have risen across the UK for property and surveying professionals, largely in response to a shortage of suitable candidates. Surveying professionals with experience are aware of their market worth and therefore better placed to negotiate on salary.
Building surveyors and project managers both have received significant salary increases in the last twelve months, while commercial and general practice surveyors have each seen smaller rises within their specific markets. Senior surveyors saw the largest increase to property and surveying salaries of 4%, considerably more than the average for the sector of 2.7%. The heightened pressure to raise wages is exacerbated by the reluctance of many employees to move roles, which has the added consequence of widening the skills gap even further; leading to an unsustainable cycle.
Professionals reluctant to move on
While different regions have experienced slightly different levels of job flow; property and surveying professionals are generally less likely to leave their roles in search of new opportunities. Whether due to concerns about job security or other factors, only 17% of property and surveying professionals we surveyed expected to leave their current role within six months, compared to 37% who don’t expect to leave their roles within the next three years. This lack of mobility is a natural contributor to wage pressure, as organisations will offer increasingly attractive packages to attract professionals away from their established roles.
Positively, in order to counter the shortage, employers are helping ease skills gaps by investing in future workforces by recruiting apprentices or increasing their training budget for staff. A third of employers also said they expect to hire temporary and contract workers in the next year, which will alleviate some of the immediate effects of skills shortages.
Wider benefits could tempt key talent
Employers looking to hire this year should be aware of the influence of career development and work-life balance for candidates. In 27% of cases, professionals stated that a more positive work-life balance was the most important thing to them when considering a new role, likewise, 17% stated career development was most important, as were specific benefits such as company car allowances and flexible working. For employers looking to retain key staff it’s advised to communicate career development opportunities clearly to attract employees who wish to progress their careers. Providing continued learning and development opportunities also helps to improve job satisfaction and the likelihood of employee retention.
By tailoring your benefits to employee demands, you can attract talented professionals for whom salary isn’t a deciding factor. This would not only position you as an employer of choice, but also break the cycle of wage pressure contributing to the shortage of talented property and surveying professionals.
To discover more insights about the current property and surveying market, and the prospects for the next year for construction and property as a whole, request your copy of the Hays salary guide at hays.co.uk/salary-guide.
For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.
About this author
Richard leads specialist recruiting consultants across the sector. He joined Hays in 1991 and quickly worked his way up through the ranks and was appointed Director in 2001.