What did we take from it? Overall 2017 showed promise but was still a heavy lifting year. The market was flooded with so many needs in construction project management. Unfortunately, the bench for talent has been really tight and candidates have been so pummeled by website emails (Indeed, Ziprecruiter, Linkedin) and all the “here today gone tomorrow” recruiter calls that they just started tuning out even to the best opportunities. I saw more counter offers in 2017 than any year prior. Employers knew the cost of replacement was higher than the cost of retention and met every mild offer with a significant counter.
Just like gold mining in mid 1800s every search agency (and want-to-be's) jumped into the construction game this year when they saw so many openings. When that happens (just like too many gold miners) there are just to many newbies that don’t know what they’re doing and the rivers get clogged up and stop running the way they should. Everyone loses. It gets really noisy with 50 different people calling around on the same job. It’s par for the course but shows just how shallow the reserve talent pool really is and how necessary it is from a client side to not oversaturate a position with so many different callers. Pick the ones that represent your brand best. Competition is healthy but a feeding frenzy scares the food source away.
We are finally seeing graduates from the great recession growing through the ranks into the void that was middle management for the last 5 years. That’s a good thing. General Contractors have held on tight to the employees and by-and-large have changed the face of what it means to be on the GC side of the game, in a positive fashion. Developers have had to compete heavily against the GC population to find in-house construction talent when it’s desired. Architecture firms have the same issue looking for solid junior to mid-level designer hires. Accounting, Property Management and Asset Management have been steadily on the rise. The demand in all categories for senior level management was a bit mild but appears to be picking up.
What I hope to see, and have been seeing lately, is a swell of development activity in other sectors. Industrial, Office, Retail, Hospitality are a much needed balance for our industry. If the economy continues to push forward 2018 should be a really fun and prosperous year. It’s healthy to mix the talent pools a little. It provides new knowledge and fresh perspective. It’s a good time to reach out to your established agency and establish a relationship (whether you’re a candidate or a client).
On a personal note I hope we all pull our heads out of “Social” media. There are some benefits but by-and-large I’ve seen more personalities and motivations diminished by the hordes of hours spent in these on-line environments. All the tweeting, all the commenting, all the jabbing and bullying. Where does this get anyone? Get offline and read a book or take class or hang out with your family and friends. Put the phone down…..unless, you’re calling me!
Merry Christmas folks and have a blessed and happy new year!
Gillian Executive Search, recruiters in Real Estate: Development, Construction Management, Architecture, Asset Management and more.