2024 Remote no more.

The pandemic did damage in so many ways. It was an unprecedent time and a lot of decisions were made out of fear, haste and control. The need to create a remote work environment came as a necessity to let people retain their jobs and feel safe. Then when the initial danger subsided the employees seem to still control the narrative but companies were ok with it as long as production levels remained solid. But employees didn’t just stay home, they moved. They took their remote position and moved else where in the country. Thinking this set up would never end! Why not, they didn’t need to be in the office any longer, right? This created an unforeseen issue, a new lack of local candidates as the pandemic emergency response was no longer needed.

The real estate arena has been plagued with a gap of experienced employees since the end of the Great Recession (GR). It made due after the GR  by quickly promoting younger, less experienced candidates into heavier positions to fill the void left by those who vacated the industry when jobs evaporated between 2007-2013. This might have been ok because there was still an office to go to, there was still training and mentorship that no ZOOM meeting can ever replicate. But in the pandemic they were all told to just work from home. This only enhanced the learning curve and reduced the tutelage this new class desperately needed. In 2023 most companies (especially real estate development companies) realized there was a massive drop in performance, attention, participation, enthusiasm and just good old fashion on the job intelligence.

At the end of 2023 more than 90% of our clients are demanding a full return to office. If a candidate mentions “can I do this remote” it almost always kills the opportunity. The market as turned back in favor of the employer and the employer demands a return to fundamentals. A new class of candidates are coming out and they’re not concerned with working from home, they want the opportunity in this recessionary market. They want a job and they’ll do anything to get it. The enthusiasm will be well received by companies needing a robust injection of enthusiasm versus entitlement. As the hiring market heals throughout 2024 look for a strong baseline return of more junior positions looking to learn and grow more naturally again.

Beware of any situation that is called “the new normal” because nothing ever stays the same.