A staggering 40% of estate agency jobs are proving hard to fill, according to a new survey by job site Indeed.
After veterinary surgeon, HGV driver and optometrist, estate agent jobs are the eighth most difficult roles to fill and stay on Indeed’s site for more than 60 days, suggesting that some agencies haven’t been able to recruit fast enough during the year’s busiest periods.
Anthony Hesse (pictured), MD at Property Personnel, says the worsening problem is largely pandemic-related. Most agents are sitting on large pipelines and guaranteed bumper pay packets so haven’t wanted to move jobs, he tells The Negotiator. Covid has also created uncertainty in the economic outlook, encouraging employees to sit tight, especially when they’ve been in their current job for a while.
“The majority of the vacancies we are working on are difficult to fill, but certainly business support roles are right up there, especially property management positions,” he explains. “Many of our clients are also currently specifying that an ideal candidate for their vacancy is someone with 12-18 months’ experience. At this point we have had to remind them that hardly anyone was recruiting into the business at entry-level during and just after lockdown one, so such candidates simply do not exist.”
As a result, firms are having to be far more creative than they were pre-pandemic, especially with regards to work/life balance, adds Hesse.
Those companies that can offer more flexibility, including working from home options, more annual leave, shorter hours and fewer weekends will probably win the best talent, as many job seekers see these benefits as more important than salary.
“Added to this, if they are not doing so already, companies are going to have to become more open to employing non-industry experienced candidates,” says Hesse.
Josh Rayner, CEO of Rayner Personnel (pictured), says that its available jobs are currently up 80% year-on-year. He adds: “Our clients up and down the country are looking for growth. They see calm seas ahead and an opportunity to take greater market share from the competition, hence the current enthusiasm and the scramble to hire. Ultimately, estate agency is a business driven by people, and that’s exactly what’s in high demand today.”