The body says the recruitment process must be altered to better appeal to today’s ‘TikTok generation’ which typically values quick and direct online information, flexible working, sustainable credentials and more incentives.
The AIIC argues that today’s generation is used to video and online content that is easy to digest. Recruitment issues can be overcome by better appealing to these audiences. Doing so can also help to better showcase what there is to offer, capture the attention of even bigger audiences and help build reach.
Recruitment issues the property industry needs to overcome
Recent statistics show that after the pandemic there was a 77% increase in companies offering flexibility. Before the crisis, only 46% of companies offered flexible working yet now this figure has risen to 82%.
Daniel Evans, chair of the AIIC, recognises that compared to other industries, the property industry has been slower to adapt to change.
“When it comes to recruiting, more flexible working opportunities need to be included and advertised to meet the interests of potential candidates,” he said.
“By being upfront at the start of the recruitment process about what flexible working looks like at the company, the incentives, and training on offer, candidates can get a better understanding about what the role has to offer them.”
Evans added, “Regarding qualifications, a wide range of characteristics and skills are required to thrive in the property industry, but for many of those operating in the sector qualifications aren’t mandatory or even particularly encouraged.”
“While this has its advantages in lowering the barrier to entry, and meaning new talent can be recruited without specific qualifications, thereby speeding the process up, it also has the downside of a less-qualified and specialised workforce,” he adds.
“People joining the property industry needed to be motivated by a sense of pride, and have the qualifications to back this up, rather than the industry being viewed by some as a last resort.”
Evans says ensuring that the next generation is appropriately qualified, by bringing property more in line with other industries, will also help improve both the professionalism of the sector and the public perception of the industry.
“This, in turn, will make a job in the property industry more appealing and attractive, and open the doors to a younger generation in the same way that construction is increasingly managing.”
Changes that can be made to mend recruitment issues
The property industry has faced issues in terms of attracting the best young talent in recent years, despite various efforts to improve this.
But Evans believes there might need to be more of targeted effort to reach the TikTok generation, who have grown up in a digital, online world, as well as having sustainability and the climate crisis at the front and centre of their thinking. They may also expect more in terms of work/life balance and incentives to mitigate lower or stalled salaries and cost-of-living pressures.
“This could involve more property adverts on social media – not just LinkedIn or Twitter, but Instagram or TikTok or Snapchat, or the next big social media giant on the block. It could mean employers needing to offer more incentives in an increasingly competitive jobs market. It could mean more focus on ESG,” Evans added.
“Recruitment has increasingly become an online beast in recent years – most people now search for jobs online in the same way they search for houses, hotels of theatre tickets – and more of the process involved with employing someone is now online-based, but more could still be done.”
“This generation, as many lazily say, is not entitled or wanting it all, but they will expect recruitment to move with the times. The property industry needs the next generation of talent to come through, to drive through potentially choppy waters with innovation and clever-thinking, so it pays to put a bit more effort into targeting this talent early on,” Evans concluded.