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Blog: Oliver Argles, Deverell Smith Recruitment1st October 2012

In September’s blog I discussed the increasing vacancies within consultancies at Surveyor and Senior Surveyor level. Thankfully we have seen this trend continue to bear fruit over the past month and have received a number of new instructions where our clients have asked us to source candidates who are at this level.

The news that these consultancies have ear marked significant increases in the number of graduates that they are taking on next year should be celebrated. DTZ have publicly said they will be taking on 42 and Turner & Townsend have weighed in with the announcement that they will be recruiting 51. It is envisaged that the majority, if not all of the real estate consultancies, will increase their graduate intake significantly from last year.

So while this news bodes extremely well for those looking at starting their career in property it is at the other end of the career spectrum where a large number of candidates still exist. There is no doubt that it is harder than ever to secure a new position if you are at a certain level of experience. Why? I believe that there are a number of reasons.

Firstly, it is simply a matter of cost. In today's weak climate, employers who need to hire will look to the most inexpensive solution, even if it can often be the most time consuming. Candidates who happily put their hands up and say that they will take a reduction in salary and position in order to secure a new appointment can be looked at sceptically with the view (mostly incorrectly in my opinion) that they will leave as soon as better offer comes along. I don't think this is the case, as a number of senior candidates who I know will happily look at a role that is fulfilling, gives a greater degree of job satisfaction and a greater work/life balance, over a larger pay check. 

The second reason is fear - fear that by hiring managers who are as experienced or equally qualified, they will be out performed and if the market was to deteriorate their position would come under scrutiny. It’s hard to argue whether this is a justified comment or something that is born out of frustration from candidates, but it is certainly a view that simmers within candidates looking for new opportunities.

Experienced hires in my opinion can add significant value to a business. Often they can be accommodated at lower levels. Some of our clients who have taken on new members of staff, initially on a short term contract, have moved quickly to offer a permanent position to them, when they have realised that their experience and knowledge offers significant benefits, which they were sceptical about in the first place.

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