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The War For Top CRE Talent Is Heating Up. Here Are 4 Tips To Help Employers Win


Despite the ongoing pandemic, the commercial real estate industry is on an upward trajectory. There are approximately 3.5 million CRE employees nationally, a 2.9% increase over last year. As the industry continues to ramp up, now is the time for CRE employers to assess their processes for hiring and retaining employees so they can recruit the best talent and stay ahead of the competition.

Marc Torrey, global sales director of SelectLeaders LLC, a real estate executive recruiting firm, said that the coronavirus pandemic shined a light on some new areas employers should be focusing on if they want to hire and retain the most talented CRE professionals.

“A lot of roles are still very much handshake, person-to-person, boots-on-the-ground types of positions,” Torrey said. “But for the firms that can take advantage of talent and have the structure in place to hire someone remotely or even part-time remotely, it opens up the ability to secure some great people.”

Through this guide, companies will gain insight on navigating the current hiring market and how to leverage the proper resources to bring on the best talent. Consider the four aspects needed to stay on top of the trends and ahead of the competition.

For more hiring help, contact SelectLeaders to connect with top CRE talent.

Technology Is Your Friend 

If there’s one thing the pandemic highlighted above all else, it’s the need to have the right technology in place to stay connected. CRE, however, is an industry known for face-to-face networking, handshake deals and an aversion to technology. Now is the time to change that, and for CRE employers to embrace all the ways that using the right tools can help them find the best candidates. 

Among the technologies that CRE professionals should consider include ones that help with promoting their company and reaching out to candidates. Employers can post their needs via industry job boards, like SelectLeaders, that allow for more specific searching than generic job sites and enable them to target job descriptions toward specific attributes and skills. LinkedIn also provides opportunities to join groups that are tailored toward particular industries, including commercial real estate. Candidates can also use the SelectLeaders system to post their résumés as well as seek out job opportunities by subscribing to job alerts and filtering their search based on their preferences.

Develop A Mission That People Can Connect With

Before they even put up a job posting, CRE employers need to take a moment to re-evaluate their company’s mission statement and ask themselves: Are we practicing what we preach? Today’s candidates care just as much about a company’s values as they do their 401(k) plans, and it’s no longer enough for companies to simply say they value diversity and inclusion — they need to show that they are taking actionable steps toward making changes. 

According to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, 71% of professionals want to be part of a company whose mission and values align with their own, even if it means accepting a lower salary. While receiving a paycheck is important, when employees find meaning and purpose in their work and see the bigger picture, they will be more likely to stick with the company for the long term.

Keeping this in mind, when creating a job posting, employers should be sure to include details about their company’s values — but only if they are confident that they are actually demonstrating them in actionable ways. If not, it may be time for a deeper, internal discussion. For an example of how a CRE company can present its mission statement along with clear examples of how it is putting it into action, take a look at CBRE and JLL

Broaden Your Boxes

While hiring, instead of pulling out a checklist of ideal attributes and hoping for candidates to tick certain boxes, take into account the assets that diverse candidates can bring to the job. Rather than focusing on fulfilling a diversity quota, it is important for companies to recognize the value that people coming from various backgrounds and experiences can bring to the table. 

While companies may acknowledge the importance of having diverse voices in the workplace, the next steps would be taking a look inside the structure and hiring process, eliminating bias and creating clear goals of how to reach more diverse candidates. Part of initiating change involves creating a support network for women and BIPOC to connect and share experiences in the workplace as well as expanding diversity within executive positions. 

Additionally, employers may want to consider rethinking the barriers to entry they have put in place. Requiring a master’s degree or several years of experience could severely limit the candidate pool. By opening themselves up to people who not only come from diverse cultures, but also have diverse work experience, CRE employers may find themselves with a more inclusive employee base that can bring exciting new skills and ideas to their firm. 

Consider The Benefits Your Employees Need To Succeed

Because the CRE industry is built upon developing strong relationships and creating communities, it is crucial for companies to show that they are willing to show that they value their employees.

The pandemic has changed the way employees look at their jobs, and many are expecting employers to keep some of the pandemic-driven changes to the workday to help them maintain a healthy work-life balance. According to FlexJobs, 58% of employees indicated that if remote work was no longer an option they would, without hesitation, seek out another opportunity. In addition to saving money and time commuting to and from the office, the ability to work from home offers the flexibility for employees to take care of their own needs as well as their families’ needs.

Keeping this in mind, now would be a good time for CRE employers to take a hard look at some of their policies — how many days a week they require people to be in the office, their PTO and sick leave policies — and see how they can adjust them to make them more attractive to new hires.

Need more help getting ahead of the competition to find new talent? Reach out to for a consultation on how to help fill your talent pipeline with better candidates, faster.

This article was produced in collaboration between SelectLeaders and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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