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Hiring Trends – 2017

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Title:Hiring Trends – 2017
Post Date:03/30/2017
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Hiring Trends – 2017

Hiring Trends – Young Talent (Excerpt from our most recent Newsletter)
    2017 has thus far been a great year for recruiters and job seekers in Real Estate and Construction Management, and a frustrating one for hiring managers, companies looking to grow, or those looking to plug in new talent when employees leave.  There has been an unmistakable focus on entry level to junior level positions developing at companies in Real Estate and Construction Management markets in NYC this year.  There are several reasons that young talent is in such high demand.
  • Busy companies require management support.  The general philosophy is that hiring an Assistant Project Manager, for instance, can increase the productivity of a Project Manager by up to 50% (or more in some cases, depending on the load assumed by the APM).
  • APMs simply cost less.  While this is becoming less and less the case, APMs still do cost between 30-50% of their PM counterparts, and thus if a company sees a way forward to address their workload by providing more support while loading up the PMs with more accounts, or more overall project responsibility, then the 75k APM has a lesser impact on the bottom line than a 150k PM.
    • It is worth noting, however, that we are seeing APM salaries increase substantially over their earlier norms, particularly in the ground up high rise sector.  We are now seeing Real Estate and CM firms offering up to 130k or more for APM candidates with as little as 3-4 years of experience.  In some special cases, we’ve seen substantially higher salaries.  This is partially a function of the market, but perhaps also a sign that companies are assigning value to ability just as much as they are to duration of experience.
  • Long Term company growth, sustainability, stability and expansion all benefit from hiring talent early in their career.  This allows a company to train to their way of approaching the business, their processes and procedures, and their culture.
I recently sat on a panel at NY Build Expo held at Javitz, which ended up being an intimate though also engaging discussion with various leaders in the industry, including Ibrahim Odeh, Ph. D., MBA and Head of the Construction Management Program at Columbia University, and Director of Research and Founder of Global Leaders in Construction Management, Nick Master, Program Coordinator for Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation, Kimberly Brown, Co-Founder at Strata Architects, and Regina Ford Cahill, Chair and Associate Professor at Pratt Institute for construction Management, Facilities Management and Real Estate Practice.
Here we discussed the challenges facing young professionals in the business, and the required preparation to ensure success in their careers.  It was agreed upon that young professionals are often seeking a ‘quick climb’ in salary and responsibility, often ahead of their abilities.  It was also agreed upon that mentoring of young professionals was crucial, as was the acceptance of failure as a means to growth.
It was also decided that the younger generation would benefit greatly from a better understanding of customer service, and personal interaction – in a world of email, messaging, texting, etc… some are seeing the unfortunate trend of lesser human interaction, fewer site visits, and thus less of an understanding on how to solve problems, create collaborative environments, and develop trusting relationships.
Despite these challenges in developing young talent, the demand remains very high, and the question of ‘how to we attract young professionals’ becomes a pressing matter for hiring companies.  I joked with an HR professional at a major Real Estate company recently about how we might better attract young talent, and it was suggested that we include terms and phrases in the job description like ‘seeking Project Executive with 3 years experience’, or ‘chia seeds’, ‘selfies’, and ‘snapchat’.  Funny?  Yes.  Fair, maybe…maybe not…
It was mentioned that recent grads, students nearing graduation all want to be the next Mark Zuckerberg.  Well we certainly don’t want to kill that entrepreneurial spirit, but we also want to set realistic expectations about how a human gains knowledge – through experience, through missteps, through failure, and through mentoring of more experienced people.  That said, the next generation will produce new visionaries, new business owners, new ground breaking concepts….

Perhaps there’s really nothing tremendously different about today’s young professionals.  Hasn’t the older generation always looked at the newer one feeling as thought they appear to be entitled, lazy, poor communicators, incapable of eye contact, or having a bad taste in music, etc..  We’ve all been the subject of these generalizations, Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers, etc…  So maybe the answer to how we guide the next generation includes a balance of good advice from ‘the elders’, and a little bit of slack for the future of our industry, our nation, our world.

David Cone-Gorham
Owner, NYCM Search
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