CRE Job Market, Facing Cooldown, 'Like 2 A.M. In A Club'
Taking the temperature of the labor market anytime between Memorial Day and Labor Day presents challenges, considering huge strategic decisions tend to get pushed to the fall. But the general sentiment of analysts, brokers and recruiters interviewed for this story suggested that anxiety had already curtailed opportunities, firms were taking steps to slow down new hiring, and any significant slowdown could have significant impact on the long-term recruitment of younger talent, especially brokers.
These shifts in the job market have taken place against a backdrop of declining CRE deal volume, which dropped more than 50% from a recent record of $347B in Q4 of 2021 to $172B in Q1 of this year. Many experts predict rising interest rates will dampen enthusiasm for deals going forward.
The foreshadowing of a more difficult job market on the horizon contrasts sharply with the optimism felt at the end of 2021 and early 2022. A Bisnow/SelectLeaders survey of 130 industry HR execs from February found many expected the year to bring more jobs, higher compensation, even additional benefits; more than half expected to hire more in 2022 than 2021. And in late 2021, industry experts argued that firms, stung by labor shortages, were gearing up to pay more.
Those predictions have generally held through the first half of 2022, especially in many of the hotter sectors in CRE, such as industrial, life sciences and multifamily.
But the job market is increasingly taking a conservative turn, said Kaitlin Kincaid, Keller Augusta senior managing director, with companies becoming more thoughtful about budgets, more choosy about roles and taking more time, especially when deciding on management and executive roles and specialty positions.
Jackson Lucas Managing Partner Chris Papa, who runs a CRE-focused recruiting firm, said that there’s increasing interest in debt and equity-focused roles, as well as a demand for asset managers: It’s vital to be important with your assets during a downturn.
“I feel the changes have been in the amount of hiring,” Building Careers President Carly Glova said. “Teams are looking at whether they really need to hire someone.”
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