Southern California CRE Hiring Trends During COVID-19: What We Are Seeing

As summer comes to an end and we head into the fourth quarter of possibly the strangest year in our present history, we want to share with you the hiring trends we’ve seen in Southern California’s commercial real estate market since March 2020.




In mid March we hit an almost total hiring pause coinciding with mandatory lockdowns and most businesses wondering how COVID-19 would impact their companies both long and short term. Since then, hiring has been stop and go with the following being some of the top trends in the market.

A need for management: Once companies started to pick hiring back up, many needed additional support on the property and asset management fronts.

Opportunities for entry-level analysts: Solid analysts are always in demand and we’ve placed a number of entry-level analysts right out of school during COVID-19. With firms looking at limiting overhead costs and now having more time to train individuals with only internship/school experience, it’s been a rewarding time helping students who graduated during the pandemic find their first jobs in real estate.

Jack-of-all-trades: Companies who may have previously segregated roles are now looking for people who can wear multiple hats. For example, a company who may have had previously hired a development AND construction manager, may be looking for one person who now does it all, from entitlements through construction close out.

Personality and culture: In recent years, many companies have started acknowledging the importance of hiring the right personality and culture fit in addition to skill. In the last few months we’ve seen almost every firm emphasize the need for employees whose ability to align with the company and team culture is just as or, in some cases, even more important than skill.

Less growth: Hiring trends have pointed to companies adding to their teams less for growth purposes and more for replacements, additional analytical support and very specific construction projects. Life science and industrial are two sectors however that are experiencing significant growth currently.

Less layoffs: We anticipated seeing wider sweeping layoffs than we have since March. We’re hopeful this is a sign that many firms have the right plans in place to weather the storm and continue to be successful.


While summer is historically a slow time for hiring with vacations and people in and out of the office, this year being no exception as we all try to have some normalcy, we are seeing things pick up as we head into the fall. Within the last month we have had a large number of candidates reaching out looking to relocate to San Diego from various cities across the country. Many are using this time as a chance to reset and make the move they’ve been weighing for a long time. If you know of anyone locally or outside of Southern California that is looking for their next opportunity, we are a free resource for all candidates and happy to connect.



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