Key skills in demand in real estate, property & construction

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Large scale construction projects continue driving finance hiring in the real estate, property and construction industries, with the cranes visible along the New York skyline are one of the most obvious signs of the positive climate currently enjoyed by the property and construction industries.

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While uncertainty with the upcoming election combined with hesitancy around China’s economic slowdown did mean a slow start to finance recruitment in the construction sector in 2016, the outlook for the remainder of the year is positive

“In the early months of 2016, there were a large number of jobseekers compared to a lower number of roles, meaning employers could be very selective when hiring, favouring candidates from direct competitors or larger firms,” said Lauren MacCallum, specialist real estate, property and construction recruiter at Robert Walters.

“This has since shifted to a more candidate short market, with businesses now interested in professionals with specific hiring industry experience, in many cases creating roles for the right candidates.”

Key skills in demand

The first half of 2016 saw a high demand for financial and senior financial analysts from the top commercial real estate and construction firms.

Finance managers and directors were also “top of the list” due to many firms looking to expand their internal structures. Firms were looking to hire candidates with a commercial mindset and direct competitor experience.

Candidates with experience in acquisitions, as well as backgrounds in leasing or selling finance, were highly sought after with firms interested in reviewing these profiles even if there wasn’t a live vacancy.

Senior financial analysts accounted for 30% of roles in the first half of the year, followed by finance directors (20%) and controllers (15%).

Employers were specifically asking for candidates from their competitors and were happy to pay a premium for these candidates to entice them to leave. In conjunction with an increased salary, businesses were also offering a clear career path, better work-life balance, mentorships etc.

With many firms in real estate, property and construction forecasting growth in the second half of the year and moving well into 2017 we are seeing a lot of newly created roles.

With many firms in real estate, property and construction forecasting growth in the second half of the year and moving well into 2017 we are seeing a lot of newly created roles.

Salary trends

Candidates are seeing on average a 10-15% pay increase when changing roles. This percentage increases for candidates with a mix of direct competitor experience coupled with a Big Four public accounting background within the real estate division/arm.

While strong candidates are seeing a steady base salary increase they are also seeing bonuses and or equity options as well. As mentioned earlier, companies are also looking to sell the benefits of working for a smaller firm and candidates are very interested in what they are saying.

“As lenders become all the more sensitive to which deals make sense on their books , both commercial and residential developers have become entangled in a game of survival of the fittest – although the market is strengthening it’s still an extremely competitive market for the leaders ,” continued Lauren.

Request a copy of our 2016 Global Salary Survey to find out the salary trends for finance professionals in real estate, property and construction, or download the app.

Contact Lauren MacCallum on +1 212 704 9900 or lauren.maccallum@robertwalters.com to find out more about the current real estate, property and construction recruitment market.

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