Millennials in House Building – Careers Away from PLC’s

Millennials in house building – Careers away from the PLC’s

There has been a load of reports and investigations into the Millennials or “Generation Y”, but how do they impact the house building industry?

The property industry would be typically described as traditional one, where employees stay in jobs for a prolonged period and only look to move for higher rank jobs. However, with the arrival of the millennials this has fundamentally changed.

Millennials look at jobs as short term stepping stones onto something else. Also, the traditional values/reasons to accept, or take a job have changed. Historically candidates have looked at money, career progression and security. Millennials tend to look for something else less tangible or quantifiable. They will take a job because of the ethical product they build, because of some higher purpose that the business might sign up to such as building affordable homes in affluent areas etc etc.

This means that the typical means of talent attraction, and, also retention are out the window. Chucking another £10k at a millennial employee, or giving a millennial a more expensive company car will not necessarily work.

The companies that are most affected by this changing employee market is the PLC/national house builders. In essence, their product and company culture are very, very similar and it is difficult to differentiate between one to another.

The big winners with the millennials is the smaller privately-owned developers who invariably operate in a niche of the house building market. They can offer millennials a wider career choice based on not only a security and monetary basis.

Having recruited in the industry for 12 years I have seen a shift in aspirations of candidates in the millennial bracket, perhaps not as dramatic as other industries, such as IT, digital or media, but enough to have an impact.

What this means for the industry in the longer term I am not sure, but I strongly believe that employers need to relate to future and current employers on a new level beyond just offering an increased salary or better company car.