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The Mythical Time of Christmas, where the Residential Property Job Market Stands Still,or Maybe Not?

14/11/17
Posted by: Tom Morris

The Mythical Time of Christmas, where the Residential Property Job Market Stands Still, or Maybe Not?

Ah, the Mythical Time of Christmas where Christmas Trees are put up, presents are shared and there is excessive food and alcohol intake. It is also the time of year (every year) that clients suddenly decide to stop the recruitment process, and the Residential Property market grounds to a halt until New Year appears.

Despite my many years of recruitment experience within the property market it always amazes me that this happens year in, year out. Somehow a number of clients think it aiding the recruitment process as they will have more time to identify and find suitable candidates to interview, and all being positive an offer. In reality, the process is constrained, and the process either slows or stops completely. What then happens come the first week in January is TDM will see a large number of calls from existing, and new clients looking to recruit staff with now very constrained time scales usually to start immediately or little notice.

On the face value this may not seem such a problem. However, the process even with a candidate identified has a considerable number of hurdles to overcome before a candidate can become one of your team:

  • Interviews – These take time and all required parties must be available to attend to make a suitable decision. This can be then extended further if the candidates put forward are unsuitable (not likely with TDM’s vast experience in the Residential Property Jobs Market!) or secondary interviews are required
  • Authority – In some instances if higher authority is required or requested then this can add to the delays
  • Offer – In an ideal world a suitable candidate would accept an offer quickly. But we do not live in a constant “ideal world” and in our experience, there is a degree of negotiation during this stage. That is before we talk about the risks of any counter offers from a candidate’s current employers.
  • Notice Periods – Candidates can be held by some current employers for a significant period, and you can guess extends the period before they could potentially be employed by you.
  • Bonus – Some candidates will clearly want to stay at a current employer until bonus payments are made (or there are no clauses that mean the payments need paying back)

So, what does this mean for you as a client? Ultimately it means fulfilling a short time start period or immediate start is very difficult to achieve. If you then account for the restart of the recruitment process then you could easily not see a candidate start until February or even March.

In addition, the world keeps turning and candidates do not stop looking for a new job until January (in this case 2018). Now, before the Christmas period and during it, is the perfect time to recruit. Candidates are still on the market, and a substantial proportion will want to move to progress their career or because they are disengaged with their current employer. One final driver to recruit over the Christmas period is exactly because many competitors decide to hit the off switch on recruitment until the New Year giving you a better opportunity to find the right candidates with the right level of skills and experience.