macdonald and company
macdonald and company

Why Asset Management Staff Are So Hard to Hire

Posting date: 8 May 2019
Howard White our consultant managing the role

Is The Skills Shortage Really Slowing New Hires?

While there’s a shortage of skilled real estate asset management employees, some companies have no difficulty in hiring. Their real estate asset management jobs are filled almost before the ink is dry on the job advert. Why is this? Here, we examine seven reasons why some companies struggle to fill their vacancies while others hire for their asset management jobs with ease. 

1. Expecting Too Much of Your Employees

It’s easy to fall into the trap of expecting your best employees to do more. They’re great at what they do, so you give them extra responsibility. Being the diligent employees that they are, they take on the work you give them, and they make a good job of it.

Soon, the extra work becomes a burden. They spend more hours at work than they signed up for. They feel like they are doing the work of two people. Your asset management team is performing well, because you are saving a salary or two. You even put them on call during their annual leave.

You aren’t hiring great real estate asset management employees because you rely on the existing team. Eventually, your most talented asset manager leaves. They are fed up of the extra hours and of being on call during their annual leave (two of the main reasons why professionals feel undervalued by their employers, as discovered by the RICS and Macdonald & Company Rewards and Attitudes Survey 2019).

Sometimes you need to accept that your team needs a new addition – an employee with potential who can be coached by your most talented employees and become a valuable member of your high-performing team.

2. You Underestimate Your Employees

The polar opposite to expecting too much from your employees is when you don’t expect them to be able to take on more responsibility. It looks like you don’t trust them to take a step up. Talented employees wish to be challenged. Instead of assuming an employee cannot do a new task, ask them. Offer them training and development opportunities to increase their skill set. Develop talented staff so they achieve their potential, without being taken for granted and overworked.

3. Your Managers Are Negative

Negative managers and leaders tend to discourage talented asset management employees from accepting a job offer. If you are pessimistic about the future, it will show during the interview. Who wants to join a company that doesn’t see a bright and vibrant future?

Be an optimistic company with optimistic managers. The type who attract employees who have a go-to attitude. Those who will extend themselves, continually strive for improvement, and be colleagues who encourage the team to perform at its peak.

4. You Set Impossible Hiring Criteria

If you will only hire the perfect candidate, you will probably never hire. To hire talented employees for your asset management team, make sure the bar you set is a little flexible.

You may find great people from outside your specific sector – fantastic employees who bring the skill set you need but without the experience you desire. Such an employee could be your next star asset manager: enthusiastic to learn, teachable, and a team player. Just ensure the asset manager job you're asking them to doesn't require an impossible skill set.

5. Your Network Isn’t Working for You

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and scores of other social media platforms make it much easier to attract talented people – providing you work at growing your network. A social media recruitment strategy will help you draw more potential hires into your online world.

You’ll need to invest time and effort into your social media, post regularly, engage in relevant conversations, and shape your strategy for your uniqueness. You can read more in our article “How to hire Asset Managers with social media recruitment”.

6. You Keep Poor Performers

This is a common problem, especially in tight labour markets. You have a poor performer, one who is propped up by the rest of the team. Colleagues do most of the work that the poor performer should be doing. This makes them disgruntled, and because they are stretched with another’s work, their own is completed less effectively.

Your team’s performance is inhibited, and your most talented staff cannot progress their own careers. All because you can’t say goodbye to the poorest performer. The worst of it? You could find that your best employees decide to leave, putting even more pressure on those who remain, and denting your team’s performance further.

7. You Really Believe "There Are No Good Asset Management Employees Available"

Your difficulty to hire has become so bad that you really do believe the myth. You don’t believe there are any good asset management employees looking for their next career move. This is rubbish!

The RICS and Macdonald & Company Rewards and Attitudes Survey 2019 found that more than a third of professionals in the real estate and built environment feel that they are either likely or very likely to move jobs in the next 12 months. In other words, the right position, with the right salary, opportunities to progress, and in the right working environment, is likely to attract talented asset management staff.

If you are finding it difficult to attract talented employees for your asset management team, contact the specialist Asset Management team here at Macdonald & Company. As the preferred recruiter of RICS, we’re the go-to recruitment specialist for the most talented asset management professionals looking for a new asset management job in the business.

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