Foundations of Success: The Crucial Role of Recruitment Planning

Recruitment planning should never be an afterthought when you need to hire the right talent.

Whilst you can’t predict or foresee every possible outcome, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of your recruitment needs into the future. This allows you to identify what roles are going to be needed and when so that you can start the recruitment process early, instead of feeling unprepared and rushed.

Many businesses fail to have a good grasp on their recruitment planning which can lead to various challenges when it comes to hiring the right person for the job.

In a LinkedIn poll, we asked how far in advance a business should start the planning process to recruit a new senior management/VP level employee.

60% said between 6-9 months; but is this a realistic time frame considering all the steps required to make a successful hire?

In this post, we’re sharing practical strategies to enhance your recruitment planning, ensuring you leave yourself enough time to secure the best possible candidate.

By having a solid overview of the dynamics within the real estate market and an understanding of the specific roles and expertise you’ll need, you can start to devise strategies to attract and secure top talent. This foresight enables you to meet your recruitment needs proactively, ensuring your company remains competitive in a fast-moving sector.


The recruitment process when considering timescales

  • Strategic planning: Planning and anticipating the needs of the business in next 12 months or more
  • Role specification: Outlining your recruitment brief – details of the role and responsibilities, what skills are required or ideal, what qualifications are required or ideal, considering the impact to the current team and structure
  • Advertising / approaching a recruitment consultancy: time to explore the right recruitment advertising channels or researching the best recruitment consultancies to begin the process
  • Candidate shortlisting: time to process applications or headhunt the best candidates with an initial outreach
  • Interviewing: time to plan and organise interviews, further interviews and assessments
  • Offer and negotiation: time to negotiate an offer and prepare contracts, considering any candidates that pull out in the process
  • Notice period: consideration of the notice period your new employee is contractually tied in; this can be anywhere between 2 weeks to 12 months, depending on seniority
  • Probation period: time to ensure the candidate is the right fit for the role and the wider team

The Importance of Recruitment Planning

Recruitment planning is the key to success when it comes to finding and hiring the right people.

It’s essential to periodically set out company goals and targets, anticipating who will be required for key milestones within the business or project. This forward-thinking approach ensures that recruitment can be strategic and aligned with the company’s growth trajectory and project deliverables, rather than reactive.

Recruitment planning is even more important considering the amount of people who plan to change roles in the next 12 months, which according to our latest salary survey, stands at:

  • 51% Globally
  • 43% UK
  • 43% US
  • 58% Asia
  • 53% Europe
  • 62% South Africa

There are also lots of factors people consider when moving jobs, however according to our survey, 51% of people cite company reputation and values as one of the most important elements. This further highlights why a recruitment plan is crucial as people want to feel engaged and valued by a company from their first moment of interaction.

This means organisations can’t just ‘count’ on the people they have already hired as this could soon change and they need those positions to be filled. Otherwise you’re at risk of losing time and money as without a proper recruitment plan, you won’t have enough time to rehire.

Equally important is thinking about company growth. Unless your company is remaining stagnant, you will have to hire people in the future. Having a robust recruitment plan in place allows you to do this effectively as you know exactly what roles you’re going to fill and how you’re going to do it.

Every stage of the process, from pinpointing the required role to be filled, through to devising the job ad, and determining the right channels for its promotion, are critical elements of recruitment planning.

To summarise, recruitment planning is key for two main reasons:

  1. Replacing employees in a timely manner
  2. Growing your headcount as the company scales or changes


three employees smiling

How Recruitment Planning Can Benefit Your Employer Brand

Effective recruitment planning is not just about filling jobs; it’s a strategic tool that can significantly improve your employer brand.

By carefully planning your recruitment process, you ensure that every interaction candidates have with your brand is positive and reflects your company values, mission, and culture. This starts from the first moment they come into contact with your company and should extend to every touchpoint, from job adverts, to interviews, to telephone conversations.

A well-thought-out recruitment strategy helps attract the right people, who are not just qualified in terms of the job specification, but are also a good cultural fit.

At Macdonald & Company we understand how important this particular part of the recruitment process is. When you’re hiring someone in-house, they need to be able to integrate into your culture and share the same values as your existing team. That’s why we come into your working environment to get a genuine feel of what it’s like to work for your business so that we can make sure we screen, interview, and secure the right people both in terms of the skills required for the job, and for the personality-fit for the business.

By investing time into your recruitment plan, you can align candidate expectations with the reality of working at your company.

Happy employees are your best ambassadors and they are more likely to share their positive experiences through word-of-mouth and LinkedIn, further increasing your business’s attractiveness to potential candidates.

Recruitment Planning Strategies

From over 30 years of experience in the field, we’re listing some of our most recommended recruitment planning strategies to help you source and secure the right talent, in the right time frame.

Identify the role required

Identifying which roles are required in your business is key to making sure you have the right people in the right seats.

To do this successfully, follow the steps below:

Assess Organisational Needs and Goals

Conduct a thorough assessment of your current organisational structure and resources. Evaluate the short-term and long-term goals of your business to understand where improvements or expansions may be needed.

This involves talking to department heads, team leaders, and stakeholders to gather insights into operational efficiencies and any areas that are ready for growth.

Forecast Future Business Requirements

Based on the assessment, forecast the skills, roles, and team structures needed to meet your business’s goals.

Consider industry trends, emerging technologies, and market demands that could influence your operational needs. This foresight allows you to identify not just immediate vacancies but also roles that will become crucial in the future.

Define the Role and Why It’s Needed

Once you’ve identified a role, clearly define its responsibilities, required skills, and expected outcomes. This should include how the role fits into the broader organisational structure.

For example, if you’ve identified the need for a Property Development Project Manager, you need to understand how this role will help foster business growth and contribute to the business.

young girl sat in interview

Be clear in the job advert

Being ambiguous in your job advert can add time and frustration to the process as you could end up getting interest from people who don’t understand or fit the specifications of the job.

This means you (or your chosen recruitment agency) has to sift through lots of unsuitable applications – a task which could have been mitigated had you taken the time originally to be clear about what you were looking for in your new hire.

When crafting your job specification, make sure you outline:

  • The role and responsibilities associated with the position
  • The skills and qualifications required
  • The company culture and what makes your company a unique place to work

Stephan Glands, Macdonald & Company

Director - Development Design, Sustainability/ESG

“So often the recruitment process is not prioritised as much as it needs to be. It's people that make a company successful so it's a big deal. An inefficient process often leads to the need to start the recruitment process all over again and that's a huge amount of wasted working hours for the client team, the recruitment team, and of course the candidates. Hiring is a project and as such, it should run to timelines and key deliverables. Everyone involved should have a positive experience.”

Use different recruitment channels

In real estate, the best ways to maximise the effectiveness of your recruitment efforts starts by knowing how and where to find professionals that have experience, in often, very niche specialisms.

Our research into the industry has uncovered that the most effective ways individuals secure their next job include leveraging personal networks, getting headhunted, and engaging with a recruitment consultancy.

For employers, tapping into employee networks through referral programs can also uncover high-quality candidates. Diversifying your recruitment channels ensures a larger pool of candidates, increasing the chances of finding the perfect fit for your company.

As our research concludes that the most effective hiring method is to approach a specialist consultancy who can headhunt and leverage their network, we uncover all the costs associated making the wrong recruitment decisions.

Respond to candidates promptly

Timely communication with candidates is a key aspect of a positive recruitment experience.

Whether it’s sending an email once you’ve received their application, providing updates about the recruitment process, or informing candidates of their progress, prompt responses show respect for the candidate’s time and interest in your company.

This not only keeps candidates engaged but also reflects positively on your employer brand. If you have a slow recruitment process and take ages to follow up with candidates, then the likelihood is, they will look elsewhere. The real estate market is competitive, and those in senior or specialist roles in particular, will most likely have several job opportunities presented to them at any one time.

This also makes candidates more likely to accept a counter offer (something we’re covering in more detail below) if they don’t feel as though they’re getting the same level of engagement from you.

Always consider notice periods

Understanding different notice periods is important for planning your recruitment timeline.

For example, let’s imagine you need to hire a Property Development Manager, whose notice period typically spans 3 to 6 months. To ensure a seamless transition, you would need to start the recruitment process at least 6 months in advance.

Waiting until the last minute could lead to delays, as most employees are obligated to serve their notice period, unless they can negotiate an early release. That said, you can’t rely on this being the case, which is why understanding which roles are needed and the typical notice period involved is crucial.

Forecasting the business’s goals and anticipated developments over the next 6 to 12 months plays an important role in this planning process. By understanding the trajectory of business growth, you can pinpoint which roles you need and also when you need to start looking for potential candidates.

Be prepared to negotiate

As we’ve mentioned above, the real estate market is highly competitive with talented professionals often receiving multiple different job offers.

There’s also the likelihood that their current employer will present a counter offer if such an employee wishes to terminate their employment. They too will understand the competitiveness of the landscape and will be trying to keep hold of their best talent. In fact, according to our salary survey, individuals who are offered and accept a counter-offer receive, on average, a 22.1% higher salary.

If this happens and the candidate you wish to recruit is presented with a counter offer, you might have to negotiate. Whether that’s offering them a higher starting salary, better work-life balance, or another workplace perk, you will have to make sure your job offer is more attractive than the rest.

The back-and-forth of negotiating the offer can also result in delays, highlighting the importance of being proactive and having a recruitment plan in place.

person passing over a clipboard

Foundations of Success: The Crucial Role of Recruitment Planning

Recruitment planning should be an integral part of the operational functions in the business. Rather than leaving it until the last minute, or suddenly realising there is an immediate need for a new hire, having this plan in place ensures you find the right candidates in the right time frame.

A key part of recruitment planning is understanding the trajectory of the business and anticipating which roles are needed and when.

By having this considered and organised approach, you can carefully pinpoint roles, craft detailed job adverts, promote them through the relevant channels, and engage in a timely interview process and follow up. It saves all of the rush and stress associated with hiring candidates at the last minute, which in turn, can lead to the wrong hire meaning more costs incurred by the business.

At Macdonald & Company, we have over 30 years of experience in real estate recruitment, with a database of 250,000 real estate professionals globally, meaning we not only help you identify and secure the right candidates, but also anticipate your business requirements and your future recruitment needs. Our dedicated team of specialists come into your business, working directly with you to project what the future might look like, ensuring your recruitment needs are consistently met. Get in touch with our team to find out more.

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