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The UK property and construction has experienced huge fluctuations in activity in recent years, with activity hampered by Covid-19 lockdowns then surging post-pandemic.
As the economy slows in 2023, hiring managers in the sector face new challenges. These include convincing top talent to explore new options and retaining their best people at a time when many are seeking higher salaries to offset the cost-of-living crisis.
At Michael Page Property and Construction, we are consulting with clients on exactly these talent challenges. And to gain deeper insights into what top talent in the sector want from potential new employers, we surveyed over 5,000 UK workers, including hundreds in the property and construction space.
Here, we present the highlights of our findings and discuss what they mean for your EVP.
Our survey showed that the typical employee in the sector has been in their current role for 8.6 years, slightly longer than the average of 7.2 years across all sectors. It takes 20.2 months for property and construction professionals to get itchy feet, 3.5 months to start looking for work, and an average of nearly four months to find a different job.
That's a total of nearly 28 months from starting a role, to going elsewhere. As an employer, your EVP is your greatest tool to attract those 'itchy feet' candidates that are looking for their next career opportunity.
Property and construction candidates were quite typical in terms of the values they sought from employers, including a good work-life balance, job security, and a sense of purpose.
Two interesting differences picked up by our survey include:
When thinking about your EVP, remember that in a competitive sector like property and construction, employees will be looking for career advancement opportunities. If they can see that your organisation offers this, you will be in a good position to secure the people you need.
Again, property and construction professionals were very close to the average interest in the highest ranked benefits:
However, we also found higher than average interest in some of the other popular benefits:
Strong interest in bonuses is no big surprise in such a financially lucrative industry, but interest in hybrid working is notable. Of course, hybrid working may not be feasible for all roles in the sector, but a degree of flexibility will help you stand out from your competitors in the race for talent.
By far the most in-demand perk among property and construction professionals was early finishes on Friday. In fact, property and construction was one of the sectors with significantly above-average interest in this benefit, at 57% against the average of 39%.
Other relatively highly ranked perks for property and construction employees included:
Of course, it’s well known that a competitive salary is still a dealbreaker for most candidates – for the latest salary benchmarks in the sector, check out our 2023 Guide to Salaries and Hiring Strategy in Property and Construction.
But the statistics above show that a strong EVP in property and construction means much more than just high salaries and large bonuses. By aligning their EVPs with the most in-demand perks, employers can attract high-calibre people without dramatically increasing salary overheads.
Retaining the talent you already have is just as important for long-term success as recruiting new professionals. In our survey, we found a relatively large number of different reasons why property and construction professionals developed ‘itchy feet’:
It's unusual to see so many factors score so highly. Across all sectors, only three influences were cited by over 20% of respondents:
Less than one in five construction respondents (19%) had received a pay rise in the last quarter of 2022, compared with 28% across all sectors. Following a busy and disrupted period for the industry, it could be time to revisit pay and working conditions to make your existing talent feel more valued.
Our survey of sales professionals returned some intriguing responses, with high levels of movement and notable differences in attitudes toward current and prospective new roles. These insights show why it is necessary to consider both hiring and retention when building your EVP.
Whatever your talent needs, we have a team on hand to help. Our Page Consulting team specialises in workforce planning and helping organisations build their EVPs. When it comes to hiring, we have sales-specific teams operating across multiple levels of the job market:
Michael Page for middle management roles.Page Personnel for business/technical support and clerical roles. Page Executive for executive level roles. Page Outsourcing for custom volume hiring solutions.
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