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The housebuilding industry in the UK has a big problem, a ticking demographic time bomb that could see the start of a new War for Talent in the sector. Around 20% of the workforce is due to retire in the next four or five years, and by definition those reaching retirement are typically the more senior individuals in a business. Depending on the make up any given company, this could be as high as 70%-80% of the company’s senior management structure. Natural attrition rates like this within business are nothing new, and in most circumstances, there are people coming through to succeed those hanging up their boots and swapping the office for the golf course or the beach. What makes the residential industry’s situation unique is what we saw happen in 2007-2008 because of the global financial crisis. Companies folded, regions closed, and those Companies that weathered the storm were reduced to skeleton staff levels almost overnight. Thousands of people were lost to the industry, and there then followed a fallow period for a number of years where limited new blood was brought in to the industry. This has resulted in a wide experience gap between the most senior people in the industry, and those looking to replace them. That is not to say that there aren’t good people coming through the ranks, but even with training and succession planning there just aren’t enough people with the right level of experience to fill all the holes that will soon start appearing at regional board level across the industry. There’s no substitute for experience, and that is especially true when problems arise. Whether it’s in Build, Technical, Commercial, Sales, or Land, experienced Directors are already a highly sought-after commodity, and soon they are going to be even more in demand. Employers need to be able stand out in a crowded and competitive market, companies that don’t regularly review their salary levels, or offer a better work life balance, could soon find themselves losing out when it comes to securing the best talent to fill those key senior positions. The housebuilding industry is heading in to unchartered territory and those companies that adapt their recruitment & retention strategies and implement effective management training & succession planning are going to be the ones best placed to diffuse the retirement time bomb. Nick Frost
Berkeley Homes Berkeley Homes were looking to recruit a Head of Technical for their Kidbrooke Regeneration scheme in East London. This was a tricky position to recruit for, partly due to the geographic location of the role and sensitive nature of the appointment. Following a successful meeting involving the taking of a full client brief, work was undertaken on this retained campaign. This consisted of a thorough mapping of potential candidates working in similar roles across the industry and systematically approaching them. A full candidate briefing pack was assembled and hosted online as well as a hard copy brochure by our marketing team and was issued to interested parties. Having articulated the proposition to the candidates, interview dates were set aside and managed with the client. Once a successful candidate had been selected, we fully managed the smooth on-boarding process, keeping in touch with both parties until the start of employment.
In the last 6 months Nanja has further developed the cost management division by expanding into international appointments. She has recently worked with an award-winning PQS Consultancy to appoint another Cost Consultant in their expanding New York office and also assisted in appointing a Senior Associate and Project Surveyors to their London office. The supply of talented Cost Managers to the London PQS market has been further bolstered by attracting talent from the South African market and placing them with some top tier consultancies in London. “I have continued to strengthen my long-term relationship with an independent & growing cost consultancy in London with various appointments into their London team. I have also been mandated to secure another Cost Manager for their expanding New York office, which we’ve just successfully completed, with further US appointments to follow in the next 12 months. Further traction on finding undiscovered resources for the talent hungry London market, was made by expanding my South African network of RICS accredited Chartered Surveyors and introducing another six Quantity Surveyors to the UK market via work permit sponsorship route to join various top tier consultancies in London.” – Nanja Fourie, Associate Director – PQS
Real Estate Management MRG were appointed by Real Estate Management (REM), the developers and asset managers of the iconic Shard, to hire a Head of Residential to oversee the ongoing management and ambitious growth aspirations for their prime and super-prime residential assets and development pipeline. A key strategic hire for the business, it was critical that the candidate possessed a unique combination of skill sets that encompassed, super prime experience, development, asset management and lettings. A thorough search was undertaken and a shortlist of five highly credible candidates were found and presented to REM. MRG managed the whole search process from client briefing, matching matrix, candidate information packs to long and shortlisting and the interview process. Ultimately REM chose a candidate that met their initial brief, all within the timeframes and budgets that MRG were originally set.
We are moving – not very far….. From Monday 30th April we are relocating our King William street office round the corner to 52-54 Gracechurch Street, EC3V 0EH. We will let you have the new building and office phone numbers as soon as they are availible, until then you can contact Head Office on 020 8892 0115 for all enquiries.
The recent acquisition by BNP Real Estate of the ‘old school’ agent Strutt & Parker has got me thinking about how much of a change we have seen over the last decade within the London commercial property market and the agents and consultants that service it. Back in 2007, there were over 35 commercial agents with > £10m annual turnover. Today there are only 23. Over that period we have seen the likes of CBRE, JLL and co buy up some of the industry’s most recognisable names such as Dalgleish and King Sturge and the DTZ/Cushman Merger/Acquisition?? to name just a few of a huge number of M&A activity in the sector. These acquisitions make sense in theory. The idea being that the Goliaths can offer an integrated, global platform with a wider service offering. This makes sense and is true. However; Does something get lost in the process? There are those that argue that whether it be individual small retailers or large multinationals, clients are increasingly being left with less and less choice between agents and consultants. Is it true that with every acquisition dies another unique business (such as Strutts, King Sturge, Drivers Jonas) with its own culture and methodology and thus the offering to the market, in general, is becoming dull and generic? Whilst the big boys seem to be getting bigger, there are some small, niche practices that continue to offer their clients one or only a few services or cover a small region. I'm talking about the CWM’s and Munroe K’s of this world. These businesses offer their clients a very unique, highly experienced and honed service and level of personality that perhaps can’t be matched by the big boys. For this reason, I believe that there will always be a need for these types of firms. That leaves us with the middle ground. Where do the mid-sized firms sit? Will the Rapleys and Montagu Evans of the world continue to compete against the big boys and the small specialists? Again, it can be argued both ways. These firms offer a unique culture whilst also catering for a number of requirements and tend to have good regional reach. However, can they call themselves specialists? Do they offer a true turn-key service to their clients? They certainly can't offer a global platform. I guess only time will tell but I suspect that these firms as we know them will most likely not exist in another 10 years time and that the property market will go the way of accounting Big Four. Are we about to see property’s Big Four? I'd love to hear your thoughts, feel free to comment below or you can email me, call or visit us here. You can also follow us on Linkedin and Twitter. Or read some of our company blog's like our 10th anniversary here.
On Monday 3rd July 2017 MRG celebrated its 10th birthday (you may recall our blog about this) The Management Recruitment Group celebrates its 10th Anniversary!. We started off the celebrations on Friday with our Summer Conference, held in the City; and attended by everyone from all three of our offices in Twickenham, Monument and Manchester. The conference began with a trip down memory lane from CEO Simon Cheshire and Chairman Rob Smith covering humble beginnings from MRG’s first ‘office’ (the Firestation Waterloo) through the years of recessions and Brexit to record breaking years and our highest ever headcount. Our FD Howard Bridgwater gave us ‘the story so far’ summarising the business’ first 10 years – from the first ever Search assignment, which impressively he managed to present in the form of poetry! We then had updates from our employee engagement programme, Marketing department (including a big announcement – to be revealed soon) and ran through our plan for the next five years before breaking out into groups for some team building challenges – concluding with our Summer Awards. This year we had four awards to give to four deserving team members (which was originally only ‘two’ awards, but we couldn’t separate the remarkable achievements of the candidates): (In 2017) - Most Improved Performance Award - Mel Pye Most Improved Performance Award - Nick Coppard Outstanding Performance Award - Stephanie Howe Outstanding Performance Award - Hayley Mintern After the Conference we took a short walk to Tower Pier where we hopped on the King Edward for dinner, drinks and music courtesy of City Cruises. Taking in views of HMS Belfast, The Shard, The Oxo Tower and the Tate Modern to name but a few, the whole team enjoyed a lovely three-course meal (and specially made MRG cake); all while punting up and down the Thames – to the backdrop of a specially created ’10 year’ Spotify playlist. Happy 10th birthday MRG!
The Management Recruitment Group started trading in July 10 years ago. Since our first day of trading 10 years ago, we have seen some huge milestones. We set out to build something a bit different. A hybrid between an Executive Search business and a recruitment agency. In 2007 we had six Consultants based in Twickenham. We now have a 40 strong team based over three locations (Twickenham, Monument and Manchester). We have invested a huge amount of time and money on core skills training, our social media networks and digital marketing campaigns and we have made huge improvements to our selection processes and systems. We are making more strategic level placements than ever. In the first half of 2017 we completed a record number of Director level appointments. These contacts are hiring managers, and become our key clients. We have grown year on year consistently, have broken records and have some of the best performers in the market. Not bad considering we launched the business the year before the worst financial crisis in history, (we are nothing if not resilient!). We have traded through a recession, a comprehensive spending review, three general elections and a Brexit. We are in good shape for 10 years young and looking forward to the next 10. The future for us is about doing the same again. It’s about continuing to recruit the best people, being kingmakers, following rigorous processes, using sophisticated selection systems and blending well established recruitment techniques with leading edge social and digital strategies that are right for 2017. Many thanks to all of our contacts and everyone who has supported us during the first 10 years. Here’s to the next 10!