The abrupt halt in the long-running bull market for commercial real estate is leading to a broad slowdown in hiring and shifts in the types of professionals most in demand.
Recruiters expect a sharp drop-off in assignments in the short term, but with bright spots in positions that focus on the strongest property sectors and on firms’ internal operations.
But recruiters believe demand will continue, albeit to a lesser degree, for specific roles and in sectors such as industrial, multi-family and life-science properties that are holding up in the downturn. Real Estate Alert’s annual survey identified 51 recruiting firms active in the field.
For the time being, real estate firms are expected to shift their focus inwards, gauging what staffing levels they will need going forward and evaluating their existing talent, starting at the highest levels.
Employers will take note of what this moment reveals about their leaders, positively and negatively, said Debra Barbanel, who leads the global
real estate practice at Russell Reynolds Associates. That’s likely to result in some realignments, promotions or turnover among executives.
Firms will be making more-informed decisions around their talent, because they’ve watched [executives’] reactions and related leadership and management capabilities in time of uncertainty, she said.
Roles may be redefined, with some positions opening up based on what they’ve learned in this crisis.