33 (128) 2018
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Real Estate & Construction

Attracting top talent in the construction sector

By Sandra Zalewska, consultant, expert Hays Construction & Property Specialistion
Header sandra zalewska


With strong GDP growth and a steady influx of foreign investment, more and more investment is being created not only in Warsaw, but also in other previously less popular locations like Rzeszow, Lublin and Szczecin as they are now becoming more accessible with improving road, rail and air links.

An insufficient number of suitable candidates in the market is one of the reasons why the greatest challenge for construction and property companies is to recruit experienced professionals and match their growing financial expectations.

The market is undergoing dynamic changes; the best candidates receive many job offers at the same time. Consequently, the timing of the employer’s response to the application of a specialist with suitable experience, as well as the speed of making the decision in selecting a particular candidate, becomes increasingly important. Tailor-made recruitment strategy, strong employer branding, competitive compensation and benefits structure are the keys to successful placements.

Intensive development in the e-commerce and automotive sector has led to high demand for candidates with experience in large-scale investments, such as logistic parks, warehouses and production plants. Project managers responsible for the developing the investment are currently dictating the terms and conditions of employment, as a result the average monthly salary is up by 40% compared to this time last year.

Specialists related to residential and office projects as well as reconstructions and extensions of shopping centres are also sought-after, especially in regional cities like Łódź, Poznań, Kraków, Wrocław or the Tri-City, where there is still investment land available. Intensive development of office projects in regional cities translates into increased activity of real estate agencies, opening of regional offices and recruitment opportunities. Three years ago, we were focused on recruitment in Warsaw, at the moment recruitment to regional offices is a significant part of our activity.

More and more companies are also reporting the need for employees specialized in managing the process of investment coordination with BIM – both in the area of 3D design and consultancy for general contractors as well as consulting and engineering companies. Architects with Revit or Archicad 21 proficiency and experience with new construction and adaptive reuse are sought-after by general contractors and design companies. It seems that artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) are next in line to enter the construction site.

With so many projects in preparation and a great deal in construction, developers and real estate agencies are in the phase of intensive development, regarding the growth of employment and the creation of new services portfolio. A few years ago, employment in the structures of real estate development companies was perceived as giving the greatest opportunities to work on demanding projects, right now it’s the real estate agency that is being seen this way. First thing candidates say when they are asked why, is 'variety'. Variety of clients, projects, problems to solve, and most importantly a variety of people to meet and work with. With project management, workplace strategy, advisory and asset services under one roof makes it possible to develop within those structures - and to create new structures.

Competitive remuneration and commission systems are another reason why candidates decide to develop within a real estate agency. On the other hand, with a candidate-led market, an agency seems to be the most flexible of all employers when it comes to searching for candidates, especially those responsible for leasing. A few years, back it was unimaginable to recommend someone with no previous real estate experience. At the moment skills count for more than ever before in the industry. Sales skills, networking and very good communication skills are what’s valued the most.

Meanwhile we are observing new kind of investments, so far not present in Poland like short-term rental apartments, student dorms or retirement homes. With so many shopping centres acquired by investment funds, we are expecting many investments related to the extension or remodelling of existing buildings. In small regional cities we plan to further observe further development of retail parks – a proven investment format.

Due to the intensive development of the road network we anticipate further demand for project managers responsible for the development of warehouse space. Together with our candidates from Suwałki, Białystok and Lublin, we are waiting for the eastern wall of Poland to begin developing warehouse investments.

Competition for the top talent is higher than ever and employers needs to ensure they have an attractive and smooth recruitment process in place in order to beat their competitors.

The Hays report is available at hays.pl/raport-placowy

Sandra Zalewska, consultant, expert Hays Construction & Property Specialisation
Sandra joined Hays Poland four years ago. Since January 2015, she has been responsible for conducting the recruitment projects for positions like civil site engineer, works manager, site manager, junior project manager or fit-out coordinator.

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