June 25, 2015
If you follow the commercial real estate industry, you’ve undoubtedly heard that one of the biggest challenges firms face is finding the right people to help direct the business. At Connect Media, we’ve decided to regularly focus on this topic by having a regular column called “Talent Talk.” The author is Glen Esnard, an executive vice president and senior principal of 20-20 Foresight Executive Search and 20-20 Foresight Executive Marketing & Job Finding.
Glen Esnard, 20-20 Foresite
We spoke with him recently about the current commercial real estate hiring climate, what his column will be about and what all the hype is about Millennials. Our conversation is below.
How do you see the employment situation with commercial real estate standing right now and the next year?
In the last six months we’ve seen a strong acceleration in senior-executive hiring. In our experience there was a real surge as we entered last year’s fourth quarter. That was driven by positions that were up the food chain in organizations. Employers more aggressively sought mid-level-to-senior talent. There is no indication, today, that’s going to slow. People are worried about interest rates and all kinds of issues in the marketplace, but organizations are still continuing to expand. As the recovery began to hit the CRE sectors efforts were made to further stretch the scope and responsibilities of senior executives. They have stretched as far as they can, and now they have to bring in senior executives. We’re seeing that across the country.
What’s driving this? Has there been a lack of senior leadership?
The recession devastated talent at every level of every organization. Now, as the recovery continues to expand and as organizations expand, they’re just looking for more senior executives to lead that expansion. As the industry initially recovered, it was trying to keep costs down and not looking at expensive mid-to-senior-level leaders. Firms were more looking for analysts, junior property managers and lower- level people at a lower cost than senior executives. They can’t do that anymore. That’s why you’re seeing a surge of demand for talent at senior levels. The only place where you might see a softening is with the consolidation on the services side. The acquirerors have an opportunity to expand their revenue base and reduce redundant management salaries while keeping “best athletes.” We’ve seen this story before.
Is consolidation an opportunity or a problem for these executives?
It’s a challenge. The promise of consolidation, certainly in the services industry, is to be able to expand your revenue base and reduce redundant operating expenses. That points right to high salary leaders and managers.
You’re starting a new column for Connect Media called Talent Talk. What are going to be some of the bigger issues that you will address in this venue that readers can look forward to?
Commercial real estate, like so many other industries, is driven by the quality and caliber of the talent of the leadership in each organization. I want to focus on helping employers identify the ebbs and flows of talent availability and demand, so they can make better decisions. I also want to help them get better insight in how they can drive productivity from and retention of the people in their organizations. At the same time, I would like to speak to the talent itself. How can they prepare themselves to satisfy their career goals and identify their next opportunity? How should they be positioning themselves in the marketplace? For me, it’s about helping talent accelerate their careers and helping leaders and employers accelerate the success of their companies.
Why is it important to hire Millennials now?
How could you not?
They are tech savvy and social media savvy. They are cost effective, collaborative and team players. They are surprisingly coachable. They are driven and genuine (our word for direct). Perhaps most important, they see things differently, think outside the box and challenge existing assumptions.
Why wouldn’t you?