September 18, 2020
For commercial real estate, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated adapting in a variety of ways. A new report from Deloitte identifies another area where change will be mandated: hiring.
“Nearly every industry has had to increase the use of technology to adapt to mass virtualization of activities,” says the report, prepared by Deloitte managing director John D’Angelo. “For most CRE companies, this has meant accelerating the digitization of operations. CRE companies are using a variety of tools and technologies to engage with tenants, run building and company operations, and make physical spaces ready for reoccupancy.
“As CRE companies figure out the technologies required to support these shifts, they also need to ensure they have the talent they will need to accelerate the pace of adoption and implementation,” says Deloitte.
Judging by Deloitte’s research, the industry may be lagging in this regard. Among the report’s findings are these:
• In 2019, 45% of CRE employees were 55 or older compared to 4% ages 19-24. In comparison, 24% of the workforce across all industries and 22% of the banking and insurance workforce were 55 years old or older in 2019.
• Deloitte’s analysis revealed that in 2019, three out of every 10 RE new hires were baby boomers. For every Gen Z hire, CRE companies recruited three baby boomers.
• There was muted growth in demand for advanced technology skills such as data analytics, software development and cloud computing. For example, in 2019, finance and accounting skills as a proportion of job openings rose from 15% in 2014 to 35%, while demand for data analytics remained stagnant at 4%.
• The survey showed that 64% of RE respondents believe it is important to redesign jobs to integrate AI technology. However, only 22% said their companies are ready.
• The survey showed that nearly 30% of participating RE organizations have made little to no progress in upgrading their learning strategy and practices over the past 10 years. And 40% said their firms are only somewhat ready or are not ready to tackle the challenges associated with learning and development over the next three to five years.
To prepare for the work and workforce of the future, Deloitte said, companies should consider the following:
1. Envision the future work and skill matrix;
2. Design strategies to create an enabling work environment for a multigeneration workforce; and
3. Digitize talent processes.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Paul Bubny