CRE Workforce Dynamics & Hiring in 2022
Author: Forbes J. Rutherford, Principal, Rutherford International Executive Search Group Inc., Managing Director, NEXTalent Marketplace & Job Board, T: 855-256-5778 or Chat
Introduction: In Q2/2020, Rutherford International asked 204 senior multi-sector industry leaders within Canada’s commercial real estate industry to rank the political, economic, social and technological threats they expected to face through Q4/2021. Participants with direct or indirect authority over their resource plans also provided details. Please note, the data collection was completed early on in the pandemic when few of us foresaw an extended lockdown.
This article is the eighth in a series of commentaries that examine potential threats to Canada’s CRE industry, post-pandemic workforce dynamics and the probable impact on industry employment in 2022.
Hiring Challenges in 2022 – Scarcity of Talent Quality is the Problem
Peter Principle Writ Large
One only needs to run a job ad on mainstream job boards or social media sites for professionals to understand applicant scarcity is not the primary threat to the CRE industry. The danger is a scarcity of ‘quality and institutional knowledge.’ In the current market, an increase in retirements vacating senior roles and compounded by market demand has allowed average performers to advance above their competency. It is the ‘Peter Principle’ writ large.
The consequence of pushing talent forward beyond their competence without adequate mentorship or a job shadowing program will translate into shorter tenure in higher positions, more frequent terminations and unnecessarily harmed careers. Today’s jobs require greater competency than ever before, and the consequence of incompetency is becoming too great to tolerate within the past range of performance mandates.
“Average Performers are Promoted Beyond Their Competency”Forbes J Rutherford, Founder, NEXTalent Marketplace & Job Board, 2021
Scarcity of quality and loss of institutional knowledge were problems prior to COVID19 and will become even more pronounced in 2022. Time for mentoring is a rare commodity. No matter how
“Executives Struggle for Time to Mentor Their Rising Young Stars”NEXTalent Marketplace Curates the Matching of Mentors/Coaches & Mentees
well-intentioned, executives and upper management struggle to provide mentorship to their young rising stars. The alternative is to offer in-house training and underwriting the cost of Association courses. However, this approach is often a one size fits all solution. People learn differently, some by doing or experiential, some by theoretical reasoning and others are more linguistically oriented to learning. Understanding an employee’s learning style allows a firm to personalize their career development. Our Mentor and Coaching program matches knowledge, teaching and learning styles between mentor/coach and mentee.
Confirmation Bias – Mistaking Confidence for Competence
Regardless of function, a talent pool’s performance potential is determinative. This fixed potential means that when setting up a project team, an employer needs to hire talent whose performance exceeds the talent pool average. An employer should always seek candidates in the top 35% of the industry’s functional cohort.
For example, consider a national cohort of 1000 Project Managers. Remember, the performance potential of the talent marketplace is statistically determinative, meaning 8% are Excellent, 10% are Very Good, and 13% are Good. Sixty-nine per cent are “Average, Low Average or Low” in their potential to perform. Subject to the scope of the project and the succession plan for the role, employers can get away with “High-Average” but should not settle for anything less in performance potential.
Put in the context of software development. “It took 600 Apple engineers less than two years to develop, debug and deploy OS X, a revolutionary change in the company’s operating system. By contrast, it took as many as 10,000 engineers more than five years to develop, debug, deploy and eventually withdraw Microsoft’s Windows Vista.”
“Not Uncommon to Mistake Confidence for Competence”Forbes J Rutherford, “Unwarranted Bromances on ELTs – Understanding Leadership Gaps” – 2014
The search engine algorithms of mainstream job boards are optimized to sort and rank candidates based on the relevancy of their skills and education to the posted job. As a result, when interviewing a person with a high skill ranking from a traditional job board, it is not uncommon to confuse confidence in the interview for the implied competence on the job. However, with the assistance of our hiring science, it is possible to know if you’re interviewing a candidate who sits in the top 31% or the bottom 49% of their professional cohort.
Employers are relatively good at sousing the level of a candidate’s education and skills but can be somewhat hasty in assessing fit. Eighty per cent of ‘involuntary’ departures are due to poor behavioural fit. Both Rutherford International and our NEXTalent Marketplace & Job Board limit candidate representation to individuals who benchmark in the top 35% of their professional cohort – Above Average to Excellent.