The pandemic continues to be a tale of two markets. While the US has now recovered about half of the jobs lost since February, the rate of improvement is starting to slow, and 25 million people in the US are receiving unemployment benefits. At the same time, the housing market is one of the strongest on record. Home builder confidence is the highest ever, the pending home sales index is the best in history, and new and existing home sales are the strongest since 2006.
Despite the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, it may be time for those in the housing industry to consider expanding their workforce. Remember how hard it was to find high quality candidates in 2019? A Manpower Group study showed 69% of companies reporting talent shortages—the worst level ever. Indeed.com called 2019 a “historically tight market for hiring.” How quickly times have changed.
Hard-working and customer-service-focused candidates are plentiful in today’s job market, as many have been furloughed or laid off. Some of these displaced workers are turning to the real estate industry as one of the growth sectors in today’s economy. The industry is starting to recruit more: a coalition of the nation’s largest home builders recently launched the Building Talent Foundation. The new organization has a goal to train and add 100,000 workers to the construction industry by 2030.
Some job seekers are using their customer service skills to sell homes, with the number of licensed realtors rising to an all-time high of 1.41 million in July 2020.
Organizations looking for new perspectives should consider talent in industries that require the same skill sets. Many of those industries are shedding jobs today, which include restaurants, hotels, education, and film and television.
Companies who focus on organizational culture will succeed at pulling talent from other industries. People are looking for companies where their work is meaningful. Today it is less about company perks, like ping pong and endless snacks, and all about companies who provide opportunities to develop and grow.
The pandemic continues to create uncertainty for many. But looking toward the future, these job losses in some sectors may provide a unique opportunity to find great new talent to train in real estate. We are hiring—are you?