Posted by & filed under Advice, Opinion.

Over the last 12 months or so we have all experienced a severe disruption individually and to our businesses across the UK and the world. Whoever thought that 13 months after Boris announced the first lockdown that we would still be trying to navigate our way out of it.

I remember some of our team saying “ah it will only last a few weeks” which I thought at the time was optimistic, but I had no idea we would still be in it now!!!

Since the first day of 2021 the property & construction market has been growing in confidence and as a knock on affect we, as a business, have been getting busier. Technically, most offices are still not open as normal and may not be yet for a few months at best. But are you seeing growth and confidence in your business and are you a little short on resource? If the answer to this question is yes… then hiring, onboarding, training and getting any new recruit up to speed must be high on your agenda!

I am writing this blog to raise a question – are you considering engaging temporary workers as a potential solution as we lift out of lockdown and if not, why not?

Here are some key reasons why hiring temporary staff across the business could be the sensible approach to supporting your business growth this year:

1. Commitment free resource – hiring a temporary worker via a temp agency will only commit you to the short notice period agreed
2. Agile resource – this is staffing that you can turn off and on at any point when you need it
3. Temporary to permanent hires – a lot of the temps (50%+) we place go on to being offered assignment extensions or permanent contracts – the “try before you buy” approach
4. Qualified/experienced cover – if you work with a recruitment firm that specialize in your niche its likely they will have people on their books (especially in the current climate) who can hit the ground running!
5. Hassle free/fast process – if you engage the right temp agency they can take away all the hassle of hiring a permanent team member, they can get someone onsite within a day and you only need to sign off a timesheet each week and report on progress
6. Flexible resource – if the initial assignment comes to an end but another team could do with cover or extra resource you can move across a “known/trained” person who can pick it up very quickly and knows/understand your ways of working, IT and standards

So, there you have it, my top 6 reasons why you and your firm should consider temps as a viable option coming out of lockdown. I know from speaking to clients that the work is there but there is still some hesitation around whether we could go back into lockdown and business levels fall… so surely this type of resource (if you can find the right workers/agency) has to be worth considering?

We have temporary workers on our books that are experienced in; sales, customer service, marketing, HR, operations, finance, technical, surveying, construction, project management and much more.

If you are interested in engaging temporary staff or want to explore the options we have available, please get in touch.

Posted by & filed under Industry News, Opinion.

After the somewhat unexpected and turbulent 2020 we have just navigated, I have been thinking and chatting to contacts regarding what parts of the industry will bounce back the quickest and where will be the best place to invest in property in the post pandemic years.

Last week a colleague sent details for the Virtual “Urban Living Lite” festival https://lnkd.in/dDGSUsf taking place throughout this week, so I checked the programme and signed up to some of the webinars!

One that really stood out was titled “Battle of the Asset Classes” and for those of you who didn’t attend you missed out on a great event! This forum featured 7 leading figures were given 5 minutes to pitch how to secure a £100m investment and the audience (myself included) would vote on the winner!

Each panellist put forward compelling arguments and did there utmost to convince us that their asset class would be the best place to invest in the coming years. So, a big thanks to all of those who presented; @Philip Camble (Whitebridge Hospitality), @Harry Douglass (HVS), @Jo Winchester (CBRE), @Ben Davis (Saxbury), @James Pargeter (GAA) @Paddy Allen (Colliers) and @Honor Barratt (Birchgrove).

My choice and the winner in the audience was Honor passionately representing, the Retirement Living sector, who even said if she had £100m she would put £1m into Jo’s Co-living assets but £99m into Senior Living. Why?

Well, we all know the population is aging, that’s a fact. There are lots of older people with large assets/capital and there is an under supply of “age appropriate” housing, Honor noted under 1% are in the right housing compared to circa 6% in other countries in Europe. She also argued it’s an asset class that can never reach peak supply, how its risk is measurable and there is so much potential for growth.
I have been reading reports from Savills / JLL on this sector over the last year and we seem to be right at the bottom of the curve with a very steep hill to climb and this to me (and others) offers huge investment potential and should make up a large part of someone’s portfolio.

One great point put forward by Honor was that this asset was probably the only one where the owner would get the property back in better condition than it was let in… and I know myself as a Private Landlord, this is like gold dust and can have a huge impact on operating costs and maintenance required on a day to day and end of tenancy basis.

As for effect of Covid, the tenants in my own property had to move out when the first lockdown hit as they all worked in hospitality & retail and I have had on/off void periods ever since, which is the first time in over 15 years of owning it… But for the retirement sector, this seems to have had a positive spin as well, with the younger generation realising they can’t or perhaps are not best placed to support their elderly relatives – and high-quality retirement living/care is.

So, in the end Retirement Living won my vote for the immediate future but it was a close call and all have a lot of investment potential. If I was in the fortunate circumstance to have or be in control of £100m of investment then a balanced approach across most of these assets would surely be the best play and I look forward to seeing who is proved right in the coming years!!

As always, I would love to hear your comments or opinions and do get in touch to network or for any help and advice.

Posted by & filed under Blog, Industry News, Opinion.

All industries change and develop but perhaps not at the pace the construction industry has been in recent years. There have been trends and technological advancements which have developed over the course of 2019, but some go back to 2018 and prior. One of these is the rise of prefabricated and modular construction solutions in the UK, and how they impact the world at large. But what is this all about?

What are Prefab and Modular Constructions?

Basically, these particular methods of construction involve working with buildings and structures which have already been partially assembled offsite. So, they arrive in a certain state of readiness, but the difference between prefab and modular is how much of the work has already been done.

Obviously, you can probably begin to identify the benefits of something like this, less time required on site etc. but what else needs to be considered?

Are They Popular?

It’s no secret in the UK construction industry that prefab and modular solutions are rapidly becoming more popular. They seem to be the dominant trend in recent times, and we are seeing more and more buildings and structures put together in this manner.

There are a couple of reasons why this is the case. Obviously, the time it takes to assemble a building like this goes down. When things are put together off-site, it’s not as challenging to get the final product put together. Naturally, it’s quite a bit safer as well, because the risk of weather-related accidents or issues from fatigue go right down.

The fundamental issue that people have with conventional building projects is that it can be incredibly difficult to try and manage resources, time and cost. The issue of manpower and associated costs which come from that make it difficult for people to try and justify taking on a project with such risk. Most businesses/investors want to reduce said risk, and instead opt for something more straight forward and less time-consuming, like a prefab or modular solution. So, it’s easy to see why these modern methods of construction (MMC’s) will only continue to grow in popularity.

So, in conclusion, these are two construction methods which are becoming very popular. They represent a new shift in attitudes towards building in the UK. People now see it as being a more simplified process, with less risk and financial drain. The obvious hope is that people will continue to support this method until such time as it grows and develops past just another trend.

To me it makes sense because it’s just so much easier, or is it? These MMC’s have had their critics… have they addressed the quality concerns, can they address workforce training needs, and can they attain the building certificates on new builds that people clearly want? If they can across the board then these MMC’s will surely soon be the norm?!

Have your say… do you know a lot about Modern Methods of Construction and want to add your view… would love to hear from those in the industry on this hot topic, so those not in the know get more of an insight.

Follow me and Cherry Pick People for news and updates on the construction and development industry here in the UK.

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Advice, Blog, Starting a new Job.

Hopefully you have already set up a LinkedIn profile and are following our company page to keep in touch with all the latest Property & Construction news, latest job postings and recruitment tips and advice. However, if you don’t have an account here are 9 key reasons to get one:

1) Social media plays a huge role in recruitment for potential employers

2) You need to put the effort in to getting your profile 100% complete and looking the best it can, as this is like your shop window for potential employers – an opportunity to really impress!

3) Grow your own personal network, the broader your network, the higher you will rank in other’s search results. This is vital to be successful in any business, “it’s not what you know it’s who you know!”

4) LinkedIn can assist with your career development and help increase your earning potential

5) You can be proactive and approach/connect with people from Companies you want to work for in the future – build your profile with them!

6) Learn from and be inspired by others and how they have developed their careers – analyse their work history to see what they have done.

7) Keep track of your peers – when you see someone doing well it should motivate you to want to improve

8) Deepen your understanding of a company before interviewing or even joining them

9) LinkedIn is a more visual alternative to the traditional CV!

 

How do your other Social Media accounts like Facebook & Instagram affect your career – Social Media Friend or foe for your career?

Posted by & filed under Blog, Industry News, Opinion.

Equality is something that every person on the planet should be striving for. In some areas of life and particularly employment, huge leaps and bounds have already been made in order for women to be seen as equals to their male counterparts. However, there are still some areas where so much more work needs to be done.

This is true for construction.

The construction industry has always been a predominantly male world, mainly because many of the roles require intense physical labour and of course strength. So, does this mean that construction will always be limited in welcoming women?

We don’t think so, in fact, we think that the construction industry could actually benefit from having a female’s touch.

The current standings

So, how does the current climate look for the construction industry? Well, across the industry as a whole, taking the roles that are more admin and design based into account, women make up around 11% of the entire workforce. When you actually look at the building sites themselves, it drops to just 1%.

Compared to the rest of Europe, the UK has the lowest proportion of female engineers, with only 14% of students entering engineering and technology first degree courses being women.

So, why is this?

Of course, the perception is that it is “men’s work” and its mainly manual and requires strength. However, who is to say that women are not able to handle these roles, and of course, the administration, technical, design, engineering and project led vacancies can be just as suitable for women as they are men.

Many women who are currently working in the industry, or have in the past, state that sexism is a real problem. Women, when they do decide to enter the industry are treated worse than their male counterparts and often face comments and low level, seen as playful abuse from their fellow workers.

What can be done?

We know that something needs to happen when it comes to women working in construction, and it seems that it is not just down to leading women to change it. The main thing that needs to be looked at is the perception of the construction industry and women’s place in it. This is particularly true in the new generation of workers, who will be making their decision on where they want to work in the future. So, this is down to the government, schools/colleges, leading employers and industry bodies and recruitment firms to accelerate the pace of change.

Construction should be portrayed as an industry for all, where women and men are treated equally, where there is a range of jobs and skills required, this will encourage more women to enter it as a career. The current working generation need to become positive role models for women looking to enter construction. Having these role models will show other girls and women that it is possible to enter what is perceived as “a man’s world” and start to put construction on the radar as a job of choice.
There is still work to be done to ensure that men and women are equal. However, we are hopeful that the future of construction looks like it might be a touch more feminine than it is at the moment!

If you are a student interested in working in construction, or you are an employer looking to create a more diverse and inclusive environment, please get in touch with me for a chat!

https://unitetheunion.org/what-we-do/unite-in-your-sector/unite-construction-allied-trades-and-technicians/