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I think we all know that we are in a global recession, so, any strategy — including a people strategy — won’t have the budgets they did when the economy was growing. BUT, that doesn’t mean you have to ignore a people strategy; it requires creativity to develop and implement. Here are some of my ideas/advice to consider this year…

Defer Cash Incentives…
During a downturn, keeping your cash flow healthy is essential for businesses. That often means you’ll have to find a creative alternative to cash bonuses.
Offering shares in the company is one way to delay cash bonuses until the economy rebounds and can work depending on the company’s structure.
For smaller companies, there’s the option to barter with other small companies to replace cash incentives.
The cheapest incentive that could be considered would be to offer additional paid time off.

Consider Making Remote Work Global…
During recessions, you want to offer other incentives that could make up for not being able to offer top talent, industry-leading remuneration.
For most employees, irrespective of their role, working remote in this new way of working, is enough of a benefit that a cut in compensation may be tolerable. You can add to that benefit by enabling talent to work abroad, provided they’re in the same time zone or meet certain KPIs. In addition, expanding your talent search across the globe can often make compensation more attractive.

Know Your Cash Peaks and Troughs…
Many businesses have cash flow seasons (us included), even if they aren’t in seasonal industries! Understanding your cash flow trends can give HR the ability to build projects around the influx and prepare for the slumps.

Match People Goals to Business Goals…
Rather than have your HR goals and projects separate from your business goals, ensure they are both entwined and support the other.
If your goals are to reduce expenses, consider implementing a strategy that identifies and supports your top performers, as that’s often where you can draw the most value without additional expense.

The most important aspect of developing a people strategy during an economic downturn is to communicate financial constraints to your HR teams.
Instead of instructing HR on what to cut, allow the team to be creative and utilise their expertise to meet the targets that you set.
People are most firm’s biggest asset. Identifying the right people to get on the bus is obviously key, but not only keeping them on the bus but continuing to engage and get the best out of them is vital to drive success through and out the other side of this downturn.
If you want some advice or to explore any of the key points raised here, please do reach out and book a time to chat.

Posted by & filed under Advice, Blog.

There is one simple thing everyone needs to get right when creating a Linked in Profile – create a stand out summary, known as the “About” section!  This is the first key step to expanding your professional network. This is your digital introduction and a first impression (like a handshake or first words spoken when in person) it NEEDS to grab the attention of anyone your trying to attract, be it potential employers or other movers and shakers, and it will only do so IF it is unique and compelling!

So, what does a good “about” section include?  Follow these 5 key principles and you will be on the right track!!

1.        Focus on your Audience

Who do you want to find, read and value in your LinkedIn profile? Answer this before you start writing this section.

If you’re searching for a promotion, industry pivot, new business or a new venture, consider who could assist and craft a summary that makes them “want” you!

2.        Embrace Authenticity, Honesty and Brevity

This is not the time to tell white lies or exert your dominance or superiority. The latter is off-putting, and the former destroys any rapport-building opportunities you had. A better choice is to write about your experience, what you bring to the team, business or industry and why you’re “passionate” about what you do!

Be brief. No need to elaborate on every claim you make

If you become long-winded, remove what doesn’t compel you to continue reading.

3.        Be Personable

To ensure your LinkedIn profile doesn’t appear auto-generated, which has become a thing, add your persona to the copy. This isn’t the same as a CV summary, so there’s room to be humorous and light-hearted without losing your professional essence and etiquette.

When adding your personality to your writing, the trick is to show and not tell.

Rather than adding descriptors like “friendly” or “funny,” add brief anecdotes.

4.        Explain the Work You Do

Those in your field should have a general understanding of what you do, but explaining this allows you to target keywords that will help your profile appear in search results. Another benefit to explaining what you do is providing clarity. As job titles change, a concise account of what you do can answer any ambiguity surrounding a job title…

5.   Develop Your Closing Line

The final sentence in your profile summary should be the most compelling, a line that will drive action and increase engagement.

Talk about what motivates you, the mottos that inspire your work ethic, or summarize your vision.

And it goes without saying, but before you publish it, spell check and correct grammar – it’s amazing what you see!!!

So, there we have it.. my 5 key principles to follow when writing your summary – it’s not hard!
Get onto this today, whether your new to linked in or whether you’re a business owner who wrote there’s 5 years ago when first joining… a lot has changed in recent years and no doubt so have you!  Keep it fresh!

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

Between February and March this year, the unemployment rate fell to 3.7%, the lowest it has been in 50 years. Job vacancies have remained well over the million mark, reaching 1.3 million in the first quarter of this year. While these figures were exciting news for the country’s economic rebound in a post-pandemic world, employers were seeing the figures as an obstacle. The rising vacancy rate meant that companies were enduring greater competition to secure top-tier talent, as job-seekers have far more opportunities.

But with recent developments across this summer in the socio/political and financial situations in the UK is there still a “War for Talent”?

Earlier this year the issue wasn’t only evident among specialised, senior, C-suite vacancies — it extended to entry-level jobs as well. Companies and their internal talent teams needed to headhunt to fill vacancies, a process that can often become a time consuming battle. Recruitment agency and search consultancy were inundated with requirements… but is this still the case?

In short, yes…

In our sector however, businesses in real estate, construction, and “proptech” could appreciate the industry’s 3.2% vacancy rate back in May 22, 80 base points less than the country’s average 4% vacancy rate.

Although the industry’s figures provided a glimmer of hope that the “war” won’t be as cutthroat, there was another obstacle in the way, compensation rises!

In the real estate industry, when the search for talent commences, expertise and experience are still being prioritised, as perhaps they should. However, with a diminishing pool of talent, traditional employers only have a handful of perks to attract their ideal candidate or future leader – so compensation and is still taking centre stage.

Across all industries, compensation increased by 4.2% between February and March this year. Despite the rise, this figure isn’t enough to outpace the skyrocketing cost of living, meaning, in real terms, pay dropped by 1.2% in the first quarter and with figures yet to be released this drop could be significantly more in the last two quarters…..

These concerns aside, it’s not all doom and gloom as we reach the end of September. Companies in the built environment can still hire the right candidate without lowering expectations and forking over tenfold what you were anticipating.
Instead, in this war for talent, you can attract your ideal candidate by highlighting some of the other benefits of working for your company – but what are they and have you reviewed this since the pandemic ended?

A lot of firms in our sector haven’t grasped the opportunity that the pandemic presented. A lot haven’t modernised, moved with the times and thought about how they could attract and retain talent over and above compensation and an interesting job role. People in our sector are wanting more in this post pandemic world and if they don’t get it, lots are exiting our fantastic industry and going elsewhere!! But there is still time to act now and those that do, will be able to attract and engage key talent and the future leaders of the industry.

Some benefits or other reasons why top talent will engage with your firm include:
– time off
– the work environment
– hybrid working
– increased flexibility
– working hours
plus a range of other company benefits and much more.

Do you want you, your business and your vacancies to stand out from the crowd? If so, as we teeter on the edge of a potential recession, our team can help you discover some of the benefits of working for your company, making your vacancy a magnet for the best talent.

Sidestep the “war for talent” and fight your way out of whatever downturn we go through by making your opportunities and company something that people just can’t ignore.

James Hanson
29th September 2022

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We’re running an exciting survey right now in partnership with Unissu looking at global innovators in real estate.

With the deadline to complete the survey looming on Friday April 8, I wanted you to have a chance to take part before it’s too late. Please click this link. It only takes around seven minutes to complete.


Working on this project set me thinking about innovation and technology in the global real estate sector and wondering about the other factors that will be the drivers for change and improvement in future.

Industries as diverse as finance, logistics and retail are implementing technology at an accelerating rate, driven by the epic impact of the pandemic on workplaces and buying habits.

Why then have the real estate and construction industries been slow in comparison to adopt new technologies?  One reason is that the property sector has been buoyant, and there are traditionalists in many boardrooms who still think if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

But that is changing. The pandemic has literally transformed the way businesses work from Zoom meetings to hybrid offices and automation. Seeing the changes around them, senior people in real estate firms are increasingly interested in the potential of PropTech and other technologies to effect change.

For real estate, as with businesses everywhere, getting the right tech stack in place looks crucial to keeping up with competitors and gaining those vital per centages that may give you the edge.

And there is a huge variety of tech for the real estate market. It includes AI, CRM systems, property or project management systems, finance tools, search platforms, drone technology, virtual reality, asset utilisation, 24/7 insights, communication tools, data collection, digital contracting and automation of paperwork.

Choosing the right tech partners and driving adoption with the right people are both going to be game changers, which leads me to the other major factor for success in future – talent.

Without the right people in place, businesses will miss growth targets and fall behind competitors who are better able to hire and retain the best people.

We believe that technology and talent already go hand in hand and that will be increasingly true in the property and construction industries. Our survey is designed to uncover the extent to which businesses are buying into people who are driving innovation through technology.

Competition for those people is likely to become intense. Across job titles, it is already a candidates’ market with talented candidates having unprecedented choice of new roles and the biggest salary inflation I have seen since I began working in recruitment.

But money isn’t everything. Talented people are also looking for excellent benefits packages, and they put remote, hybrid or flexible working as one of their top three factors when choosing which role to accept.

The last two years have also seen a lot of change at Cherry Pick People as they have for our clients. We have adopted a hybrid working model in consultation with our staff. We have also embedded three new pieces of technology, and we are reviewing others with a view to implementing several of them in the coming months.

So, technology is a fundamental factor in the future of real estate. That is why the innovators who are driving digital transformation are going to be at the forefront of the best global real estate firms over the next decade.

Getting the right people in place to champion change will be vital. It’s about more than hiring people who are tech-savvy. Firms will need teams of people across the business who will utilise technology, learn it, train people in it and push it internally.

I would love to hear your views. What are you seeing out there?

If you are a leader or innovator driving digital transformation in your business, please input into our survey. Remember that the closing date is Friday April 8 so please take part today.


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 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.