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 Blog, Industry News, Opinion.

I speak to lots of businesses across the property sector, I’ve had different feedback on how the market has been. Lots have reported that property sales have been particularly challenging throughout the year, particularly as we have got close to each Brexit deadline. For example, we’ve seen the lowest October rise in house prices since Oct 2008 (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/oct/21/lowest-october-rise-in-uk-house-prices-since-2008-financial-crisis)

Of course, uncertainty over Brexit has been the key reason we have seen this affect on the market.

This has also caused a number of property developers to push back launches throughout 2019 as they also wait for a decision in Parliament that will bring some confidence to the market.

How this affects the labour market…
As everyone presses “pause” the labour market also stalls. Less opportunities are available so fewer people are moving to new companies.

Despite the fact there are fewer opportunities, we still have a very “candidate-short” market. However, although finding top quality people for your organisation is still extremely difficult, there is less competition for candidates right now as businesses wait to see what happens in Westminster.

Creating a backlog…
This is creating a backlog. The development launches that have been postponed are still there. Companies growth plans are waiting to be realised, they have just been put on hold for a decision.

What happens when the damn bursts?
Once some sort of decision is made – whether it be the current deal presented by Boris Johnson, or a slightly tweaked one from Jeremy Corbyn, or referendum between one of these deals and remain. Then EVERYONE will be looking to hire, ALL at the same time.

This will mean finding, and even more importantly, securing top quality people will be even more challenging than it is right now. There will also be upward pressure on salaries and the offers required to secure those people.

Therefore, the savvy business leaders will be looking to snap up the top talent that is available right now before everyone is in the market.

Just as in property, the time to be active is when demand is down. That’s the time to maximise your investment.

Posted by & filed under Blog, Opinion.

I come across numerous senior people within business lamenting the lack of commitment from millennials. They are seen as a generation with a chip on their shoulder; as those who simply do not know how to graft; people who will give up at the first sign of adversity.

“The kids today aren’t like we were…”

They are thought of as “snowflakes”, as people who are easily offended and who are going to be up in arms at very little.

But is this really true?

Of course, there have been changes in society over the decades and there are some differences in attitude that have developed over the years, but to say a whole generation of people now lack the drive, graft and commitment, is totally inaccurate.

Of course, there are some people who are spoilt and ungrateful – the perennial victims, but there always have been. However, now these people are more likely to have their demands fulfilled.

And I do feel that there is a broader change in behavior in general.

There is definitely a trend towards people changing employment more swiftly and there is certainly a greater demand on businesses to improve their packages and working environments, but this isn’t because people have suddenly become ungrateful in nature.

it’s environment rather than upbringing that is changing behaviour…

The reason we see this change of behaviour, I feel, is because we have had record levels of employment across the economy, even in spite of Brexit. This means people have numerous opportunities available to them. There isn’t the same fear that losing your job means you’ll have no income and won’t be able to pay your rent/mortgage.
Highly talented people can quickly find a new (and potentially better) role.

Rapid innovation of working environments…

With so much choice available to millennials (and all the other generations in employment), ensuring you have the culture and environment to retain your best people is fundamental to business success.
The availability of numerous opportunities coupled with advancements in technology is driving innovation in the work place – the rise of collaborative workspaces, flexible working hours and work from home opportunities, reflect this.
This is a great thing – and if you don’t move with the times you will be left behind.

There are still frustrations for business owners…

Even with the improved working environments, the huge amount of opportunity available to job seekers still means if it very difficult to hire and retain the best people in the business.

Companies need to build a long term “people strategy”. Proactive forward planning, thorough in-depth calculated assessment, and robust internal appraisals and 1-1 procedures in essential to maximising retention.

Do you agree? Really interest to hear peoples thoughts on this topic…

If you are interested in discussing your own recruitment strategies with one of our consultants (whether when growing your team or planning your personal career growth) please feel free to get in touch.

Posted by & filed under Advice, Blog, Opinion.

It is never a nice feeling like you have been rejected, especially when you are at work. Of course, your emotions and that completely irrational person within us is probably shouting that you should completely hulk out on the entire workplace and smash everything to bits. But we all know that in the real world this isn’t the approach to take… plus you might rip your favourite outfit!
You might not believe it, but even the most successful people have, at one point in their lives, had to deal with rejection. The thing that sets them apart from others is how they deal with it and move on.
Feel like you need some inspiration in how to better deal with being told that you are not quite up to scratch? Below is the successful persons guide to dealing with rejection in the workplace.

They remember that this isn’t the only path to take
One of the worst things that you can do when you have been rejected from something is to think that it is all your own fault and that you just weren’t good enough. The thing to always keep in mind is that just because you were rejected, that doesn’t mean it was because you were worthless, it simply means that you were not right for that path. Recognise and remember your own value and instead of thinking that this is the only route to take, take another look at your map.

They take the time to think about what happened
Sometimes rejection can come out of the blue, that you can’t pinpoint where it all went wrong. However, just as likely is that there are things that you could have done differently. Someone who is successful can reflect on what happened and know perhaps where they could have made changes. That doesn’t mean that the rejection was all your fault of course, but it is something that can help you with the future.

They ask for feedback
It isn’t always easy to hear what is wrong with you, but sometimes welcoming feedback is the best way to make yourself better and push yourself to succeed. The feedback might be something that you already know about and want to change, but it could also be something that you may not have even been aware of. The important thing is that you can ask the other person to let you know how they see you.

They then improve
It’s all well and good asking for feedback when you have been rejected, but what you should also then do is think about it and make changes. We can all do with a touch of improvement and if you have taken the giant leap to asking for some feedback, then do something with it. Otherwise you might as well have had your fingers in your ears and shouted la-la-la whilst they were talking to you!
When you are feeling down and you are tempted to hide away from the world, remember that even the most successful people in the world probably had the same hurdles. The only difference with them is rather than buying a large tub of ice cream and grabbing a blanket, they dusted themselves off and set about showing those who rejected them just what they are worth. We can promise you, that it is the best revenge to take!