A mismatch between employer needs and skills which job seekers possess is creating opportunities for workers within Australia’s property sector notwithstanding the slowdown in property industry confidence, according to the latest report.

Releasing its semi-annual report on the professional labour market, recruitment agency Hays says a property sector boom has created a situation whereby employers are struggling to find the right candidates for their roles.

Looking forward to the early part of 2019, Hays says this will continue.

“In the months to June 2019 we expect to see Australia’s property industry talent mismatch between the skills jobseekers possess, and those employers want increase further, following five consecutive years of expansion,” Hays says.

“Additional pressure will be evident as employers look to add highly-skilled professionals to their team.”

Around Australia, demand for skilled employees within the property and real-estate sector has been strong in recent years amid a booming market in residential sales and construction.

Going forward, however, confidence within the sector (whilst high) has deteriorated amid increasing signs of a pull back in house prices and residential construction.

In the latest edition of the quarterly Property Council/ANZ Property Industry Confidence Survey released last week, respondents expressed more subdued levels of confidence about forward prospects than has been the case during any other quarter over the past five years.

This is impacting expectations regarding forward work schedules and staffing levels, which have eased over the past year.

In specific job areas, according to Hays:

  • Demand will be high for Client Side Project Managerswithin Queensland’s defence sector as defence subcontractors increase their headcount for a busy year ahead. Client Side Project Managers who can work on defence and remote housing projects in the Northern Territory are required too.
  • So are Client Side Project Managers with fit-out experience as well as those who can work in the government sector where capital works projects are being delivered.
  • Strong Commercial Leasing Managersare another area of demand.
  • Commercial Property Managersare needed in response to turnover and changes in company portfolios. Assistant Commercial Property Managers are also sought by employers who are overcoming the shortage of Commercial Property Managers by considering experienced Property Managers with a residential background.
  • Commercial and industrial Development and Project Managersare in short supply. Most candidates come from a residential background but employers want people with commercial or industrial experience.
  • In addition, while employers want industrial Property Managerswith previous experience managing a diverse industrial portfolio, most available candidates have retail, commercial or residential experience.
  • Retail is an active market, with refurbishments and developments creating demand for highly experienced Centre and Retail Managers.
  • Retail Property Managersare also sought as centres adapt to meet changing consumer demands.
  • Experienced and well networked Retail Leasing Executivesare required too. This is a high turnover role as candidates consider it to be an entry-level job and will typically progress from agency to in-house roles with major retailers and other asset owners.
  • Turning to the residential market, Residential Property Managersare in high demand in response to the need for low and medium density housing and foreign investment. This is another high turnover job function, which creates a continuous need to replace departing staff.
  • Assistant Residential Property Managersare sought too. Employers look for candidates who can be trained into the role while also performing administration duties.
  • Strata Managersare in continuous demand for new multi-unit developments. Employers who manage medium to high density portfolios want candidates with high-rise experience due to the complex nature of matters within those assets.
  • Assistant Strata Managersare in demand too. Although some strata experience is ideal, candidates with residential property management experience will be considered.
  • Residential Sales Associatesare sought to generate leads for Real Estate Agents.
  • Project Managerswith land subdivision experience are in demand in the development market. So too are skilled Development Managers for estate projects.
  • Acquisitions Managersare a growing area of demand as employers look to strengthen their project pipeline. Suitable candidates must have a track record of buying and acquiring sites. Employers are unwilling to consider candidates coming from a different background, such as valuations.