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14th Jan, 2022

Paul Rance
Paul Rance
Job Title
Property and construction expert

The pandemic brought change

2021 was a particularly busy and challenging year for the property and construction sectors, as the demand for housing significantly increased and the construction sector was hit hard by the pandemic and Brexit.

The property market was faced with homeowners reassessing their environment in the search for more space, in a time where mortgage rates were low, and the government supported a stamp duty holiday. Likewise, housing developers were contending with supply chain delays and increased material costs, across the country.

Alongside these challenges, the sectors were adapting to the regular changes in Covid-19 restrictions and health and safety measures. However, despite the disruption, it encouraged the construction industry to reassess their traditional ways of working, as they were forced to adopt new processes and technology, which historically wasn’t a priority in the sector.

This year will see both sectors continue to recover from the pandemic and the changes that have followed. We are seeing an increase in green-skilled positions in the marketplace, such as sustainability officers and low-carbon heating engineers, due to sustainability and the environment now rising to the forefront of government initiatives, as well as being a priority for the new generation of workers.

Skilled talent is sparse

The construction sector is seeing a significant shortage of skilled professionals which is a result of an ageing workforce leaving the sector. Brexit has also resulted in a large number of overseas workers leaving the industry. Ultimately, there’s not enough new talent to fill the vacancies, this coupled with an increased demand for workers has caused a rise in salaries. The gaps in talent span all roles within the sector, from junior to leadership positions.

Employers should consider upskilling their existing workforce, to encourage retention, fill the gaps and help employees feel valued within an organisation. Similarly, embracing technological innovations can change the perception of the sector to Gen Zs and foster an exciting challenge for new talent.

Candidate attraction strategies must shift

A consequence of the limited talent pool is the need for businesses to rethink their candidate attraction strategies, to help drive younger professionals into the field.

Firms should assess their own, and local competitors’, salaries and benefits offerings using our free 2022 property and construction salary guide as a benchmark, to ensure they are competitive, attract and retain the best talent. So, whether you are looking to recruit a site manager or mechanical engineer our guide will help you make the right choices.

Employees are looking for a competitive salary alongside some form of flexibility. Even with the obvious site constraints, employers should look for ways to incorporate flexible working outside the hours that are needed on site. Additionally, professionals in the property and construction sector are also seeking career progression opportunities and an employer that embraces technology. Businesses must look at their current processes and offering to see how they can innovate these to stand out form the crowd.

As part of the guide, we conducted a snap survey of over 500 professionals to investigate what their preferred and current salaries and benefits are. It revealed that annual leave/paid time off was the most popular desired benefit, with two-thirds of respondents stating that they find it attractive – signalling to businesses that adding more days to holiday allowances is a good way to attract staff. Health insurance was ranked highly, with just over half (51%) of respondents listing it in their top-five benefits, while performance bonuses (48%), annual salary increments (45%) and a higher-than-normal pension (44%) also featured prominently in professionals’ top five.

To ensure you maintain your competitive edge or to check your being paid the right amount for the work you do, download our free 2024 salary guides now.