What should the property industry do to attract the 'TikTok' generation?

Recruitment issues can be overcome by doing more to appeal to these audiences

What should the property industry do to attract the 'TikTok' generation?

The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) said the recruitment process in the property industry must be improved to better appeal to today’s TikTok generation as the way people communicate, along with their expectations from employment, is changing.  

The AIIC stressed that the younger generation is used to video and online content that is easy to digest, and recruitment issues can be overcome by doing more to attract these audiences.

Recent statistics show that after the pandemic, there was a 77% increase in companies offering flexibility. Prior to this, only 46% of companies offered flexible working. Now, this figure has risen to 82%.  

According to Daniel Evans, chair of the AIIC, the property industry has been slower to adapt to change compared to other industries.  

“When it comes to recruiting, more flexible working opportunities need to be included and advertised to meet the interests of potential candidates,” he said. “By being upfront at the start of the recruitment process about what flexible working looks like at the company, the incentives, and training on offer, candidates can get a better understanding about what the role has to offer them.”  

Evans added that a wide range of characteristics and skills are required to thrive in the property industry, but for many of those operating in the sector, qualifications aren’t mandatory or even particularly encouraged.  

“While this has its advantages in lowering the barrier to entry, and meaning new talent can be recruited without specific qualifications, thereby speeding the process up, it also has the downside of a less-qualified and specialised workforce,” he pointed out. “People joining the property industry needed to be motivated by a sense of pride, and have the qualifications to back this up, rather than the industry being viewed by some as a last resort.”

Read more: UK finance firms face ‘painful’ process.

Evans said ensuring that the next generation is appropriately qualified will also help improve both the professionalism of the sector and the public perception of the industry.

“This, in turn, will make a job in the property industry more appealing and attractive, and open the doors to a younger generation in the same way that construction is increasingly managing.”  

AIIC said that the property industry has faced issues in terms of attracting the best young talent in recent years, despite various efforts to improve this.

That is why, Evans stated, there should be a more targeted effort to reach the younger generation, who have grown up in a digital, online world, and expect more in terms of work-life balance and incentives to mitigate lower or stalled salaries and cost-of-living pressures.

“This could involve more property adverts on social media – not just LinkedIn or Twitter, but Instagram or TikTok or Snapchat, or the next big social media giant on the block,” Evans said. “It could mean employers needing to offer more incentives in an increasingly competitive jobs market. It could mean more focus on ESG.

“Recruitment has increasingly become an online beast in recent years – most people now search for jobs online in the same way they search for houses, hotels of theatre tickets – and more of the process involved with employing someone is now online-based, but more could still be done.

“This generation, as many lazily say, is not entitled or wanting it all, but they will expect recruitment to move with the times. The property industry needs the next generation of talent to come through, to drive through potentially choppy waters with innovation and clever-thinking, so it pays to put a bit more effort into targeting this talent early on.”