As if housebuilders didn’t have enough of a recruitment crisis, they have now been urged to prioritise the recruitment of sales staff.
An analysis by One Way found that agents play a pivotal role in the marketing and sale of new build homes and, currently, firms aren’t developing effective recruitment strategies to target them.
While government targets to build and sell 250,000 new homes every year have been side-lined, affordable housing is still highly sought after, which is driving considerable demand for sales and marketing expertise across the UK.
“With major skills shortages impacting the construction arena the main concern has been who is going to build these homes, and the issue of who will sell them has been pushed to the back burner,” said Managing Director of One Way, Paul Payne. “However, sales and marketing specialists are absolutely crucial and as the UK is in the midst of a development frenzy with new builds shooting up at a rapid rate, without the right hires to sell these houses, firms could make huge losses.”
“These positions hold a huge amount of earning and development potential and currently there’s not enough work being done to promote the importance of them. The nature of the role means that they’re well suited to those who are looking for a flexible working pattern, for example, parents returning to employment, or even those with property experience who are looking to take on additional work outside of traditional working hours.
“Obviously, some knowledge or experience of the field is crucial, as is the ability to build relationships quickly with a range of people, but we’ve seen professionals from across the sales, property and construction arenas take on the positions because of the potential on offer. Firms need to recognise the importance of their sales and marketing agents and look to develop longer term and more robust pipelines into the industry, as currently, the positions are something of a best kept secret.”
Sales and marketing staff are also vital to changing public perceptions of new build properties. In research by Shelter and YouGov, half (51%) of new home owners say they have experienced major problems with their properties including issues with construction, unfinished fittings and faults with utilities.
Bovis homes has also lowered its completion target in a bid to tackle issues with the quality of production. A weakness in its production process and a high level of customer service issues forced the housebuilder to shell out a one-off £7m customer care provision.
With isolated stories such as these hogging the headlines, it’s easy for the public to miss the fact that 85% of new home owners are satisfied with their purchase, according to the NHBC. It is vital that housebuilders hire the right people to counteract misleading stories and deliver the message that Britain is building better homes than ever before.
In April, Show House will be launching an online jobs site for housebuilders and suppliers, giving the industry its most relevant platform to recruit staff across the skill sets and disciplines.
As well as the latest jobs, the recruitment platform will inform and engage the next generation of industry talent, encouraging young people into housebuilding and highlighting the wealth of opportunities in the sector, be it for apprentices, school-leavers, graduates, or as a career change.