Cracking start to 2012

I have my ears very close to the ground and with a portfolio of clients ranging from a few units a year to a couple of thousand, I’m quite well placed to not only ask some delving questions, but get truthful answers from respected and trusted clients.

So, what’s happening in the market right now? 

It’s busy. In fact, it’s busier now than it has been for quite a while. Sales are up, just about everywhere and housebuilding groups have a desire and hunger to produce more new homes, despite the planning frustrations that exist and have yet to be ironed out. There have been some very encouraging numbers from plc groups, as they report an upturn in volumes and in revenue, leading to better margins.

Some offices are growing and some are at “the bend of the knee”. Teams are stretched with this upturn and I see new opportunities being created to support departments facing overload.

The secret in any business is knowing just when to add those extra bodies before your current workforce get so fed up, they disappear elsewhere.

Are you paying enough? Are you being paid enough? The last few appointments I have been pleased to secure have been surprising. It’s not all about money, but it all helps as they say. There have been some eye opening basic and bonuses being suggested and this because although there are still relatively few jobs around, the clients are demanding a prescriptive set of skills and this means that few will be considered unless their face-fit‘s.

Team dynamics are all important. I’m not going to get into a whole load of recruitment speak, but put simply; If you have the same work ethic and vision as your team, it tends to work well. Things only fall apart because of people’s expectations and management style or underperformance.

Do you have to be a robot to succeed in some organisations? Yes. Some companies don’t want innovation, vision, thought, they want action and action now, their way, not yours. I take for granted that people understand the differing cultures of each housebuilding client, but of course they don’t. So it’s always refreshing for me to assess whether someone is likely to fit in to a team or an organisation.

When things are going well, the little details can be overlooked and not questioned. When things are tough and you are up against it, every little details is under the spotlight. Just make sure that you have everything covered, because if you don’t, you will be under the spotlight and it can be very revealing.

Companies have learnt some lessons from the 2008 horror and one lesson is to the have the right people doing as much as they can to achieve common goals. Some of the issues I get to discuss are:

Don’t fall victim to office crap. Talk to one another instead of emails. Get off your backside and see the person you want to discuss something with if possible. Don’t have meetings for the sake of meetings. Get something done and get it done quickly. See the bigger picture and consider your actions and the effect they have on others, both in the business and externally. We all make mistakes, but make them quickly and don’t repeat them. Do something good for the better of your team and your business everyday. See work as a challenge and to be thought of as someone who contributes, rather than causing obstruction. You can climb the ladder which ever way you wish, but it’s much safer if you have people at the bottom securing it. If you are already at dizzy heights, don’t forget those that helped you get there.

Career advice, Career Planning, Confidential discussions always welcome.

About bestheadhunter

Simon Wilkins is 'The Headhunter' for New Homes and Housebuilding Sector. Former Sales & Marketing Director with Crest Nicholson and Head of Sales Redrow Homes SE. Headhunter with Face-Fit Group and founder of the UK's first Housebuilding Jobs Board in 2008 - www.newhomesjobs.co.uk Clients include: Galliford Try/Linden, Berkeley Homes, Crest Nicholson, Miller Homes, St James, Persimmon, Barratt, Bovis Homes, House Group, Taylor Wimpey, Gladedale, Redeham Homes, Harrison Cowley, Bellway and many more. Specialising in recruitment for all personnel within the housebuilding sector from Chief Executives to Site & Sales Personnel. Newhomesjobs cater for all job disciplines within the housebuilding and new homes sector. I guarantee all placements and to-date have a 100% success rate for every placement made with every client. Specialties: Ethical recruitment, loyal to clients and candidates, extremely confidential and professional. Business is for long-term relationships, not the 'bums on seats' mentality. I guarantee all placements and will never poach staff from a client, ever. An enviable record of success, without the need to refund any client for an abortive assignment. Good value too !
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