Owning Your Future – Developing Your Career in the New World Part 1

The Career Landscape Post-Covid

Recently, Greenacre took part in a CIH webinar event, as part of the Owning Your Future 2020 series, which aims to provide a range of professional development tools, expert knowledge and advice to professionals within the housing industry to help provide support to those developing their careers.

As a specialist housing recruitment consultancy operating across the UK, Greenacre’s purpose has always been to identify diverse talent for our customers, helping organisations achieve business ambitions, whilst supporting and developing individuals as they build meaningful careers within the housing space.

We’ve continued to adapt and respond to the changing market, immersing ourselves deeply within industry projects aimed at supporting the sector in a variety of ways, including our own Leadership Programme, developing the sector’s future leaders and equipping them with the tools necessary to navigate the post-Covid business landscape effectively, to lead with confidence and reflect the sector’s values and future aims.

These pathways have helped us develop and carve out our own unique industry space and have allowed us to gain essential insight into the changing needs of both organisations and developing professional future leaders and offer a deeper layer of value. Like organisations, professionals in the jobs market are finding themselves having to adapt and transform how they operate in order to make the most of the emerging opportunities and navigate the new recruitment processes and practices.

So how have things changed post-Covid, and how are we, as an industry, adapting? Daniel Short, Greenacre’s Managing Director and Barry Forsythe, Manager of Greenacre’s Midlands branch, gave us the heads up.

The landscape

The current jobs market has been undergoing rapid transformation with a number of technological advances and updated work practices, but most importantly, due to Covid 19, has forced organisations to work differently, requiring them to attract new skills and think differently.

These changes mean that for those breaking through into their chosen careers there is a lot to consider. The way we understand the jobs market and identify the right environment for us as individuals, how we update our CVs to make them stand out from the crowd, how we prepare ourselves for virtual interviews and how we build our online profile to represent who we are to best effect are all swiftly transforming.

The housing jobs market in a post covid world and transforming opportunities

Market conditions have been erratic and unstable since the pandemic first took hold at the beginning of the year and those organisations who were able to respond and adapt quickly and flexibly, rather than simply react hastily, have seen the most success in retaining their workforce, supporting their staff and sustaining their position.

Skills in demand now have a strong emphasis on technical awareness and commercial acumen, with a solid social, customer centred focus, and a creative mindset, along with the ability to adapt and transform to the shifting business landscape. Top skills which are in greatest demand right now are:

  • Those who can work flexibly and can adapt to change
  • Creative thinkers to identify new ways of working
  • Analytical thinkers to draw insight from data
  • Relationship skills to work collaboratively and break down silos
  • Emotional intelligence to build the right culture, motivate and lead through change

A different landscape for job seekers

Conducting and attending interviews have shifted online, and with that comes a different set of rules. The way organisations interview candidates demands a slick and coordinated approach, which relies heavily on technology being up to date and reliable. Candidates now need to prepare for interviews in a different way, becoming more aware of how they are perceived through a screen and how they need to prepare in order to best showcase their unique strengths, as well as ensuring they understand how to present themselves effectively with limited body language.

We’ve provided some expert tips and advice on preparing for virtual interviews as candidates in the Recruitment section of our Insights page.

Video applications are also becoming more common, with prospective candidates using more creative ways to stand out and be noticed, and some organisations requesting video submissions to better get to know candidates as part of the shortlisting process.

Diverse cultures and agile working are driving employability

As remote working encourages the job searcher to focus less on geographical location and more towards flexible roles, a bigger emphasis is being given to culture and purpose, with many organisations fast placing diversity and inclusion at the top of their agenda, and attempting to find new ways to widen their talent pool. As well as being ethically and morally right, this drive brings great benefits to organisations, and there is a strong business case for those who embrace diverse and inclusive cultures, and even greater results when combined with adopting an agile workforce. Many talented candidates who may have previously not felt a role was right for them, for instance based on distance, gender, race, disability or any other reason, are now finding they are being actively sought out as their value is being more clearly recognised and more equally visible.

In the current jobs market, if a candidate has the skills and ability for a particular a role, has passion and drive and an adaptive and responsive mindset, there should be few barriers standing in their way. Even for those who don’t necessarily have all the experience an organisation is looking for, it is becoming far more important now to have the right attitude, values and mindset that align with organisational aims.

Collaborative Ventures

There are many skills that are transferable from other industries too, and the housing sector is openly welcoming out of sector experience to add value, creativity and a fresh perspective to traditional processes. To take a quote from Hannah Harvey at our recent Eastern Leaders 2020 Masterclass: “It’s an exciting time in the sector, with lots of mergers and collaborations, reinforcing vigour and drive in the sector. For the first time individuals and teams can genuinely make a significant difference, because for the first time people really understand commercial and social collaborations. We are all in the same business. If we can all drop our boundaries and work inclusively together then we are in for a really successful future.”

This is a time of great transition, and it’s really up to us as individuals to become part of the transformation process and to help shape the industry and set the scene for the future.

If you’re not a member of CIH already, it’s well worth considering joining, as this gives you access to a wealth of industry knowledge, qualifications, training events and opportunities to develop your housing career in the new world.

In part two, we will talk about how candidates are carving out their own professional online presence to stand out from the crowd post-Covid, and the importance of establishing and maintaining your online personal brand at a time most of our work activity and professional presence is transferring, at least for the foreseeable future, online.

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Greenacre Recruitment are corporate members of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) and operate within its code of professional practice, adhering to the highest standards of recruitment professionalism.

Greenacre Recruitment are a recognised ‘Disability Confident’ employer, and we believe diversity drives innovation. We are committed to ensuring our recruitment processes are inclusive and accessible to all.