As a specialist property recruiter operating across the UK, Foundation Recruitment has noted a significant improvement in market sentiment since the turn of the year. Our clients are particularly keen to recruit younger candidates to bring new vigour and ideas into their organisations. This developing recruitment pattern means that young property professionals now have the luxury of choice when deciding on their next career move. Additional support and guidance for those in the very early stages of their career is therefore of paramount importance.
Foundation Recruitment recently caught up with Karen Rogers (RICS matrics and UK Operations Manager) and Nigel Sellars (RICS matrics Chairman) to find out more about the level of support offered to young property professionals by matrics and what effect the changing market is having on their career decisions.
RICS matrics celebrates its 125th birthday this year and is the largest umbrella group of the RICS. Over such a long period of time, the organisation has seen its fair share of UK recessions. Unsurprisingly, the popularity of RICS matrics increases through difficult economic times. Karen Rogers comments that this trend has continued from 2008 onwards and that “interest in the matrics really peaked during the recession due to the number of doors being opened via networking even with unpaid opportunities to enable candidates to continue with their APC diary”. At Foundation Recruitment we have spoken to a number of graduate surveyors who have volunteered their services to private practices free of charge to get their foot in the door. In many of these instances candidates have eventually secured full time roles through their endeavours. This has been more apparent in the regional market where the recovery is moving at a much slower rate. Nigel Sellars supports this view and comments that “speaking to colleagues in the regions many are still finding it tough to secure roles whereas London does seem to be quite buoyant.”
The property sector is always hit hardest during a recession and many would expect this to have a negative impact on the number of people enrolling onto property related courses. However, rather surprisingly the numbers suggest otherwise. Karen comments that “student numbers when we first hit the recession didn’t drop that drastically until 2012/2013 when we saw a real downturn in numbers. This year’s figures are hot of the press and they have gone back up again. We were 8% down last year and we are now only 1% down on our most affluent year”. This is extremely encouraging as we move into better economic times. It appears that interest in the property sector is on the rise again, meaning there will be greater competition for APC places. The latest figures suggest that only 25% of graduates from property related courses manage to secure a place within a surveying practice.
With competition fierce for that first step on the career ladder, making the right choice is more important than ever. Nigel feels that RICS matrics members are now becoming much more market savvy and comments “The impact of tuition fees and the spike in them has had a big impact on the perspective members of matrics. This has resulted in members being much more attuned to that and focused in terms of what they want from their property career.”
Both Nigel and Karen agree that RICS matrics members seem to be much more positive about where the UK property market is now heading; a definite step in the right direction when compared to 2008. Nigel agrees: “four years ago the industry was a disheartening one with colleagues and other property professionals being made redundant from various firms”.
Aside from numerous networking events throughout the year, RICS matrics also has a big focus on career development. Nigel confirms that “CPD lectures are a big part of what the matrics do and are vital for the members to build up their knowledge.”There is no doubt that RICS matrics plays a significant role in guiding young property professionals through the early stages of their career. Karen confirms that 97% of those who get involved with RICS matrics will pass APC first time – an incredible statistic.
At Foundation Recruitment we speak to a high number of newly and recently qualified surveyors who are actively involved in RICS matrics. We are always happy to provide additional advice with regards to career options and current market conditions. The market is improving and we are extremely well placed to assist in your search for a new career opportunity.