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Key recruitment trends in housing for 2018

Posted by
22 Jan 2018
The Housing sector is undergoing significant changes as it faces a number of new challenges and opportunities in 2018. External factors, including regulatory reform, plus a demand for new housing outstripping supply are having a profound effect on the sector. I believe the current shortage of housing is forcing providers to consider their roles and responsibilities carefully, and the re-privatisation of housing associations across the UK could help change the landscape for the better.

Key trends for 2018

November’s budget announcement revealed that the government plan to re-privatise housing associations which should give them greater control over their finances, allowing them to raise and acquire funds to develop and build new housing. This should therefore mean housing associations will be able to invest more heavily on important areas such as supported housing, creating new and exciting opportunities for candidates currently working within that sector.

New homes
In 2018 I believe there will be a much greater focus on the building of new homes due to reprivatisation. We are already witnessing an increased demand for specialist consultants and project managers who have the relevant skillsets to support housing associations with the acquisition and disposal of properties and land. As a result of this there is going to be a much larger focus on planned development projects focusing on the development of new and existing developments. This change should create more specialist roles, especially within supported housing.

Homelessness Reduction Act 2017

In addition, the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 has created a renewed focus on homelessness. With it, councils will have more responsibility to provide support to all eligible applicants rather than just those with a priority need.

Therefore we will see a need for more housing homeless prevention officers and housing strategy officers. We are already witnessing the restructure of these departments to make sure they are ready for this new legislation, and I believe this will continue well into 2018.

Need for specialist candidates
With an increase in homes being built and a focus on tackling homelessness there will inevitably be a greater need for very specialist candidates within property and development. Candidates with a commercial background will be the most desirable and candidates with specialist knowledge of homelessness legislation will also be in high demand. 

Challenges our clients and candidates will face 

Grenfell Tower
The Grenfell disaster highlighted substantial areas of negligence in regards to safety of high rise buildings and forced every local authority to carry out assessments and audits. They are now ensuring they have strong rigorous safety procedures in place to ensure this does not happen again, and not just for high rise buildings but for all housing stock. This poses new challenges for housing associations that are already short of resource, and may lead to a greater need for specialist candidates in some areas such as Fire Risk Assessors and Health and Safety Officers.

Lack of funding
Lack of funding will still bring challenges in 2018. Supported housing is always an area at risk with the most vulnerable suffering due to changes and the removal of some services. Long terms risks from Brexit will see it harder for EU nationals to work within the UK which will have an impact on supported housing as many people that work in this area come from abroad. 

Advice to Housing candidates in 2018

Housing candidates today must be adaptable, possess commercial awareness and have the ability to respond to challenging situations creatively. Due to cost cutting measures across the sector, candidates need to be aware that lower rates may be offered than previous years, and they may need to be more flexible. Interestingly, we are seeing a rise in clients and candidates using social media platforms like LinkedIn and social housing website forums to reach out to recruiters, reducing the reliance on the traditional method of job board advertising. Housing professionals should therefore invest their time in LinkedIn, and build up their professional brand to give them an increased chance of securing sought after roles.
If you would like to discuss any of these issues in greater depth, or would like to know more about our work and how we can help you please feel free to contact me by email at or call me on 01332 542580. Alternatively you can view our latest roles here. Latest roles
Tagged In: Housing, Market trends
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