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NAAEI Apartment Jobs Snapshot Q1 2022


The apartment industry continued its robust performance in Q1 2022. As a result of surging demand and occupancy rates, the demand for multifamily talent stood strong. In this edition of NAAEI’s Apartment Jobs Snapshot, job openings in the apartment industry totaled over thirty-eight thousand. Maintenance professionals were the most sought after during the first quarter, accounting for 37.7% of total apartment job postings. Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver and Phoenix were the top-ranking markets for apartment job demand.When you neglect to publish, you create a domain effect of despair that begins every time you look at your followers. And when you post, you don’t get any likes or comments, making you feel like you’re just posting empty content.

Only 7.8% of US Job Postings Currently Include Salary Data | SpiderMount


In our last post, we discussed how to optimize job posts for Google for Jobs. The other key party to optimize for, of course, is job seekers. Job boards can do a lot to improve UX for job seekers who come to their site – but for best results, they need employers to provide key information that applicants care about.

Maybe the most important piece? Salary data.

Unfortunately, most employers still aren’t including salary data in job listings. In fact, we recently analyzed more than 6.8 million jobs in our JobsIndex and found that only 7.8 percent included salary data.

The good news: employers can stand out from the pack by adding salary information now. Here are three key points to communicate to your customers to encourage them to include salary information in job listings so they can attract the best applicants.

1. Workers Want Salary Information

In a survey of more than 5,000 job seekers conducted last fall, 62 percent said that salary data would persuade them to apply for open positions. In fact, salary information was the most important thing to online applicants – ahead of waiving a cover letter and offering a sign-on bonus.

That’s particularly important given that the US currently has a four percent unemployment rate, which is what economists consider “full employment.” Combined with the ongoing “Great Resignation,” in which many employees are rethinking what they want from a job – and leaving their current roles to get it – employers should take the desire for pay data seriously.

Employers are often hesitant to publicize salary data for many reasons. They may think it lessens their negotiating power or forces them to pay candidates more than they might have otherwise. And in recent years (starting during the Great Recession) keeping salary ranges private was the norm.

But the employment landscape has shifted. Unemployment is low and workers have more negotiating power than they did a decade ago. If your customers haven’t yet recognized this reality, you may want to highlight a few points about the value of posting salary data:

It saves time. No more lengthy resume reviews, interviews, and test projects only to find out that employer and applicant aren’t aligned on salary expectations.

It signals that you’re a transparent organization. Employers know what a given position’s work is worth to their organization. They can signal that they value employees by being upfront about it.

It attracts busy jobseekers. Your client’s ideal applicant may already be employed. If a recruiter reaches out with a listing, that candidate is much more likely to engage if they see a salary number that meets their expectations.

Beyond these benefits, though, including salary data helps organizations achieve bigger goals.

2. Posting Salary Info Improves Equity

Studies show over and over that keeping salaries secret hurts women and BIPOC workers, who are less likely to negotiate for higher salaries and, when they do, are likely to ask for less money than their white male counterparts.

That’s really important given that companies with more diverse teams – and especially more diverse leadership teams – outperform their more homogenous peers.

The takeaway: posting salary data can help companies attract and retain the kinds of teams that lead to better bottom-line performance.

What’s maybe most compelling here is that including salary ranges in job postings is easy. While much of the work of improving diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout an organization is complex and ongoing, adding salary data to job postings is a simple, immediate way to make progress.

3. Posting Salary Data on Job Listings May Soon Be the Law

While there’s a clear business case for including salary data in job postings, some companies may also be legally required to do it.

In Colorado, employers have been required since January 2021 to include salary data in their job postings. That’s probably why Colorado has the highest percentage of job listings with salary data (see Figure 1), but employers still aren’t universally complying. In fact, only about 27 percent of live Colorado job listings actually include salary data.

Starting in April, New York City will require salary ranges in all postings of jobs, promotions, and transfers.

And many other states (including Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Washington) require disclosure of salary range upon applicant’s request. Nevada employers must provide salary range regardless of whether a candidate asks.

Make sure your clients are aware of these regulations to help them avoid fines and penalties.

Figure 1: Percentage of jobs that include salary data by state

Guide Your Clients to Better-Performing Job Postings

Job boards help their clients fill vacancies by formatting listings, attracting applicants, and promoting open roles. To really deliver what job seekers want, though, they need key information from employers – including salary data.

If you’re looking for ways to communicate to your clients how including salary data in their postings can help them stand out among the millions of listings out there at any given time, feel free to pass along this post.

If you’d like to learn more about our JobsIndex tool, which delivers tailored feeds of jobs information to populate job boards, get in touch.

The Common Characteristics of Millenial Professionals

Believe it or not, recruitment and copywriting go together like cheese and crackers. 😋
Fundamentally, they both aim to sell something to an audience through communications and creating an experience.
Marketing sells products and services to consumers while recruiting is trying to sell a role to a candidate.
However, asking a recruiter to grasp the art of writing high-quality content is a major challenge.
The writing must stand out against the crowd whilst attracting the same candidates as the competition.
You must sell the role but be very concise and factually accurate.
In this blog, we explore the four key elements of recruitment copywriting to ensure your job ads, descriptions and communications hit the spot.

What is Recruitment Copywriting? 🤔

If you didn’t know already, copywriting is a profession that creates and produces written content for marketing and advertising purposes.
It’s widely regarded as one of the most crucial elements of any campaign.
Now, throw this in with recruitment, and you will get job ads, social media posts, careers blogs, website content, and candidate communications.
In recruitment, copywriting impacts the way candidates respond to your job ads and can influence their decision to accept an offer or not.
To successfully marry recruitment and copywriting, you must consider the tone, the audience, the me and the structure.
Let’s explore these in more detail below.

Copywriting for Recruiter Tips ✍

💡 The Tone

The key to all good content is using the right tone of voice.
You must be willing to wear many hats and adapt the way you address each candidate, depending on the job role, the industry and the type of communication.
For instance, adopting a creative and playful style for a senior role at a financial organisation will make the employer you’re representing look unprofessional.
Similarly, if you keep things formal and use long, heavy sentences for a role at a fun and vibrant agency, you’ll instantly sap the life out of the brand.
Think about your audience and address them in a way that will resonate.

💡 The Audience

Knowing your audience is an integral part of recruitment copywriting.
Sure, you might know what type of professional your client is after, but do you know what makes them tick?
What are their behaviours?
How do they like to be addressed?
Once you establish this deeper understanding, you’ll be able to adapt the tone and personalise the message.
Ask yourself this, do you prefer it when a candidate submits a personalised CV and cover letter for a role?
Or do you like a templated version?
The truth is personalisation works both ways.
No, you can’t include a candidate’s first name in a job ad. However, you can think about:

  • What will your ideal candidate be looking for in a role?
  • What benefits are important for them?
  • What search terms will they be typing into Google?

The next step is to invest in modern automation tools, such as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
Solutions like this enable you to log candidate data and send relevant nurture emails accurately.
It’s the perfect way to keep your agency top of mind and entice passive candidates to take a leap of faith.

💡 The “Me”

Whether you’re selling a product or a role, people will always think about what’s in it for them.
In today’s digital world, we’re inundated with content and job adverts.
That’s why it’s vital to create content that appeals to skim readers.
Most proactive candidates will look through dozens and dozens of jobs every day.
So, they don’t have the time to read every ad, word for word.
The key to recruitment copywriting success is to always lead with your employee value proposition (EVP).
In other words, the content and visuals highlight the value a candidate can expect from a role.
Ideally, you want your target audience to know why other candidates decide to work for your client’s business, what makes them stay, and what makes the said business different from its competitors.

💡 The Structure

When it comes to writing a job advert or any other form of recruitment content, the structure doesn’t always spring to mind.
Nevertheless, research recently revealed that the average human attention span has dropped to eight seconds.
For context, that’s a 25% decrease in the space of a few years!
The solution?

  • Keep your paragraphs between two and three lines.
  • Use bullet points to break up bigger sections.
  • Include headings to split up job ad text.

Outsource all Recruitment Copywriting 🤙

If you’re still not feeling confident about recruitment copywriting, you can always outsource the process.
The good news is with AdBuilder is that you can create fully optimised job advert content in less than ten minutes!
Just fill out a few basic details, and this innovative SaaS platform will provide job ad content in four different styles. It’s consistent, automated and effective.
To learn more, go to our website.

The Common Characteristics of Millenial Professionals

 – 
Senior Reporter, The Playbook,

Are you planning to post a job opening online? Avoid the terms “guru,’ “wizard” or “ninja.”

Those words are among the terms jobseekers dislike the most, according to a survey by invoicing software firm Skynova. “Competitive” and “challenge” round out the list of the words most likely to turn off jobseekers.

The survey comes as the era of “The Great Resignation” continues unabated. The number of Americans quitting their jobs in November rose to 3% — matching the all-time record first hit in September 2021. That means 4.5 million Americans voluntarily quit their jobs, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That’s why invoicing software firm Skynova surveyed more than 1,000 workers on what they like about job postings. The firm also ran a test to see which alternate versions of one job posting did better. Skynova also analyzed 180 recent job postings from a diverse range of job types.

“Crafting an attractive and ideal job posting is critical for businesses right now. Listing salary ranges, instead of fixed salaries, and other negotiation tactics that businesses use to stay competitive may be harder in the current climate,” said Joe Mercurio, a project manager working on behalf of Skynova. “The ongoing issues with the labor shortage and the Great Resignation have given jobseekers the ability to be more selective with the positions they’re applying for.”

Workers ranked listing a salary as the most important item in a job description, followed by benefits and responsibilities. For job postings with a fixed salary, about 72% of those surveyed would respond. When a salary range is listed, only 57% were likely to respond.

“While it’s not entirely clear, job postings with a salary range may come off as a negotiation tactic that jobseekers are unwilling to entertain. Additionally, jobseekers may be compelled to apply for jobs without a salary listed at all in the hope that it may be a competitive figure,” Mercurio said.

Meanwhile the top terms that give jobseekers a positive impression of the job include the words “growth,” “challenge,” “creative,” “motivated” and “flexible.” About 52% of jobseekers feel job postings ask too much from candidates, according to Skynova.

And while two-thirds of job postings mentioned whether or not remote work was offered, only 8% listed it as an actual option.

“As more businesses offer remote options to their employees, it’s important for businesses seeking new hires to consider remote positions to remain competitive,” Mercurio said.

The focus on remote work as a way to gain an edge on other companies in the hunt for talent comes as the number of high-paying remote jobs continues to skyrocket, according to research by jobs site Ladders. Ladders tracked remote-work data from North America’s largest 50,000 employers for jobs that pay more than $80,000 per year. Prior to the pandemic, only about 4% of those jobs were remote, but that jumped to 9% by the end of 2020. By the end of 2021, the figure doubled again to 18%.

Ladders previously predicted that more than a quarter of high paying jobs will be remote by the end of 2022. The surge in remote work occurs as companies look ahead to 2022 to make tangible decisions and strategic choices about the their future workplace. Many are choosing a hybrid route that will require employees to be in the office a set number of days a week. Some, such as accounting giant PwC, are opting for permanent remote work.

Regardless of what they choose, it’s not as simple as taking an existing company culture and grafting it onto a hybrid or permanent remote strategy, said Rebecca Ryan, an economist and founder of Next Generation Consulting Inc. Click here for more about how companies should plan for remote work in 2022.

Meanwhile, software developer, registered nurse, psychiatrist and digital marketing specialist topped a separate list of the best jobs for remote work in 2022. Developers make an average of $114,704 per year and nurses $79,533, according to a study by telecommunications company Ziply Fiber that analyzed average salaries and projected annual job opening for remote and in-person positions, as well as salary data from job board Indeed and U.S. News. Click here for the full list.

The Common Characteristics of Millenial Professionals

Millennials, or members of Generation Y (also known as Gen Y) were born between 1982 and 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census Bureau estimates that there are 83.1 million millennials in the U.S., and the Pew Research Center found that millennials surpassed baby boomers (boomers) to become the largest living generation in the United States in 2016.

Millennials are separated from the older generation before them (Generation X) and the generation that followed them (Generation Z).
Millennial Characteristics

As expected by their birth years, the Millennial generation makes up the fastest growing segment of the workforce. As companies compete for available talent, employers simply cannot ignore the needs, desires, and attitudes of this vast generation. As with each generation that preceded it, Millennials have come to be defined by a set of characteristics formed mainly by the world and culture they grew up in. Here are a few of their common characteristics.

Millennials are Tech-Savvy

Generation Y grew up with technology, and they rely on it to perform their jobs better. Armed with smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets, this generation is plugged in 24/7. They like to communicate through email, text messaging, and whatever new social media platform (i.e., Twitter, Instagram) friends and colleagues are using. This is a generation that can’t even imagine a world without the internet or cell phones.

Millennials Are Family-Centric

The fast-track lifestyle has lost much of its appeal for millennials. The members of this generation are willing to trade high pay for fewer billable hours, flexible schedules, and a better work/life balance. Although older generations may view this attitude as narcissistic or see it as a lack of commitment, discipline, and drive, Millennials have a different idea of workplace expectations. Millennials usually prioritize family over work, and even those who aren’t married with children feel the need to be a part of a family and spend time with nieces, nephews, and siblings.

Millennials Are Achievement-Oriented

Nurtured and pampered by parents who didn’t want to make the mistakes of the previous generation, millennials are confident, ambitious, and achievement-oriented. They also have high expectations of their employers, tend to seek new challenges at work, and aren’t afraid to question authority. Generation Y wants meaningful work and a solid learning curve.

Millennials are Team-Oriented

While growing up, most Millennial boys and girls participated in team sports, playgroups, and other group activities, whether it was soccer or ballet. They value teamwork and seek the input and affirmation of others. Millennials are the true no-person-left-behind generation, loyal and committed. They want to be included and involved.

Generation Y Craves Attention

They appreciate being kept in the loop and often need frequent praise and reassurance. Millennials may benefit greatly from mentors who can help guide and develop their talents. This is where the boomers come in handy because (though mostly retired), they have something to offer and see mentoring millennials is one way they can continue to contribute to the workforce.

Generation Y Is Prone to Job-Hopping

A potential downside of Generation Y workers is that they’re always looking for something new and better. It’s not uncommon for a millennial to stay with a firm for only two or three years before moving on to a position they think is better. The resumes you receive from millennial job seekers will undoubtedly demonstrate this peppered job history.

Don’t discount members of this generation just because they’ve worked for several firms—these young employees bring with them a variety of experiences. Unlike previous generations, they do not take a job and then hold onto it for as long as humanly possible. Instead, they go out and create a new app or fund a trendy start-up.

The Bottom Line About Millennials

Generation Y possesses many characteristics that are unique in comparison to past generations. They tend to be excited about their jobs, and they will work hard and efficiently. They might approach their superiors as equals more so than previous generations, but companies can take steps to draw a line between supervisor and friend. When that line is drawn, millennials will not only work tirelessly for you, but they will show you the respect due to a supervisor with many years experience.

The Millennial Takeover: How the Generation is Shaking up the Workplace

By 2025, more Millennials than Boomers will be in leadership positions across all industries. Here’s how ‘the kids’ will aim to instill change.
In the next five years, the U.S. workplace is poised to experience a changing of the guard.

 

The majority of Baby Boomers, now in their upper 50s, 60s, and lower 70s, will be well into retirement age. Their vacated executive positions and managerial roles will most likely be filled by up-and-coming Gen Xers and Millennials, if they haven’t already.

Currently the largest living generation in the U.S., by 2025 Millennials will account for 75 percent of the American workforce. While their habits as consumers often get maligned in the media for bringing about decline in industries and products as wide-ranging as napkins, cable TV, soda, razors, golf, mayonnaise, traditional weddings, department stores, starter homes, and “breastaurants,” what they bring to the table—rather than take off it—deserves more of the limelight.

Love them or hate them, here are major cultural shifts you can expect to see in the workplace as more Millennials take charge.

Mission-driven brands

While the jury is still out on whether Millennials are more or less brand loyal than preceding generations (some studies say they are, some say they aren’t, and some say it depends on the product category), one thing is for certain: Millennials value brands that demonstrate authenticity, and that authenticity is shown by remaining true to a cause.

This is the case for both patronage and workplace preference. Millennials want to buy from and work for businesses that have a purpose at their core. A job is no longer just about a paycheck and putting food on the family table; for Millennials, it’s very much about purpose, with 75 percent saying they want their personal values to align with their company’s values and are even willing to take a pay cut to work for a value-aligned company.

Co-authors John Izzo and Jeff Vanderweilen call it the forthcoming “Purpose Revolution.” Employees, customers and investors are increasingly looking beyond a company’s bottom line to ask how it’s making the world a better place. In the age of social good, the line between for-profit and not-for-profit becomes less rigid, and brands like TOMS, Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia and Warby Parker are all lead actors, as they put their social corporate responsibility front and center, a scorecard against which the world can judge their success. Expect Millennials to continue wearing their social causes on their sleeves as they move up the ranks and have a greater say in shaping their own company’s mission.

Empathetic leadership

Another area in which you can expect to see Millennials making change is in leadership style. Fading are the days of the corporate strongman, whose word becomes instant workplace policy, and whose authority is derived solely by title or position.

It could be the result of growing up in a postmodern era, but many Millennials are very aware, and skeptical, of power dynamics, and tend to see legitimate authority as earned rather than assumed. Consequently, Millennials respond better to leaders who inspire by example and embody the mission of the company. A big part of authentic leadership is the willingness to solicit feedback and hear out ideas, not just from one’s own C-suite peers, but from all levels of an organization.

That ability to understand and share the feelings of others is what we call empathy, and it’s a huge component of emotional intelligence. Empathy is especially important for leaders, as they need to understand what truly motivates their team in order to build a successful, thriving culture on that foundation. Moreover, empathy is especially important today, as Daniel Goleman writes in Harvard Business Review, for three main reasons:

  • Work is increasingly team-based
  • The world is increasingly globalized, requiring coordination among diverse persons
  • Success is often dependent on retaining the best talent

As they step into leadership roles, expect Millennials to perform like the kind of leaders they most respect—the charismatic, caring, and listening kind.

Flattened hierarchy

Ever noticed how suits, once a staple of corporate America (Mad Men, anyone?), are slowly losing their prominence among the office dress code?

You could blame it on Silicon Valley. Tech execs like Steve Jobs, Jack Dorsey, and Mark Zuckerberg have for years  evinced a dressed-down style that’s more Tony Hawk than Tom Ford. The trend is so prevalent that Vox declared suits are now mostly reserved for “powerful men when they’re in trouble” (aka Zuckerberg at a Congressional hearing).

But the waning popularity of suits is symptomatic of something bigger than just workplace fashion trends. It’s about corporate structure. Along with open offices, corporate town halls, employee stock ownership, and rotating team leaders, casual attire is part of a larger Millennial-driven trend toward a flattened hierarchy in the workplace.

Sometimes described as a “flat organization” or a “holacracy,” a flattened hierarchy reduces bureaucracy overall and aims to eliminate the mid-management levels between executives and entry-level employees. Shrinking that gap has a number of advantages. Besides reducing unnecessary labor costs, it stresses individual responsibility and encourages each team member’s personal investment in the company; facilitates a freer flow of communication; allows for quicker, more nimble decision-making; and empowers team members to be proactive in leading and offering solutions rather than placing that burden entirely on the shoulders of the CEO.

And a flattened hierarchy is more in line with the type of leadership Millennials most resonate with—the kind that’s on their level rather than in some aloof, top-floor corner office.

At home with disruption

Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials have grown up witnessing tremendous technological change, from the introduction of computers in the home, to dial-up internet, the dot-com boom, broadband, nearly ubiquitous Wi-Fi, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, self-driving vehicles, smartphones, smart houses, smart everything.

Nobody knows more experientially than Millennials the evidence for Moore’s Law—that computer chip-based technology seems to double every one-and-a-half to two years. Needless to say, for them, disruption has become cliché, a buzzword that’s lost its buzz.

While “digital natives” may gloss over the fact that Millennials come from diverse upbringings with unequal access to technology, the gist remains: as a generation accustomed to constant software updates and the breakneck pace of change, Millennials understand that successful businesses need to be ready to adapt or die.

Consider Apple’s goal to roll out a new iPhone every year and Facebook’s frequent overhauls. The generation that’s brought us Airbnb, Lyft, Groupon, Spotify, Tinder, Oculus RV, Stripe and nearly every social media platform imaginable will make it a key operational philosophy for the companies under their watch to remain relevant or risk fading into obscurity.

Flexible work/life

That same saturation with communication technologies that earns Millennials the label of digital natives has also taught them how hard it can be to “turn off.” When your mobile phone is your work phone and an office email can appear on your smartwatch at any time, the traditional nine-to-five schedule can take on the dreamlike aura of a bygone time in which it was once possible to keep work life enjoyably distinct from personal life.

In reaction, many Millennials have pushed back against the “always-on” expectations at their jobs and advocated for better work/life balance in their careers, which makes sense. Burn out is real, and it’s no secret that happier people are more productive employees, and more likely to stick around.

The irony is that the very technologies that make us accessible around the clock and thus the potential victim of 24/7 work demands are the same technologies that can deliver better work/life balance. For many skill-based creative professions, digital technologies allow for flexible work hours, telecommuting, location independence and a number of other benefits that boost individual control over one’s own work life.

As we reach a generational tipping point that sees more Millennials in leadership positions, expect them to introduce more workplace policies that contribute to employee happiness, particularly ones that increase self-autonomy and protect work/life balance.

Danny Beckett Jr.

Written By

Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

Danny Beckett Jr. is a family man, husband and father to two boys. He’s a former professional motorcycle athlete turned serial entrepreneur. In his current position as the CEO of FlexTal, he’s building the No. 1 flexible talent-matching platform.

NAAEI Apartment Jobs Snapshot October 2021

As originally reported by the NAA in NAAHQ.org


In October’s edition of NAAEI’s Apartment Jobs Snapshot, over 13,300 apartment jobs were available, accounting for 36.3 percent of the broader real estate sector. Raleigh, Virginia Beach, Seattle, Columbus, OH and Denver had the highest share of apartment job openings. This month’s edition highlights property managers/community managers, with market salaries in the 90th percentile reaching $55,924. The demand for experienced property managers was highest in Durham, Charleston, Portland, OR, Kansas City and Seattle. In addition to requiring typical property management skills, employers are seeking talent with budgeting, Yardi Software, customer service and staff management.

jobs snapshot october 2021 graphs and figures

jobs snapshot october 2021 figures and graphs

 

 

NAAEI Apartment Jobs Snapshot Q3 2021

As originally reported by the NAA in NAAHQ.org


Robust leasing activity during Q3 2021 yielded strong demand for skilled professionals. In this edition of NAAEI’s Apartment Jobs Snapshot, job openings in the multifamily sector comprised nearly 38.0% of positions available in the real estate sector, surpassing the 5-year average of 35.6%. Property management professionals were the most sought after during the quarter. Maintenance positions saw a decline in demand compared to the same time last year. Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington, D.C and Phoenix were the leading markets for highest concentration of apartment job openings. Demand for student housing talent was strongest in Austin, Columbus, Gainesville, Houston and Tallahassee.

 

 

Virtual: The New Career Reality

By Scott Sowers

Needing to attract, train and retain the professionals who keep the multifamily housing industry in business is as important as ever in this rapidly changing world. As the unemployment rate slowly slides back toward normal, virtual training has become part of the new world order, interning has taken a hit and questions loom about what the future of work will look like. The career development cycle usually begins with a person switching jobs and companies, an already anxiety-filled process that is now even more fraught with peril.

Virtual Leap of Faith

“We recognize that candidates interested in changing jobs during a pandemic are taking a leap of faith when they consider joining a new organization,” says David Alagno, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, at AvalonBay Communities, headquartered in Arlington, Va. “In a pre-COVID world, candidates build their trust in an organization by meeting with current associates and getting a feel for the culture of the place they are considering working. In a COVID environment, that cannot happen.”  

Although roles and procedures have changed, the industry still requires human hands on the controls. Erika Daniel, Director at RETS Associates, a recruitment firm for the real estate industry based in Newport Beach, Calif., has not seen any drop-off in the need for frontline help. “Positions in property management and asset management are still full speed ahead because you need those positions filled no matter what is happening with the economy,” she says.  

The pandemic has thrown millions of lives into upheaval, which in some cases can become good news for hiring managers. “We have noticed the quality of job applicants has improved with the recent market changes,” says Angela Gibbons, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, at Bell Partners, based in Greensboro, N.C. “We are able to place candidates much more quickly in positions at our site and corporate offices.”

Even though activity has slowed, there has been no hiring freeze at Bell Partners or AvalonBay. Says AvalonBay’s Alagno, “We have over 140,000 residents living in our buildings who are depending on us to deliver the experiences they envisioned when they signed their leases. To support this, we continue to hire to sustain our ongoing operations. In addition, we have been adding staff to help advance our progress [in] several strategic objectives.” 

Train ’Em Up

As anybody would expect, the onboarding and training of fresh recruits has gone virtual, a change that was already happening before the pandemic struck. “COVID really served more as an accelerator to some of the work we had already started in delivering learning in a remote manner,” says Alagno. Before COVID, he says, AvalonBay had been experimenting with what the company calls “connected classrooms,” where instructor-led training is delivered remotely to multiple sites. “The conditions created by COVID challenged us to accelerate these plans to effectively deliver training to the organization,” Alagno adds.

Even though the tedium of never-ending Zoom calls can try anybody’s patience, Bell Partners is starting to see encouraging results from the new ways of interacting. “We encourage networking within the organization with the use of technology and staying connected through doing team events,” says Gibbons. “This has been very successful to the point [that] our teams have made the comment that they feel even more connected now than before.”

Internships at Risk

Many full-time employees began their working lives as interns, a segment of the working world that took a big hit from the pandemic. In April, the National Association of Colleges and Associations reported that 16 percent of employers had revoked internship offers, 40 percent had shortened internships and 20 percent had reduced the number of internships.

“We canceled most of our internships for this year, with the exception of our investment and portfolio management group,” says Gibbons. “These groups did a great job [of] including and developing the interns remotely.”

AvalonBay already had a whole crop of interns onboard when the pandemic hit. Wherever possible, interns remained on staff and assumed the safety protocols that were put in place. Remote interns were also added where feasible. AvalonBay did its best to ease the financial blow on those they were unable to bring on board and looks forward to resuming intern recruitment.

“Unfortunately, there were some parts of the company that were unable to host interns in either manner because of their increased workload,” says Alagno. “We took our commitment to these students very seriously, and to help ease their financial burden, we chose to compensate them for four weeks of their time. When we resume normal operations, from an internship perspective, our intention is to bring those students back to the company.”

Situation Report

From the recruiting point of view, the challenge of finding the right person for a particular job is, as always, a mixed bag of opportunity and competition. However, candidates seem more willing to discuss a job change now than they did before the pandemic struck, says Daniel. “The crisis has shaken their sense of job security, and they want to explore their options.” 

Daniel also has some advice for the firms doing the hiring. “They must move quickly when hiring because the candidates we are talking to are having conversations with multiple companies,” she says. “If employers lag in the interviewing process, they can easily lose a candidate.” 

A company looking to hire a high-skill position might get some help from the pandemic fallout. “Employers who need to hire are benefiting from top talent being out of work,” says Kent Elliott, Principal at RETS. At the same time, many companies are fighting to retain the employees in the trenches. “In some cases, senior-level employees are losing their jobs while mid-level or lower-level employees are being kept on,” he says. 

The Future of Work

What will the new world of work look like? Elliott imagines a future that will offer a hybrid assortment of work plans. “Old-school companies will mandate that all employees come back to the office and not allow anyone to work from home,” he says. “Other companies will allow employees to work from home a couple of days a week, while still others will be open to team members working from home five days a week and only coming into the office occasionally.”

Elliott says that firms with an old-school philosophy will lose many employees and potential employees because these people will refuse to return to the old ways of doing things. “So many people had a taste of working from home that they don’t even want to consider working in an office all the time,” he says.

Adaptability will remain a key to success. “Companies need to develop a hybrid program that works for both the employer and the candidate—one that includes the synergies of working face-to-face as needed—in order to attract the most-qualified candidates,” says Elliott.

Tech Factor: There’s No Going Back

Everybody agrees that technology is now playing the role of genie in a world defined by the pandemic and it’s not going back inside the bottle. Alagno believes that a company’s quality of technology is becoming an even larger determining factor in its success.

Having a strong technology infrastructure, adds Alagno, will increasingly be a difference maker for companies in recruiting as more and more work is accomplished remotely, enabled through technology. “In many ways, the pandemic has accelerated change in the ways we do business and has identified the associates and the companies who are the most adaptable,” he says. “This is an area where AvalonBay is investing for the long term, and we believe it will pay large dividends.”

Gibbons agrees, citing Bell Partners’ increased focus on technological advancement to stay competitive from a personnel standpoint. “The company accelerated its focus on innovative technology,” she says. “We have implemented a number of new technologies at the sites, which has been a huge success.”

Back in March, just at the pandemic was taking off, Zillow had already reported a 191 percent increase in the use of virtual tours. Finding new employees who are comfortable working with what has become the dominant selling tool is becoming a major theme.

Gibbons says, “As we consider future talent at Bell, we will need to incorporate into our job profile ‘tech savvy,’ as we will not be moving away from what we have put in place with our future residents. Residents will have broader choices through technology that has been implemented, such as video tours.”

Like food and water, housing will remain essential no matter how it is configured. “It fluctuates over time as the needs and preferences of people evolve—urban vs. suburban, high rise vs. garden, homes vs apartments,” says Alagno. “However, one thing that is consistent is that housing is and will always be an essential need. 

“Being part of an industry that provides this important service makes what we do so meaningful. This has become even more clear during the pandemic. What we do is required, and what we do matters.”

Scott Sowers is a freelance writer.

The Great Resignation Is Accelerating

I first noticed that something weird was happening this past spring.

In April, the number of workers who quit their job in a single month broke an all-time U.S. record. Economists called it the “Great Resignation.” But America’s quittin’ spirit was just getting started. In July, even more people left their job. In August, quitters set yet another record. That Great Resignation? It just keeps getting greater.

“Quits,” as the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls them, are rising in almost every industry. For those in leisure and hospitality, especially, the workplace must feel like one giant revolving door. Nearly 7 percent of employees in the “accommodations and food services” sector left their job in August. That means one in 14 hotel clerks, restaurant servers, and barbacks said sayonara in a single month. Thanks to several pandemic-relief checks, a rent moratorium, and student-loan forgiveness, everybody, particularly if they are young and have a low income, has more freedom to quit jobs they hate and hop to something else.


Derek Thompson: What quitters understand about the job market


As I wrote in the spring, quitting is a concept typically associated with losers and loafers. But this level of quitting is really an expression of optimism that says, We can do better. You may have heard the story that in the golden age of American labor, 20th-century workers stayed in one job for 40 years and retired with a gold watch. But that’s a total myth. The truth is people in the 1960s and ’70s quit their jobs more often than they have in the past 20 years, and the economy was better off for it. Since the 1980s, Americans have quit less, and many have clung to crappy jobs for fear that the safety net wouldn’t support them while they looked for a new one. But Americans seem to be done with sticking it out. And they’re being rewarded for their lack of patience: Wages for low-income workers are rising at their fastest rate since the Great Recession. The Great Resignation is, literally, great.

For workers, that is. For the far smaller number of employers and bosses—who in pre-pandemic times were much more comfortable—this economy must feel like leaping from the frying pan of economic chaos, only to land in the fires of Manager Hell. Job openings are sky-high. Many positions are going unfilled for months. Meanwhile, supply chains are breaking down because of a hydra of bottlenecks. Running a company requires people and parts. With people quitting and parts missing, it must kinda suck to be a boss right now. (Oh, well!)

The Great Resignation is not the only Great R-word overhauling the labor force.

Leisure and hospitality workers might be saying “to hell with this” on account of Americans deciding to behave like a pack of escaped zoo animals. Call it the Great Rudeness. Airlines in the United States reported that, by June 2021, the number of unruly passengers had already broken records—doubling the previous all-time pace of orneriness. The Atlantic writer Amanda Mull has chronicled America’s epidemic of bad behavior, from Trader Joe’s tirades to a poor Cape Cod restaurant that had to close briefly in the hope that its clientele would calm down after a few days in the time-out box. Cabin-fevered and filled with rage, American customers have poured into the late-pandemic economy with abandon, like the unfurling of so many angry pinched hoses. I don’t blame thousands of servers and clerks for deciding that suffering nonstop rudeness should never be a job requirement.

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Finally, there is a Great Reshuffling of people and businesses around the country. For decades, many measures of U.S. entrepreneurship declined. But business formation has surged since the beginning of the pandemic, and the largest category by far is e-commerce. This has coincided with an uptick in moves, especially to the suburbs of large metropolitan areas. Several major companies, such as Twitter, have announced permanent work-from-home policies, while others, such as Tesla, have moved their headquarters. Several years ago, I wrote that America had lost its “mojo,” because its citizens were less likely to switch jobs, move to another state, or create new companies than they were 30 (or 100) years ago. Well, so much for all that. America’s mojo is back, baby (yeah), and it may lead to a better-job revolution that outlasts the temporary measures, such as unemployment super-benefits and rent protection, that have nourished it.

As a general rule, crises leave an unpredictable mark on history. It didn’t seem obvious that the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 would lead to a revolution in architecture, and yet, it without a doubt contributed directly to the invention of the skyscraper in Chicago. You might be equally surprised that one of the most important scientific legacies of World War II had nothing to do with bombs, weapons, or manufacturing; the conflict also accelerated the development of penicillin and flu vaccines. If you asked me to predict the most salutary long-term effects of the pandemic last year, I might have muttered something about urban redesign and office filtration. But we may instead look back to the pandemic as a crucial inflection point in something more fundamental: Americans’ attitudes toward work. Since early last year, many workers have had to reconsider the boundaries between boss and worker, family time and work time, home and office.

One way to capture the meaning of any set of events is to consider what it would mean if they all happened in reverse. Imagine if quits fell to nearly zero. Business formation declined. In lieu of an urban exodus, everybody moved to a dense downtown. It would be, in other words, a movement of extraordinary consolidation and centralization: everybody working in urban areas for old companies that they never leave.

Look at what we have instead: a great pushing-outward. Migration to the suburbs accelerated. More people are quitting their job to start something new. Before the pandemic, the office served for many as the last physical community left, especially as church attendance and association membership declined. But now even our office relationships are being dispersed. The Great Resignation is speeding up, and it’s created a centrifugal moment in American economic history.


Derek Thompson is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, technology, and the media. He is the author of Hit Makers and the host of the podcast Crazy/Genius.