How the pandemic has changed hiring

Shared: December 15, 2020

By: Kelly White

Real estate companies have an immense opportunity to scoop up talented agents and employees in the pandemic’s wake, but they must understand the way the landscape, roles and work geography has shifted. This article outlines those.

Covid-19 has shifted the overall job landscape. The unemployment rate in April 2020 of 14.7 percent represented the highest rate since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began recording data in January 1948.

The nation lost 22 million jobs between February and April, but gained back 52 percent of these by August. U.S. employment remains 11 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels. These impacts are more visible in some industries than others. For example, jobs in the hospitality industry may only recover when the pandemic ends. 

However, jobs in the real estate industry have increased and some new roles have even been created due to the housing demand and new practices required for selling homes in a contactless manner.

With this unusual job market, brokerage leaders have a big opportunity, but also must prepare in ways they may not have before. Three key factors to consider when hiring in 2021 include the job market, work roles and work geography.

The Job Landscape

At the initial onset of the pandemic, hiring dropped but that turned out to be temporary. Since then, hiring and onboarding has surged.

This means that motivated and adaptable candidates can be a tremendous asset to an organization. For companies hiring, this means that highly competent talent with real estate experience is scarce and in demand. However, companies also have the opportunity to find talent in other industries that have suffered job losses.

Regardless, it is still hard to find talent. 

Typically, companies can easily find talent in job markets with high unemployment rates, but not so with this pandemic. Many skilled workers remained employed; in addition, some workers counted as unemployed actually are on furlough and expect to return to their positions, so they are actually not job-hunting.

In addition, many workers are still receiving unemployment or stimulus money and will not enter the workforce until the money runs out. This has been an incentive for them not to reenter the workforce.

Work Roles

A need for outsourced labor, gig workers or temporary project workers continues. Additionally, laid-off workers from certain industries are looking to enter new industries.  Different types of workers allow for hiring flexibility and agility. A company can utilize temporary talent as needed and switch gears easily if the business situation changes.

This means that companies and employees can adapt and adjust easily based on the industry and economy dynamics. Companies can employ this strategy to test the waters on new positions or to try out new processes or elements of their business models without a huge, long-term commitment.

Work Geography

The ability to work remote has shifted the geographical restraints around hiring. This can be an advantage to companies and candidates. The hiring companies have an increased talent pool because they can hire the best talent regardless of where candidates live.

Additionally, candidates have a wider base of jobs to choose from. This expands remote workers’ choice of places to live which means they could live somewhere with a lower cost of living which could increase their overall standard of living (same salary, lower-cost place to live). 

The rise of remote work, and remote hiring, means that companies looking to fill empty positions must become adept at video interviewing and onboarding.


The real estate industry’s talent pool is arguably bigger than ever, yet the demand for human capital has also increased. This means that businesses need to adjust hiring strategies to constantly generate qualified candidates. They need to be prepared to use different types of resources and consider new ways to hire, onboard and retain key staff and agents. Whether you are a company looking for talent, or a candidate looking for employment, understanding your value proposition and being able to express that is foundational to hiring success.

Reach out to me for a free consultation.

Kelly White, vice president of T3 Talent,