How do we solve the conundrum of recruiting commercial property networkers? - 16th November 2017

Over the past few years, we’ve become increasingly involved with the Design and Build world. In doing so, the challenges faced in the pursuit of top notch salespeople have become clear. One such challenge is surrounding networkers. In demand, few and far between and immensely valuable, networkers within commercial property are an elusive breed of salespeople. A breed who are very aware of what their experience and contacts are worth.

To investigate this and ultimately, to help our clients develop long term solutions to this issue, we’ve conducted research into ten of the top fit out companies in London. These findings help to shed light on one of the key sales recruitment issues design and build firms face.

Of the companies researched, all cited having top quality networkers as a key driver in future growth plans. Across those companies, budgets for networkers varied from £40k to £100k basic salary.

Our findings suggest that networkers can be loosely classified into three categories:

  1. Junior Networkers

Basic salary: £40-50k

Within the industry, there aren’t many junior networkers. These people tend to have 2-3 years in a role within commercial property before being offered the opportunity to develop within the world of networking. Most often, these networkers come from either technical background such as surveying or from a business development background. We found that of the companies researched, right now, only two are open to developing junior networkers into the top networkers of the future. Who else would you like to do it?

  1. Mid-level Networkers

Basic salary: £50-£70k

Mid-level networkers are good networkers with good track records. They are consistent at generating revenue within the range of £2-7 million of fit out projects per year. Four of the ten companies researched have a networking team that is a blend of Senior and Mid-level networkers, utilising the different contacts those different levels of networker are likely to have.

  1. Senior Networkers

Basic salary: £75-£100k

Incredibly in demand, senior networkers possess the ability to generate c.£10 million revenue (and more in some cases) and have the track record to prove they can do it. These networkers are the unicorns of D&B. Unsurprisingly, of the companies researched, all identified this category of networker as what they want. Only three explicitly recognised that based on their budget, hiring a Senior Networker is not likely to be achievable.

So, what does this research tell us? Everyone wants great networkers. Demand far exceeds supply. No news there! However, based on this research and our recruitment experience, what tends to happen is that companies too often want a level of networker above what they can afford. Give us a proven star and we’ll pay them a junior salary until they prove themselves (again!) is the general theme.

Simple in concept but often ignored in reality: if you’re going shopping, make sure you can afford what you want to buy. Or accept the compromise (usually some investment in training and development) required for the budget you have.

Danielle Raymont, Sales Talent 2017©

Danielle Raymont specialises in the recruitment of professionals into the commercial property world. As a senior consultant at Sales Talent, she works with many of the major names in the fit out world and commercial agency.