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Shortage of Residential Valuation Surveyors and rise in counter offers skewing market salary rates

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Article posted by Rebecca Mawer

Like a lot of sectors and specialisms right now, the residential valuation surveyor market is experiencing a real talent shortage. And the result? A massive increase in the number and value counter offers being offered to surveyors in a bid to keep people in their roles. Employers simply don’t want the hassle of trying to find or fight for talent when it’s so scarce.

More money, surely that’s a good thing?

On the face of it, a counter offer may seem like a great result for surveyors, as ultimately it means they can increase their salary. And for employers, they can keep hold of their employees.

But the reality is that this trend is currently so common and widespread across the industry, that it’s skewing the salary ranges for surveyors in the market and affecting candidates’ expectations of what they are worth. This isn’t good news for those looking to hire OR those looking to find a new role.

Counter offers can be less costly for employers than paying a recruitment fee and training up a new member of staff, so companies are more likely to want to hold onto existing staff. Some of the large corporates, in particular, are throwing some big offers to their surveyors to stay put at the moment. But be careful, some are taking away elsewhere to cover a higher base salary, like with commission paid, and so sometimes surveyors are actually ending up worse off as they’re not earning enough.

We’ve also seen a number of situations recently where surveyors have accepted a counter offer from their employer, only to want to move roles anyway a few months later because the underlying issues are still there. Most people then expect a salary uplift when they move roles, but companies looking to hire often can’t afford this because the salaries are now out of line with their true ranges, thanks to counter offers.

Surveyors who are moving from mid-sized firms to the larger corporates are in general achieving bigger uplifts. However, those wanting to move from corporates back to mid-size firms are still expecting big salaries in order to make the move – but mid-sized firms simply can’t match those salary demands without upsetting their existing staff. Candidates need to be mindful too of not wanting to have their cake and eat it – many people look to move from the large corporates for reasons beyond salary (isolation/mental health issues and work-life balance being two of the issues we have recently addressed in other blogs) – those issues will likely be addressed by moving to a smaller firm, but the trade-off is usually the high salary.

A word of caution

Astonishingly, 70-80% of people (across all markets) who accept a counter offer either leave or are let go within a year. So, while a counter offer can offer a short-term benefit to both parties, it’s not a long-term solution. Most people look to move roles for reasons beyond their salary, so unless those issues are also addressed, that individual will still be unhappy once the initial delight of the pay increase has worn off and they’ll leave anyway. For employers, they’ve ended up paying more in salary to their employees and when they leave, they still have to recruit and train a replacement – costing time and money. For anyone considering accepting a counter offer – always consider if it’s truly the right thing to do and the potential missed opportunity of not accepting the other role you had been offered on.

If you’re a residential valuation surveyor looking to move roles and would like any advice on the market or a confidential chat about your position, please get in touch.

The article was written by Rebecca Mawer, Recruitment Consultant - Residential Valuations.