WHAT'S THE HIRING OUTLOOK IN YOUR SHOP?

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The industry is starting to feel the pinch of recession,it would seem, based on last week's Quick Poll. Some 53% saidthey're retracting their fangs and holding steady on hiring while12% actually plan to cut back on their staff numbers. Only 35% aredaring to beef up. Commentator Anthony J. LoPinto, CEO of New YorkCity-based Equinox Partners, has his own, somewhat contrarian, takeon the dynamics at work:

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"This year is going to be a year of fairly steady organizationalactivity. By that I mean organizations will go through changes andpeople will leave and people will be rehired. At that level it willbe business as usual.

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"The wait-and-see factor passed with the fourth quarter and,barring some other unforeseen event, many of the companies I dealwith are looking at the market as an opportunity. The credit crunchhas carved out some of the fringe players and tightened up pricing,and product availability has emerged in certain sectors that wasn'tthere before. All of this translates into a continued need to makesure your organization has the right people in place to maximizepotential in the market--a market that is changing andevolving.

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"We're seeing companies still making strategic hires. Freshcapital is being raised for emerging investments like distresseddebt funds. This all brings forward the need for such hires forexpansion opportunities. So on balance it will be a steady marketwith growth in some of the opportunity areas.

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"In terms of people shifting from company to real estatecompany, clearly when you go through market shifts, as we havesince the summer, professionals get a heightened sense of opennessabout opportunities from a security point of view. They're moreopen to considering other opportunities than they would be in headytimes. So I think professionals will be more willing to consideropportunities out there."

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John Salustri

John Salustri has covered the commercial real estate industry for nearly 25 years. He was the founding editor of GlobeSt.com, and is a four-time recipient of the Excellence in Journalism award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.