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Perspective

In many respects, Labor Day is the beginning of the new business year. Executives are focused on closing out 2007, new budgets are being cast and 2008 business initiatives are being set in motion. However, this “new year” is emerging just as the shock waves that rattled the credit markets are still rumbling. But how will the credit crunch impact recruiting in the year ahead? First, let’s not forget that this is a normal cyclical event. Every three to five years, something dramatic happens that dislocates the markets, sometimes worse than others. In this instance, the impact will be more benign. The tightening of credit and tougher deal underwriting has already launched a correction that will set the stage for a new round of opportunities at more attractive (buy-side) pricing levels. Except for the high-rise condo crowd and weaker, less creditworthy players, most developers and investors are alive and well and positioned to fuel a new round of investment activity. As such, I expect that demand for development and acquisition talent will continue unabated. There will also be an expanding demand for seasoned asset managers that will outstrip supply. Overall, I predict that recruiting activity will continue to expand. Okay, so what’s changed? Underwriting. Hiring managers are going to be very, very picky and will demand candidates with proven experience through at least one cycle.

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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