Moving house v recruitment

We’re in the process of moving house – or trying to! It’s proving difficult, though. We’ve sold our current place, in the sense that someone has made an offer that we’ve deemed acceptable, but we can’t find anywhere to move to.

More accurately, we can find places we want to live in, but we can’t buy them.

In some cases this is because houses that we like are out of our price range. The average property went up in value by 10.2% during 2021.

More often, though, it’s because we lose out to someone who can move more quickly than we can. Case in point: a house went on the market two days ago and we booked a viewing – for tomorrow – within two hours of it coming live on Rightmove, but the agent called us yesterday to cancel because a cash buyer had already made an offer and a deal had been done!

This was disappointing, but not surprising, as it’s happened to us three times before.

What’s the reason for this? Too much demand and not enough supply.


The rise in property prices is mirrored by the rise in IT salaries. For example, according to the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2022 guide, three of the top twenty salary rises in 2021 were for cyber security roles, with increases of above 8%. Our own experience last year backs this up. There have been increases in average salaries in all IT roles, especially software development.

Once again, demand exceeds supply.


So what’s the answer?

Well, it depends whether you’re talking about buying houses or recruiting IT people.


Actually, the solution to both is the same. Pay more money, move more quickly, or both.

The end.

But wait

But wait – that can’t be the end of the story. What if you can’t afford to pay more, or your processes don’t allow for greater speed? There must be another way!

Well, there is.


The majority of people (including my wife) want a house that needs no real work doing to it. This means that competition for these properties is hot, and the price goes up.

Other people (me, for example) are prepared to buy a house with potential instead. It ticks most of the boxes, but not all. It’s in the right location but it’s too small, or it has a kitchen from the 70s, or it needs new windows.

There are advantages though: it’s cheap and it’s available.

So if you’re prepared to spend a bit of money and live on a building site for a few months, your perfect house can be yours for a much lower overall cost.

Back to recruitment

The parallel is obvious, but I’ll spell it out anyway.

Most businesses want to recruit the finished article – e.g. a developer with 5 years’ experience in a related field who can ‘hit the ground running’. If this is you, expect to have to pay more than your competitors and streamline your recruitment processes if you don’t want to miss out.

But if you can afford to wait a few months until someone ‘gets up to speed’, it’s often more cost-effective and better for team morale in the longer term if you recruit on attitude, intelligence, and potential instead. You can test for these using objective tools.

Your candidate might hit the ground walking rather than running, but he or she may well be a better investment in the long term.

Much like a house! Wish me luck.