In our last blog, we used an interactive map tool to show how candidate availability of quantity surveyors has been of late by plotting out only the surveying candidates who have been actively seeking opportunities in recent weeks. Here’s what the map looks like this month:
Highlighting candidate availability has had us thinking back to some points we’ve covered in previous publications and blogs, which we feel are more relevant today than ever before.
The skills shortage is a major topic discussed within the UK Construction sector and always generates a lot of discussion about how we are attracting the next generation of construction leaders.
Ironically, some might note that although there have been significant changes in the available intermediate and senior commercial staff on our map of central Scotland, there has been little change in the demand for trainee/assistant surveyors who are looking to continue their career within the construction industry.
Whilst working with some great junior candidates through our various service offerings, we’ve noticed developing surveyors still facing challenges in seeking companies to engage with them at this level. If we fail to provide opportunities for new talent to develop, we do ourselves no favours in addressing skills gaps, succession planning, diversification of skills/ideas, and so on.
If we constantly recruit for our present needs and ignore our responsibility to be proactive in developing talent for the future, we make the skills gap cyclical. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of having to write ‘#skillsshortage’.
In our efforts to address the skills shortage, Contract Scotland has been involved in the following:
These are great resources for anyone new to our industry and we would encourage other employers to get involved as well. For more information on any of these initiatives, please get in contact via firstname.lastname@example.org.
It can be a costly and unpredictable endeavour to take on and train junior staff and may not seem critical for current business needs. Yet, if I had a pound for every time I’ve heard employers say they wished they had the time to train someone into a role and teach good habits, I would have… well, maybe a couple hundred pounds; That’s still a lot of companies during my 4 years in recruitment who wished they had been better at developing talent internally rather than recruiting for very specific skill sets later on.
Some objections we hear against engaging more with developing talent is that “they will just get trained-up and leave” or that “they just aren’t as career driven or tough as previous generations”, but these concerns don’t justify us not learning to engage with these young professionals. Millennials and Gen X think differently to previous generations; however, we’re not really accepting and addressing this. They have different fears, priorities and motivations. By understanding the new workforce and what drives them, we can create structured development and get the most out of a skilled group that isn’t completely missing from the workforce, but rather just ignored.
There’s a lot to say about understanding and harnessing the mindset of different generations in the workplace, but that is part of another topic that these blogs will lead to in the near future.