Commercial Staff Availability – October 2018

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.ᅠ 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.ᅠ 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.ᅠ I don’t know about you, but I am tired of having to write ム#skillsshortage‘.

In our efforts to address the skills shortage, Contract Scotland has been involved in the following:

  • DYW – Developing young workforce is a collective initiative to educate school children on potential career paths in our industry and properly educate our future leaders from an early age about all of the career possibilities in front of them.
  • Constructing Futures – an initiative we started in 2015 and run as a social enterprise for providing work experience to graduates and those who have struggled to re-enter the industry since the recession.ᅠ These shadow placements are a good way to build experience on a CV and let employers ease into a plan for developing new talent without obligations.ᅠ
  • ICE/CIOB – Ongoing involvement and sponsorship
  • Offering an outlet for support and insight – We do our best to maintain involvement with CIOB Novus, YPiC, and various other groups for young professionals to network and support each other in their development.ᅠ In meeting with these young leaders, we aim to understand their needs and motivations and provide any assistance we can to help them navigate their way through meaningful and fulfilling careers.

These are great resources for anyone new to our industry and we would encourage other employers to get involved as well.ᅠ For more information on any of these initiatives, please get in contact via

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ナ 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.ᅠ Millennials and Gen X think differently to previous generations; however, we’re not really accepting and addressing this.ᅠ They have different fears, priorities and motivations.ᅠ 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.ᅠ

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.

Commercial Staff Availability - October 2018
Posted by Contract Scotland
23rd October, 2018