“There’s been an increase in demand for commercial and operational staff around Edinburgh, in both the private and public sectors.
With this increased competition, it’s worth making sure you can attract and secure the people you need to maximise your growth potential and work opportunities:
• try making strong links with the universities;
• consider a candidate who may not be perfect on paper, but could be trained to be just who you need;
• ask us about supplying ideal, qualified and experienced candidates from Europe.”
2016 has shown a consistent demand for freelance management and commercial staff in the sector. There appears to be more requirements with the large regional contractors as opposed to the multi-national contractors.
Lengthy contracts can attract staff to work in this sector instead of the SME build sector. The main issue is that the larger building contractors can take longer to make decisions around staffing given they tend to be more procedural, and can often lose out on good staff to the SNE sector which can move faster.
The East of Scotland has certainly seen a boost in activity this year and the number of new projects starting in and around Edinburgh is encouraging. We expect the demand for staff to come from this region as opposed to our usually busy and buoyant Aberdeen.
This sector generally experiences an increase in recruitment activity towards the end of projects, leading to requirements for finishing / internals managers and supervisors. So it’s best to give us as much notice as possible heading into the summer months, as they’re always busiest for freelance workers.
It’s been really busy in the retail, commercial and education sectors, which tend to peak during May to September. There’s a great demand for operational and commercial staff, especially quantity surveyors and site managers.
• Larger national contractors are looking for the same staff and are able to attract them with larger salaries, more prestigious projects and better benefits packages.
• People have work on their doorstep, so working long hours and staying away from home makes it hard for CMED clients to staff their projects, which are usually within framework agreements covering the whole of Scotland, if not the UK.
• CMED clients have been good at reacting to the market far quicker than their larger competitors – less red tape. They’re also more receptive to ways of combating the skill shortages, such as lower level staffing and training people into the positions they need to fill.
• Short lead in times between project award and start on site mean staffing for projects becomes increasingly difficult. This, in turn, means a further reliance on temporary staff.
• Many CMED contractors are now going through a period of growth and expansion, with increasing turnover figures projected over the next 24 months.
There are far more project opportunities to tender for, but the margins are still fairly stagnated. There’s also a concern over the profitability of projects, given increased cost for staffing and materials. Most companies are beginning to test the market by submitting tenders with a slight increase in the margins, being prepared to lose projects with a longer-term vision in mind.
Early 2016 saw continued growth in the subcontracting sector, with a noticeable rise in opportunities as large national contractors pick up multi-million-pound contracts across Scotland.
We’re also expecting more of a demand for staff for projects within the east of Scotland this year, due to the number of large build projects in and around Edinburgh.
Quantity surveyors, estimators and CAD technicians are very much in demand. So companies are looking at juniors, undergraduates or people returning to the industry to compensate for the skills gap.
We’re seeing a major upturn in the demand for temporary staff across the build SME sector. This is because the skills shortage is causing difficulties finding suitable permanent staff, especially at short notice. So good quality freelance staff are in demand.
Most assignments last 8-10 weeks, however, there has been a theme of clients looking to hold on to good candidates. And due to the cyclical nature of the SME market, I see demand continuing to increase over the summer into the autumn.
So whether you need long-term contractors or holiday cover, we strongly advise that you plan ahead and get in touch as soon as possible.
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Who are we? What do we think is important? Who do we have partnerships with? Are we hiring? So many questions.
Good job we’ve got the answers then:
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As a recruitment consultancy, we value our people. They’re the ideas, the hard work, the diligence and the reason we keep running out of chocolate digestives.
Our average staff retention rate is a whopping 72% higher than the industry standard, so clearly people like working here. Or they have no homes to go to.
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