"Reviewing the consultancy sector for the first half of 2016 we have seen steady growth with a positive message resounding across the division. One particular trend being noted is the amount of smaller consultancies winning and retaining projects, particularly in the housing and infrastructure areas. These are providing scope for organic growth and allowing for recruitment to take place to service these projects whereas larger consultancies remain fixed on larger scale projects in line with their scale and cost profile.
Another key factor in recruiting the right candidates for businesses is the timescale to move on a prospective candidate. The small consultancies continue to dominate this area with quick decisions able to be made at a local level and we have seen instances of larger consultancies losing out on candidates owing to process time. It should also be noted that candidates in the market are continuing to search for opportunities that will allow them to develop and become a more “well-rounded” engineer, as such the attraction of being exposed to many different projects in a small-medium consultancy can seem more attractive that working on one role on a larger project. National consultancies should ideally look to offer their staff greater exposure to further assist in retaining key players in their business.
In relation to background for recruiting, it does have to be said consultancy market has acted somewhat slower than other parts of the construction industry in terms of the backgrounds of candidates they bring on. Due to the downturn in the oil & gas market and changes in project award wins we are seeing a variety of candidates come through but not necessarily being taken on which is something that clients need to open themselves up to more. It is our feeling that over the next few years many consultancies will be looking at succession plans and developing committed staff to more senior positions. A recent area which has seen movement is the International market, whereby we are offering our clients solutions with candidates coming from countries outside of the UK, fully qualified and committed to a role. This can sometimes take longer in the recruitment process but offers a solution as opposed to waiting for the ideal candidate who is likely to have several offers on the table.
Notably also in relation to design, BIM modelling is becoming more prevalent in the market with clients in the Scottish market now looking to implement packages such as Revit & Civils 3D design. It should be noted the market is still very rare with candidates who use these packages and as such again other solutions need to be sought out in lieu of an increased package to offer."
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