"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.
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.
The demand for civil engineers/infrastructure engineers remains high, particularly relating to drainage design works which are becoming prevalent in residential projects. Laterally to this, there continues to be a strong demand for skilled Electrical Building Services Design Engineers amongst the consultancies. One area we have seen a decrease of the request in is for skilled Technician/CAD staffing which has slowed in the first half of 2016. It is believed this is in connection to the lack of major projects going onto site this year and less design work required; we hope to see this change in the coming months.
BIM modelling also continues to carry weight in the sector with clients now looking to bring on board candidates with software packages such as Revit or Civils 3D design. We have seen instances whereby the consultancy clients will bring on a candidate in order to train and develop them in light of not having the software but certainly having a working knowledge of these is becoming a very attractive quality to bring to the market.
Commercial staff continue to be a rarity across the board in construction, certainly one of the key areas that consultancies need to consider is the packages on offer to candidates in comparison with their counterparts in the contracting and housing division where there is room for a higher salary package. A key note when considering the sector to enter is to consider the work/life balance that is being sought out by many in their career. Yes, packages on offer may be higher in other sectors, however consultancies continue to provide the balance that many are looking for in light of a remuneration package."
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