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Green means green for architects that make a serious investment in green architecture and sustainability. When the recession hit in 2007, the housing and real estate markets were hugely impacted. Jobs in architecture became scarce, and architects started getting laid off in droves. Though there’s been an increase since 2010 in positions in this arena, the sector still struggles to maintain a steady increase in available gigs. According to SimplyHired, since July of 2013, there’s been a 24.4% increase in employment in Los Angeles and 34.4% in New York, so things are looking brighter. In fact, the green or sustainable architect is experiencing a major increase in work, with positions in both cities at an all time high because of the growth of the green economy.
There’s really no set rule for who can dub themselves green architects, but the program responsible for verifying green buildings is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). It gives points to projects based on their utilization of sustainable components. However, LEED doesn’t give awards to projects for performance, so there are other available options for certification: the Living Buildings Challenge, Passive House Institute, Green Globes and the government’s Energy Star Program all provide certification based on green standards.
In major metropolises like New York and Los Angeles, the green economy is growing. The public’s demand for green construction is due to its growing awareness of the dangers of climate change. While the green movement is considered “chic,” architects are expanding their views by combating climate change not only with their building designs but by constructing the bigger systems in which they function.
“We think of great design as having four equally important parts: ethical practice, experiential design, thoughtful impact, and excellent delivery. Included in ethical practice is sustainability and the idea that you can’t create great design without it. This translates into our everyday office operations in many big and small ways. The really exciting sustainable operations are yet to come in our new office!”
Irwin Miller, Los Angeles, Principal Design Director, Gensler .
In 2011, the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) listed the mean wage for a green architect as $83,390 – about $30,000 more than a residential architect. The BLS also predicts faster-than-average growth for architects until 2020, with green architects in particularly high demand.
Architecture is about designing structures. Green architecture goes one step further by altering structures so that they can contribute to the well-being of the environment. Some architecture firms are green firms not only because they specialize in this type of building, but because they incorporate the green philosophy into how they operate.
Green Architecture Sites:
Architecture for Humanity
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Baby boomers are retiring in record numbers, and their millennial replacements are very different in terms of personal characteristics, as well as job and workplace expectations. Millennials, aged 18 to 34 years old, already makeup more than one-third of the workforce. By 2025, they will account for close to 75 percent. Architecture firms are now in an intense competition to attract and retain qualified millennial professionals. Understanding the millennial perspective and developing a suitable workplace environment are imperatives for business sustainability.
Characteristics of Millennials
Millennials are one of the most analyzed generations because of their complexity. They are the first generation of digital natives, and technology has enormously influenced their expectations. For example, they are driven by a need for social connectedness and have integrated technology deeply into their personal lives. As such, they now expect the same in their work lives. CISCO calls it the “new workplace currency,” since 56 percent of college students surveyed said they would not accept a position at a company that banned access to social media.
Millennials have high expectations. They want higher pay based on skills sets and faster promotions. They believe the firm should provide appropriate leadership development and have values that match their own. If the business fails to meet these expectations, the employee will leave. Millennials are not interested in plugging along doing eight hours of mundane routine work they see as having little social impact. They want to do meaningful work that is clearly connected to solving complex societal problems.
Millennials are optimistic about the future and are a diverse generation, with over 44 percent identifying with an ethnic group or a minority race, according to theU.S. Census Bureau. They are content creators, thriving on collaboration. They also want work-life balance, which for the millennial may mean using remote-work technology. A 2015 CISCO survey found that over half of Gen Y (millennials) and Gen X (generation sandwiched between baby boomers and millennials) consider themselves accessible for work 24/7.
Perhaps the most important characteristic to understand is that millennials want to work for companies that reflect their personal values. A Deloitte survey found that 56 percent of millennials had ruled out working for an employer because their values were in conflict. This is perhaps one of the most difficult concepts for traditional organizations to master.
Why are You Leaving?
Understanding the top reasons millennials change jobs provides a knowledgeable foundation for developing recruiting and retention strategies. Consulting for Architects, Inc. (CFA) conducted a survey which asked architecture and design firms to rank, in descending order of importance, the reasons employees aged 18 to 35 years old left their firms. The results are revealing and support much of the academic and business research and studies conducted over the years to identify millennial characteristics.
Ranking number one in the CFA survey as the top reason for millennial turnover is concern about the lack of opportunities for career advancement. Number two is a desire for more challenging work. Number three is dissatisfaction with the leadership of senior management. Number four is disagreement with the overall direction of the organization. Number five is dissatisfaction with the compensation and benefits. Number six is unhappiness with the amount and/or type of rewards and level of recognition for contributions to the firm. Number seven is a desire to seek a better work/life balance.
It is not surprising the leadership of senior management ranks high because these are the people most responsible for the firm policies and procedures, business culture, and talent management system. Since many of the senior leaders are baby boomers, there is a generational difference in attitudes towards work, career, and the need for employee recognition. Baby boomer architects and designers spent many years doing low-level assignments, putting in many hours without regard for work/life balance. The rewards were the work itself and steady career advancement, and for some, reaching a point where it was possible to start a new business. Now baby boomers are managing organizations in which millennials already comprise or will soon comprise most of the workforce, and the younger generation wants change.
A good example of the generational difference is found in a blog written by a millennial architect. The title says it all – “Millennial Architect Won’t be Your CAD Monkey.” There have been other surveys conducted, and they support the CFA survey results and the need for senior leaders to adapt the work environment to meet the needs of the millennials. A 2012 survey, for example, found that millennials expected to stay in their jobs for less than five years.
The strategies for attracting and recruiting millennials specifically address their characteristics and the top reasons they leave architecture firms . First, it is important to develop a workplace culture that nurtures the millennial spirit and makes young architects believe this would be the best place to work. The culture must embrace diversity and cherish the organization’s brand and reputation. For instance, since millennials always check social networks for information, potential employers should take into consideration what current employees, clients and communities are saying about the company. Every architectural firm should regularly monitor and manage the online conversation concerning the organization. The online conversation coupled with the marketing strategies needs to demonstrate the architecture firm’s mission, values, ethics and beliefs, so that recruits will see that their personal values align with the organization’s values.
Technology plays a critical role in other respects. Video interviews can showcase an architecture firm as a progressive and flexible culture, and can often provide distinct advantages to both the firm and the interviewee. For the millennial, video interviews are also more convenient, as they get an opportunity to show their true character instead of only what is on the resume.
For the architecture firm, video interviewing saves time and money because the cost is much less compared to in-person interviews. It makes the hiring process quicker while also giving the interviewer an opportunity to explore facets of the person’s personality traits, something not possible with a written resume. Overall, video interviewing fits a modern workforce expecting efficient use of technology, flexibility and a willingness to collaborate for mutual benefit.
Other recruiting tools include developing a good pay and benefits package, supplemented with the presentation of career path opportunities that demonstrate potential upward mobility. Millennials who see a position as dead-end will either refuse a position or will accept the position only as a stepping stone for obtaining licensing.
Millennials have been described as “children of the revolution.” The “revolution” is a shift in individual perspectives to a focus on the needs of the community. Millennials want to do meaningful work centered on people; therefore, one of the most critical retention strategies is developing work with these attributes. Tasks must allow them opportunities to work on projects that make a social impact, like environmental sustainability renovations, low-income housing solutions and disaster relief architecture.
The type of projects offered will influence the turnover rate. Research indicates that 91 percent of millennials expect to stay in a job for less than three years if the work is not challenging. They are entrepreneurial and will leave a boring job to start a new business in order to meet personal goals.
Architecture firms must rethink everything from work schedules to leadership training. Strategies include allowing flexible work that lets employees work within a loosely structured schedule. The 9-to-5 schedule is out. One of the ways personal and organizational values are integrated is by allowing employees time to take care of personal needs, like family or community projects. Ideally, the flexible schedule is coupled with the right to work remotely. They are as likely to be found reading and responding to work emails at 9 p.m. as they are at 9 a.m.
Professional development is also crucial. In the Deloitte survey mentioned earlier, six out of 10 millennials believe their companies do not fully develop their leadership skills. Yet, this is one of the most prized activities determining business value. Skills development involves a variety of activities, including training software, mentoring and collaborative teamwork. Millennials need and want a lot of support that encourages them to pursue leadership roles on teams, as well as over projects and departments.
Overhauling Business As Usual
Attracting, hiring and retaining millennials requires a complete overhaul of “business as usual.” All aspects of the talent management process should be viewed through the millennial lens with the ultimate goal of building a loyal, innovative workforce. Admittedly, the current disconnect between millennial expectations and the traditional architecture firm’s work structure is wide, so now is the time to begin making required changes. No one ever said it would be easy to move into the future – a future that is here now.
First, make an architecture or interior-design independent contractor into an employee by formalizing the person’s work arrangement and paying him or her regular wages. The IRS and its interpretation of payment and work plays the most important role in deciding a person’s status. At our staffing firm for architects and designers converting a independent contractor to a full-time employee is a third of our business.
Characteristics of an independent contractor
The IRS views an independent contractor as a person who works apart from the firm, and the rules governing them are not extremely clear cut. This wide room for interpretation has led to disputes in a number of workplaces. Fortunately, the status of an independent contractor is not as ambiguous as that of intern architect or draftsman.
By definition, an independent contractor is a person who has a significant amount of control over his or her work, achieves goals independently from the firm, doesn’t need to adhere to all the firm’s rules, uses his or her own equipment and doesn’t require close supervision by a member of the firm.
Characteristics of an employee
An employee must follow the set rules of the firm. He or she receives payment through a W-2 rather than a 1099 form. An employee uses the firm’s equipment to complete jobs, has a title with the firm and is subject to supervision by a member of the firm.
The transformation from contractors into employees
4 Key Points
- A person’s status changes when the firm takes them under its wing. Typically, this process involves the following aspects: training, giving the person authority to make decisions for the business, assigning the person key duties to perform and redefining the person’s work status as permanent, off-probation or retained for a set period of time. The process is complete when the new employee understands their work responsibilities and begins a project on behalf of the firm.
- It is critical that the person understand what it means when he or she has become an agent of the firm. The best way to accomplish this task is in writing. The new architect or interior designer and the owner of the firm should sign a letter of agreement stating the worker is now an employee.
- You can ratify and celebrate the change in a person’s status by providing them with business cards that state their title and contact information. Having a letter signed and dated by the owner that contains a start date is also helpful and thoughtful for those changing from independent contractors into employees.
- Finally, it is meaningful for the firm to circulate an internal announcement that they have hired the independent contractor as a full-time employee.
Consulting For Architects, Inc. is gathering editorial information from our architecture and design colleagues between the ages of 18 to 35. Your comments will be considered and may be quoted in our 2016 white paper: Hiring Trends – Millennials in the architecture workplace
Existing research on Millennials, by others claim:
- Seem to have shorter attention spans than Gen X or Boomers
- Tend to learn as much as they can, as quickly as they can, and then move on
- Trending towards smaller firms
- Seek firms compatible with their world view
Do you agree, disagree, or hold a different opinion? Can you identify what factors would influence your job hunting strategy?
We look forward to your comments.
You may also be interested in ranking the top 6 reasons millennials change firms by clicking on our survey.
Thank you for your time.
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Top 5 Reasons to try video interviews?
1. Reduces your carbon footprint.
2. Reduces traveling to multiple interviews.
3. Embraces new innovations and technologies.
4. Presents you as a person, not a piece of paper.
5. Employers (9 out of 10) watch video resumes before reading paper resumes. Clients frequently submit their own questions for you.
The benefits of embracing video interviews for the environment are easy to see, but it’s also great at cutting down wasted time in your career search. Think of how tough it can be to schedule interviews at the best firms. Now imagine how easy it could be if the firm could meet you virtually from anywhere, at any time. Best of all, the environment gets a reprieve.
Video Interviews Help Staffing Firms Become More Successful
Staffing firms are a collection of professional Talent Acquisition professionals. But their lives could be made so much easier with video interviews. Many staffing firms employ Talent Acquisition specialists who often find they lack enough time in the day to complete every task, or who become exasperated trying to track candidates down. Using video interviews, staffing firms can help their Talent Acquisition team get their lives back. Find out how:
• Video interviews save staffing firms time. When it comes to finding the right candidate, it’s up to their Talent Acquisition team to source and screen hundreds of candidates for just the right fit. Often, this is done by building talent pools from which to read through matching resumes. Then comes the old phone screen. This can be a cumbersome process. A phone screen could take an hour per employee. However, many staffing firms are increasingly finding that by using video interviews, they’re able to screen more candidates in less time. Imagine the Talent Acquisition pros being able to sit back and collect video interviews on demand from candidates. This means less time trying to track candidates down and schedule formal phone screens. Instead, they can send an email with a link that candidates log onto to prepare their video on demand. Suddenly, staffing firms are able to put the onus on candidates. They can simply sit back and wait for a candidate to record their video interview on demand and send it to the Talent Acquisition professional. Staffing firms, are able to view 10 video interviews on demand in the span of time it takes to do one phone screen.
• Collaboration is enhanced with video interviews. Often, the Talent Acquisition pros in staffing firms feel as if they’re operating in a bit of a vacuum. We’ve heard from many staffing industry pros that they find a great candidate they’d like to share, but it can be difficult to break through the noise of candidate resumes flowing in and collaborate. This can be a frustration of the past. With video interviews, staffing firms are able to view, score and share the top video interviews with their colleagues. This brings more eyes into the process and ensures a better candidate screening overall.
• Video interviews enhance the candidate experience. Of the thousands of candidates we work with per month, we hear a common frustration: their candidate experience is lacking. When candidates apply to jobs through staffing firms, they can feel like little more than a number. Video interviews can help make them feel like they’re going through a personal experience. Live video interviews are a great way for candidates to log on, view welcome videos, and to gain more information on the position they’re applying for. This allows Talent Acquisition to offer more nuance to the candidate. And using the visual medium, it allows them to tell their client’s story better. Candidates love video interviews because they feel it’s more intimate than walking in and finding 10 other candidates also competing for the same position. Video interviews are technologically advanced and offer candidates an immersive experience, allowing both Talent Acquisition and candidates to tell their story better.
- Time to hire shrinks with video interviews. These days, candidates want a shorter time to hire. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, time to hire rose from 24.5 days to 29 days in July of 2015. This is due in part to rising hiring quotas and shrinking budgets to actually accomplish increased hiring requirements. As the Baby Boomer generation begins to retire and employers increasingly look to the Millennial generation to fill these roles, time to hire will become increasingly important. Approximately 33% of Millennials report that they get hired within a month’s time. Longer times to hire could potentially scare away the very best candidates.Staffing firms are finding themselves increasingly in demand because of the roaring return of the economy. As more jobs are added to the job market, their Talent Acquisition teams will find themselves struggling to keep up. With video interviews, they can remain ahead of the curve and deliver superior results to their customers. Interested in finding out more? Call us today and schedule a free demo of our video interview software.
The Job Hunt
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The Growing “Gig Economy”
There has been a lot of debate over the past year about the merits of the gig economy—where people work on a project or contract basis instead of holding down jobs as traditional full-time employees. Presidential candidates have weighed in on the pluses and minuses of “gig” or contingent work. Lawsuits against on-demand work companies like Uber and Handy are widely covered in the press while investors continue to pour billions of dollars into similar startups.
For the most part, these discussions and debates have focused on companies like Uber and Lyft that connect independent contractors with customers to provide consumer services. More often ignored is the growing population of contingent workers, including independent contractors, statement-of-work-based labor, and freelancers who provide services to corporations. But this is a growing population of workers, many of whom are highly skilled.
It takes a careful mix of mission, management, and culture.
Attracting, retaining, and managing these highly skilled workers will require new ways of thinking about talent management and the role that external talent plays. Companies will need to become “the client of choice” for these high-end contractors.
Recent research illustrates the growing corporate use of contingent workers:
Our own research reinforces these findings. The MBO Partners 2015 State of Independence workforce study found that 6.4 million Americans report that they provide professional services to corporations on a contingent or contract basis. Of these, about 2 million report earning $75,000 or more last year.
Not only is this group large—by way of comparison, this is substantially more than the roughly 4 million Americans who work in the automotive industry, including those working in car dealerships and automotive parts retailing—it’s also growing. Our study shows the number of contingent workers providing professional services to corporations has been growing at about three times the rate of overall employment over the past five years.
Two broad shifts—one on the employer side, the other on the worker side—are driving this boom. First, companies increasingly need a flexible workforce to compete globally. In our research we heard from company leaders that their businesses are turning to independent workers to increase business flexibility and agility. Independent workers allow them to quickly and efficiently scale staffing up and down to meet shifts in demand and changing business circumstances in an increasingly volatile and always-changing global economy. Businesses are also turning to highly skilled independent workers due to difficulties in attracting and retaining employees with hard-to-find specialized talents.
Second, many skilled professionals want independence and are going into contingent work to gain greater work/life flexibility, autonomy, and control over their careers. These highly talented professionals are realizing they are able to go off on their own and make as much or even more money — so they’re doing just that.
These professionals are in demand, and they know it. According to our research, 83% say they have a lot of choice or some choice over who they work with. Only 17% report having little or no choice over who they work with. In other words, these talented professionals can choose what to work on and with whom to work.
So what do these highly skilled independent workers want from their clients?
Being paid well and on time is obviously important to independent workers. But less obvious — and generally more important — are the non-monetary reasons independents choose their clients.
Skilled independents want the ability to control their lives, have meaningful work, and to be part of the team. When it comes to deciding which clients to work with, 96% selected “Value my work” as an important client attribute. Right behind was “Allow me control over my schedule” (89%) and “Allow me control over my work” (88%). “Treat me as part of the team” came in fourth. While independents value their autonomy and don’t want to be traditional employees, they also want to be treated as contributing team members.
Steve King is a Partner at Emergent Research, a research and consulting firm focused on small and micro businesses.
Gene Zaino is the founder and CEO of MBO Partners, a provider of support, tools and resources for independent professionals and their clients.
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Firms Report Strongest Billing Since Before Recession
PHILADELPHIA (MNI) – U.S. architects are enjoying the fastest growth in billings since before the recession for their work on a range of residential and commercial construction projects, and expect continued growth in coming months, according to company owners and a trade association.
Architecture firms in Los Angeles, New York, and Charlotte, North Carolina said they have hired more people in recent months and expect to hire again to cope with the extra demand from developers of apartment buildings, retail space and in some cases institutional properties like charter schools.
While some companies have at least doubled their billing and the size of their payrolls since the depths of the recession, most said they have work in the pipeline that suggests even stronger revenue in 2015.
“This is really just getting underway,” said Kermit Baker, chief economist at the American Association of Architects, in an interview. “We are very much in the early innings of what looks to be a healthy recovery.”
The AIA’s monthly index of billing, which in July showed its strongest growth since mid-2007, is expected to show continued strength when the August index is released on Sept. 24, Baker said.
“I don’t think there’s any evidence that August was off that trend line significantly,” he said.
The industry has seen intermittent growth during the last three or four years so the evidence of a sustained upturn is not yet conclusive but the current increase is the strongest since the recession, Baker said.
The growth suggests there will be an upturn in non-residential construction spending of around 10% in 2015, Baker said. He attributes the upswing to improving business confidence and better access to capital.
“Businesses are finally at a stage where they are comfortable reinvesting in their facilities, and comfortable that the economic upturn is going to be sustained,” he said. “They are seeing sufficient demand to justify reinvestment.”
The greater availability of financing is allowing the restart of construction projects that stalled several years ago because of a tight credit environment after the recession.
“Financing has begun to ease up a little bit,” Baker said. “Surprisingly strong numbers of firms are saying they are now working on projects that they had begun three or four years ago, but stopped work and now they have come back.”
Even the market for design of institutions such as schools is coming back after a period when it was hurt by a decline in local government tax revenue.
“The last couple of months we have seen very strong numbers on the institutional side, which would suggest that construction activity moving into 2015 will begin to pick up,” Baker said.
The higher demand for institutional work has been seen in New York City where Caples Jefferson Architects is designing schools for both public and private-sector clients, as well as undertaking more work on residential projects.
“There are lots and lots of charter school construction going on right now as well as public construction,” said Sara Caples, president and principal of the firm in Long Island City.
Caples said demand for her firm’s services is at its strongest for at least five years, and that billing in the last few months has been about double its level of a year earlier. And in a sign that billings will growth further, she said she has had a “flood” of requests for proposals in recent months, and is responding to an unusually large number of them.
“We throw out a lot of requests for proposals if we don’t think we have a strong chance, and we’re still putting out a major proposal every week or so, which is just extraordinary,” she said.
Current projects include a 20,000 square-foot charter school in the Bronx, and a 40,000 square-foot charter school plus a 12-unit residential component in Manhattan, she said.
Residential developments are facilitating the construction of associated institutional projects because of the strong retail market in New York, Caples said.
“The market is strong enough that the residential makes it viable to build the six-story school on quite a challenging site,” she said. “The 12 residential units will allow them to pay off the mortgage very rapidly. The residential market seems to be the little engine that’s financing quite a lot of things.”
The eight-person firm already is two architects bigger than it was at the start of 2014, and may add more, despite an extremely selective hiring policy, if it takes on just one or two projects, she said.
The growth is being fueled by easier access to finance, which is helping not only to revive dormant projects but to launch new ones, Caples added.
“That’s what’s different about this,” she said. ‘Now, people are actually making new deals with their financiers that haven’t been kicking around forever.”
And she said her firm’s current growth seems to be representative of the market as a whole. “Most of the people that we talk to seem to be experiencing similar patterns,” she said.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, The Housing Studio, an architecture firm specializing in multi-family housing projects around the East Coast between Philadelphia and Charlotte, and in the Denver, Colorado area, is seeing an “explosion” in growth, said President Chuck Travis.
He said the company is billing about $3 million annually or more than three times the level during the recession. Its 28-strong work force is now about twice its traditional size, and four times its level at the low point of the recession. Travis said he’s looking to hire four or five more architects.
Travis said the growth is unprecedented in the company’s 18-year history. “It’s exponential growth in a two-year time frame,” he said.
He attributed the upswing to increased demand for rental housing in the walkable or transit-oriented urban areas that are favored by the “millennial” workers who eagerly sought by developers across the country.
That sector of the population is less interested in housing as an investment than was the previous generation, and prefers the flexibility of rented accommodation, he said, predicting continued growth.
“We’re not showing any signs of slowing down,” he said.
The demand for downtown living is also being seen in a three-square-mile area of Los Angeles, where 6,000 residential units are under construction and another 14,000-16,000 units are being planned, according to Simon Ha, a partner with TSK Architects.
That is creating more work for firms like TSK which is billing 30% more than it did a year ago, and has hired four architects this year for a total of 10, Ha said. And demand is stronger than it was in the pre-recession years of 2006-2007.
The construction boom, which he said is being fueled by investment from China, has resulted in land prices in the downtown area jumping to around $400 a square foot from $250-$300 two years ago. Land near LA’s Staples Center is now selling for about $600 a square foot, or about double its level two years ago, he said.
With a booming population of single people demanding housing in previously desolate urban areas like downtown LA, there are big opportunities for companies like TSK which has increased its billing for residential design to 70% of its total, Ha said.
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|Intermediate Interior Designer l Multi-Family Residential
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Our Job Board Achieves Early Success
VISIT OUR JOB BOARD
We launched our current website late last June. Since that time we have matched over 100 architects and designers with firms throughout New York and more recently Los Angeles. In addition to our standard methods of recruiting and talent coordination we have relied heavily on our new job board.
“I search the job board for project work and it saves me a lot of time. It’s quicker than a phone call and CFA is always good about calling for openings that their clients prefer to be kept confidential.” Gary Krauss.
The job board is more than a place to post our current openings, although it does that very well. It is also a Job Agent. The Job Agent gives Candidates the option to enroll in automatic email alerts that notify them when openings matching their interests appear on our JobDiva Candidate Portal. To subscribe, Candidates can simply click the link ‘Sign-up for Job Agent,’ which appears at the top right corner of your JobDiva Candidate Portal.
Candidates may then enter criteria for opportunities that interest them, choose the frequency of notifications, and title the Job Agent. All they need to do next is click ‘Create Agent,’ and they will begin receiving emails with links to the newest openings on our website. If you would like to have a Job Agent here are the Set-Jobs-Agent-Instructions.
“The Job Agent works for me around the clock. When a CFA recruiter posts a new job at 1:00 in the morning and it matches my skill set I get an alert. I really like it.” Derek Paul.
The job board is also a full featured Candidate Portal with multiple features. You can sign in and open your password protected page, register your resume, update your resume, keep track of your time and billing, follow your placement history, and stay abreast of new job posting with our RSS feed. You can also register your resume without registering for a specific job.
As we add new features we will let you know.
Optimistically speaking. demand for architects seems understandably uncertain through the year 2011. While filling positions within the architectural field will depend on geographic location of employment, and specialty in the field, among many influences.
Since architect employment is affected more so by the overall trend of commercial building construction and re-development efforts than many construction-related positions, it will no doubt be subject to the downturn of the commercial real estate market that had hit the United States (spring of 2009 onward). But, in the event of a shifting emphasis toward rehabilitating and transforming existing structures, if new construction costs continue to rise across many parts of the country, architects may look more toward employment with firms that are well established.
Overall, a large number of commercial architects may find opportunities slim, depending on their specialty. Although areas such as those involved with healthcare, security, defense and technology; positions may hold or even increase in the coming years depending on the effects and whereabouts of funding brought about by the Obama administration efforts. Architect jobs in the residential sector can probably expect to experience a downgrade given the state of new residential housing starts (early 2009) although this might turn if affected by favorable interest rates and banking procedures. Still, since the service of the residential sector is mainly comprised of the self-employed, trends of employment in this sector is debatable as many architects may transfer from private/contractor employer firms.
The entire architect job market will undergo rising competition. Demanding proven experience and track records and abilities for those well seated in the workplace and while becoming more specialized for those entering the workplace. Computer CAD has long since become a given requirement.
Competition for entry level positions on-up is likely to produce a wealth of labor and choices for employers of architects.
Hat tip to Referworks