logo

Tag archives for | Millennials

Tag archives for: Millennials

Hiring millennial architects & designers & what is important to them

Hiring Millennials

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.

Recruiting Millennials

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.

Retaining Millennials

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.

Hiring Millennials | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Millennials in the architecture workplace

Hiring Millennials

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.

Hiring Millennials | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Perkins Eastman

Assembling a City

Perkins Eastman designs a city on the former site of an Atlanta car factory

The City of Doraville, population 8,300, is a 15-mile drive from downtown Atlanta. The suburban enclave is also the last stop on Atlanta’s METRO Gold line rail transit system. Around the station, Stan Eckstut, principal at Perkins Eastman, has designed a “city-within-a-city” on the 165-acre site of a former General Motors assembly plant, adding a heavy dose of transit-oriented walkability that developers at The Integral Group hope can entice city-centric millennials to the city’s fringe.

“It is a city, there’s no question,” Eckstut said of the development, dubbed “Assembly, Doraville, USA.” His master plan design—a mix of about 50-percent public space and 50-percent developable land sandwiched between railroad tracks and an interstate highway—embraces density around the Doraville transit stop, connecting to the city’s historic downtown with an armature of parks that will guide development over the next decade.

Eckstut said streets and public spaces organize development parcels, which are envisioned as fluid land-use designations rather than prescribed uses—much like in a real city. In turn, market forces guide what ends up getting built. Eckstut cautioned against the pitfalls of large-scale “Renaissance plans,” that guided 20th century urban renewal, and today have influenced heavy-handed development in China. “The issue is creating something that can be implemented over time with many ideas and many innovations,” said Eckstut. “You need to focus on how it will get implemented and how you can create a fabric where things can evolve and change—much like the grid of Manhattan.”

Assembly sits on one side of a 30-foot-tall freight and transit rail line, one of the busiest in the Southeast, and Doraville on the other. Eckstut said connecting the two was important to create a real urban place. He plans to build a 60-foot-wide tunnel beneath 13 active tracks, an expensive feat, to create connections that can also foster density.

“The plans that preceded us all had bridges that went over the tracks,” said Eckstut. The massive approach ramps required for such a structure precluded creating a compact town center. “I realized I could bring a street right under the tracks and meet up with grade. That became the whole scheme.” Eckstut said the street—an extension of Doraville’s civic heart, Park Avenue—will form the framework for the rest of the development. “This is the glue that connects the historical town center with the new 165-acre site,” he said.

Just inside, an approximately 1.7-acre “Transit Square” serves as the forecourt to the larger parks system. From here, everything in Assembly is an easy walk. “I drew a circle with a radius of about 1,200 feet—a five minute walk,” said Eckstut. “When you reach a five-minute walk, the world changes—people don’t walk after that.” You can get just about anywhere in Assembly in five minutes, and your walk will always be close by a park.”

Eckstut said that Assembly’s park system is a sustainable machine for the entire neighborhood. “Most large-scale projects today have one major sustainability challenge: keeping stormwater on site,” he said. “The best way of doing that is creating a park system. Wherever you have streets, you’re going to have rain gardens.” Rather than build wide sidewalks, Eckstut hopes these gardens will create a more intimate and vibrant streetscape.

Eckstut said streets and public spaces organize development parcels, which are envisioned as fluid land-use designations rather than prescribed uses—much like in a real city. In turn, market forces guide what ends up getting built. Eckstut cautioned against the pitfalls of large-scale “Renaissance plans,” that guided 20th century urban renewal, and today have influenced heavy-handed development in China. “The issue is creating something that can be implemented over time with many ideas and many innovations,” said Eckstut. “You need to focus on how it will get implemented and how you can create a fabric where things can evolve and change—much like the grid of Manhattan.”

Assembly sits on one side of a 30-foot-tall freight and transit rail line, one of the busiest in the Southeast, and Doraville on the other. Eckstut said connecting the two was important to create a real urban place. He plans to build a 60-foot-wide tunnel beneath 13 active tracks, an expensive feat, to create connections that can also foster density.

“The plans that preceded us all had bridges that went over the tracks,” said Eckstut. The massive approach ramps required for such a structure precluded creating a compact town center. “I realized I could bring a street right under the tracks and meet up with grade. That became the whole scheme.” Eckstut said the street—an extension of Doraville’s civic heart, Park Avenue—will form the framework for the rest of the development. “This is the glue that connects the historical town center with the new 165-acre site,” he said. Perkins Eastman

The City of Doraville, population 8,300, is a 15-mile drive from downtown Atlanta. The suburban enclave is also the last stop on Atlanta’s METRO Gold line rail transit system. Around the station, Stan Eckstut, principal at Perkins Eastman, has designed a “city-within-a-city” on the 165-acre site of a former General Motors assembly plant, adding a heavy dose of transit-oriented walkability that developers at The Integral Group hope can entice city-centric millennials to the city’s fringe.

“It is a city, there’s no question,” Eckstut said of the development, dubbed “Assembly, Doraville, USA.” His master plan design—a mix of about 50-percent public space and 50-percent developable land sandwiched between railroad tracks and an interstate highway—embraces density around the Doraville transit stop, connecting to the city’s historic downtown with an armature of parks that will guide development over the next decade.

perkins eastman

Everywhere within the Assembly development is a five-minute walk away.
Eckstut said streets and public spaces organize development parcels, which are envisioned as fluid land-use designations rather than prescribed uses—much like in a real city. In turn, market forces guide what ends up getting built. Eckstut cautioned against the pitfalls of large-scale “Renaissance plans,” that guided 20th century urban renewal, and today have influenced heavy-handed development in China. “The issue is creating something that can be implemented over time with many ideas and many innovations,” said Eckstut. “You need to focus on how it will get implemented and how you can create a fabric where things can evolve and change—much like the grid of Manhattan.”

Assembly sits on one side of a 30-foot-tall freight and transit rail line, one of the busiest in the Southeast, and Doraville on the other. Eckstut said connecting the two was important to create a real urban place. He plans to build a 60-foot-wide tunnel beneath 13 active tracks, an expensive feat, to create connections that can also foster density.

“The plans that preceded us all had bridges that went over the tracks,” said Eckstut. The massive approach ramps required for such a structure precluded creating a compact town center. “I realized I could bring a street right under the tracks and meet up with grade. That became the whole scheme.” Eckstut said the street—an extension of Doraville’s civic heart, Park Avenue—will form the framework for the rest of the development. “This is the glue that connects the historical town center with the new 165-acre site,” he said.

perkins eastman perkins eastman perkins eastman
The Yards will be the first portion of the plan built.

Just inside, an approximately 1.7-acre “Transit Square” serves as the forecourt to the larger parks system. From here, everything in Assembly is an easy walk. “I drew a circle with a radius of about 1,200 feet—a five minute walk,” said Eckstut. “When you reach a five-minute walk, the world changes—people don’t walk after that.” You can get just about anywhere in Assembly in five minutes, and your walk will always be close by a park.”

Eckstut said that Assembly’s park system is a sustainable machine for the entire neighborhood. “Most large-scale projects today have one major sustainability challenge: keeping stormwater on site,” he said. “The best way of doing that is creating a park system. Wherever you have streets, you’re going to have rain gardens.” Rather than build wide sidewalks, Eckstut hopes these gardens will create a more intimate and vibrant streetscape.

perkins eastman

Around the parks, the city has approved up to 10 million square feet of development governed by form-based codes that call for maintaining a street wall without setbacks for the first 60 feet of height. Eckstut said the tallest buildings around the Transit Square will top out at up to 15 stories, as dictated by the airspace requirements of an adjacent airport.

The first section of the plan to be built is called “The Yards” on the southwest corner of the site, where a spur of the rail line once entered the factory. Eckstut convinced developers to save leftover remnants from the old GM plant to be repurposed as a film studio. Perkins Eastman is also designing a new minimalist loft building with an industrial aesthetic adjacent to the studio. Cottage-like outbuildings will surround the studio and additional offices will fill train cars. Developers plan on breaking ground on The Yards within the next year.

With the master plan complete and approved, each of six distinct neighborhood districts will go through a separate site planning process that goes into more detail about buildings and public space design. The district surrounding Transit Square and including the new underpass will go into planning in the next 18 months. Eckstut said this phase “is very complicated because we have to engage the transit station and the street that goes under. It involves at least a dozen entities.”

Architectural Design | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Share with your colleagues!

RSS20
Follow by Email35
Facebook540
Facebook
Google+320
Google+
http://www.cons4arch.com/tag/millennials/
YouTube8
YouTube
Pinterest66
Pinterest
LinkedIn5K
Houzz104
Houzz
SHARE66
New Jobs