Freelancers and Independent Contractors Beware: Build Back Better Vows to Impose the PRO Act Which Threatens Your Livelihood
The freedom to work as a freelancer or independent contractor provides flexibility for households and vibrancy to the American economy. It is tailor-made for architecture and design practices and the freelance architects seeking to fill the peaks and valleys standard in architecture practices.
The PRO Act bans Right to Work laws nationwide. Still, it also imposes the same independent contractor/freelancer-destroying policies of California’s AB5 law, which has destroyed countless lives and driven people out of the Golden State.
Freelancers and independent contractors want to be their bosses. AB5 and the PRO Act dictate they must have a boss. Households need greater flexibility than ever after the changes brought about by COVID in the workplace.
I have been fighting my whole professional career for the right to freelance and become an independent contractor. We need to rally the political wing of the AIA.org and ask their Advocacy group to engage and lobby against this provision of the Build Back Better bill.
Act Now Contact Sarah Dodge, AIA, Senior Vice-President of Advocacy & Relationships, and ask her to put the full force of the AIA’s advocacy group behind removing the AB5 provision out of Build Back Better!
Uncertainty looms amid work freezes, layoffs, and diminishing revenue.
[Source Image: urfinguss/iStock]
Nearly every industry is getting pummeled by the spread of COVID-19, and architecture is no exception. In late March, the American Institute of Architects conducted a survey of 387 architecture firm leaders, and the results suggest a deeply uncertain future for the profession. Two-thirds of the firms that responded said projects had either stopped or slowed down as a result of COVID-19, and a whopping 94% said they anticipate revenue to dip. Respondents expected their losses to only deepen in April.
The damage will be far-reaching, impacting individual practitioners, firms, and the profession at large. Firms are already furloughing workers and slashing pay. Foster + Partners, one of the most prominent architecture firms in the world, announced that its 1,400 workers would take a 20% paycut for three months. In New York, architects working on public projects have been ordered to suspend their design work indefinitely. “Many architecture firms are small businesses,” Dan Hart, AIA’s at-large director, points out. Small businesses have been especially hard hit by the economic fallout from COVID-19.
Firms with public projects underway in international locations are potentially the most at risk, as 47% of them have instituted a no-travel policy indefinitely, according to the survey, making it difficult to visit sites and maintain construction schedules. Firms that focus on residential architecture may be in even hotter water; the survey suggests they have gotten far fewer inquiries for new design contracts.
Twenty-five percent of the firms that responded expect a 15% loss in revenue this month, and that number may only increase as stay-at-home orders continue. If other creative fields are any indication, layoffs could accelerate. “The length, intensity, and uncertainty of this crisis will impact both the funding of and the opportunity for construction,” Hart says. “Gainful employment for architects is positively affected by shortening the impact of the crisis, flattening the infection curves, and introducing more certainty in containing the spread of the virus.”
So what’s to be done? In the short term, firms can take a few measures to offset the magnitude of their losses. Aside from applying for emergency loans through the government’s Payment Protection Program to pay for salaries, insurance, rent, and other operating costs, small firms (less than 500 people on staff) are eligible for loan forgiveness and businesses that are forced to shut down completely can get a payroll tax credit.
Looking ahead, AIA CEO Robert Ivy says it’s critical for the government to put more provisions in place to protect architecture and construction jobs—not just for the industry, but for society at large. “To jump-start the economy and bring architects and the critical design and construction economy back to life, we are strongly advocating for ‘vertical’ infrastructure, buildings, to be included in any additional stimulus bill,’” he writes in an email. “The nation needs housing, healthcare, and health-related research facilities (a clear need at this time), and schools. Architecture can and should create facilities that allow us to grow and heal, stimulating the larger economy while creating safer, more healthful places.”
While women have forged a path in many male-dominated industries today, challenges still face female architects. As women are slowly moving into relevant positions and even leadership roles, there is still plenty of work to be done. Fortunately, awareness of inequality has been the first step in the creation of organizations and movements to support women passionate about the field. In addition, some outspoken architects are bringing the issue into focus, increasing awareness and encouraging women interested in studying architecture to pursue the profession as a legitimate career path.
While statistics offer hope that the presence of female architects are on the rise, the numbers also show there is more work to be done. According to a 2018 report in Artsy, women comprise approximately half of the students in architecture schools today. However, the numbers begin to decline dramatically as students move to the professional world, with women making up only 18% of licensed architects. Even more concerning is the fact that just three of the top 100 architecture firms are led by women.
When considering global numbers, the statistics start to
lean more in the favor of women in the industry. The National Council of Architectural
Registration Boards (NCARB) estimated in 2016 that women made up more than
one-third (36%) of all newly licensed architects. That number marks a small
increase from 2015, when 34% of new licenses went to women.
Issues Facing Women in the Industry
One of the biggest concerns female architects have today is inequality
when it comes to salary. A 2017 article in the journal Archipreneur
found that men earning $100,000 or more outpace women earning the same amount
by 7%. The difference exists even though more women than men have a four-year degree.
At the lower end of the salary scale, nearly twice as many women as men earn
less than $50,000.
The issues relating to salary inequalities was summed up in
part by a 2018 article in the New
York Times, titled, “Where are all the Female Architects?” The report noted
that pipeline is not a problem as it is in other industries, since plenty of
women are going to school to train for the profession. Instead, a generalized
negative perception of women in the profession could be at the root of the
difference. The New York Times reports that as recently as 2018, there were
assumptions that women would quit if they got married or had children, or that
they would not be able to lead with authority on job sites. Even their
creativity has been questioned at times in this male-dominated industry.
Growing Support Network
Fortunately, more women are becoming known in the industry
today, paving the way for other female architects to join the ranks. The New
York Times also reports that more women are getting appointed as deans or
directors at architecture programs at prestigious schools like Cornell,
Columbia, Princeton, and Yale. Female architects at the top of companies are
also gaining more recognition as trade journals and mainstream media are
highlighting these women.
Industry organizations are also beginning to make a place
for women – through conferences geared specifically to female architects or committees
designed to bring women in the profession together. The American
Institute of Architects (AIA) is hosting its first Women’s Leadership
Summit in September of this year, in an effort to bring together female
architects and those that have achieved leadership roles within their
According to the AIA website, the goals of the Women’s
Leadership Summit are:
Increase awareness of women in the industry
Create a learning environment by combining women
at various stages of their careers
Help women discover paths to leadership roles
Provide the opportunity for women to learn from
In addition, the AIA New York features a Women in
Architecture Committee to develop and promote women in the industry through
monthly meetings and other events. The local committee focuses on licensure,
mentorship and networking opportunities to help women take their careers in
architecture to the next level.
Pioneers Taking the “Female” Out of the Position
As more women take the stage in the architectural industry,
women following in their footsteps can find both inspiration and knowledge to
succeed in their careers. Dorte Mandrup, a Danish architect who is also the
creative director and founder at Dorte Mandrup, published an article in 2017,
which appeared in Politiken and Dezeen.
In the article, Mandrup makes the point that she does not
want to be referred to as a “female architect.” Instead, she wants to be known
as an architect – one whose work can compare with the creativity of any male
without having the additional label attached. She believes that until women
stop getting referred to as “female architects,” true equality within the
industry cannot happen.
Liz Ogbu trained as an architect at the Harvard Graduate
School of Design. However, she referred to herself in the New York Times
article as a “designer, social innovator, and urbanist.” Her point was that
women can make a name for themselves in the world of architecture to redefine success
within the industry. Instead of focusing solely on skyscrapers and museums, Ogbu
is focusing on designs for the underprivileged such as shelters for immigrant
“In many ways, architecture is a profession that has been the
epitome of the dominant white patriarchy, from most of the celebrated
starchitects to the all too frequent obsession with buildings that are better
known for their beauty of the object rather than the quality of the life that
they enable…I’ve been committed to a design practice that is rooted in
elevating the stories of those who have most often been neglected or silenced.”
Whether you are looking for your very first position in the industry or
ready to take your career to the next level, we can help. We help architects,
interior designers and others in the building design profession find the job of
their dreams. Contact CFA
today to learn more.
It probably feels pretty amazing to have that degree.
Of course, the longer you go without using it, the more that degree is going to become an irritating reminder. So, let’s look at four of the best architecture careers you can start pursuing right away.
The 4 Best Architecture Related Careers to Get Started in Right Now
The field of architecture is at least as broad as it is old. As such, it’s probably fair to say that there are countless architecture careers out there for you to consider.
However, the following four fields will give you plenty of diverse options beyond the traditional versions. Best of all, each features plenty of job openings throughout the country.
Landscape architects are responsible for planning and creating landscapes, which can include manmade features, as well. Oftentimes, landscape architects need to collaborate with others, so that their creations complement buildings that will share the same environment (and vice versa).
This career may also involve the long-term care of the landscape, as well. This is when a talent for the natural sciences is very helpful.
As a huge part of this field involves the buildings in urban environments, it requires an architect who’s able to take the resources available (including money and space) and make the most of them. An architect who becomes proficient at this will never be long without work.
Architecture is such a massive industry that it requires an equally impressive army of journalists. Unfortunately, most journalists don’t have a very good understanding of architecture. They might be able to cover the topic for those outside the industry, but their lack of knowledge wouldn’t go unnoticed by those who depend on a high-level expertise for a living.
Finally, if you have a passion for history and architecture, you will be uniquely qualified to become an architectural historian.
In short, as an architectural historian, your job will involve advising restoration projects aimed at buildings of historical significance. This often involves researching the building to better understand the materials and methods that were used to build it.
Want an Expert’s Help Considering Architecture Careers?
While we hope that the above list of possible architecture careers is helpful, we know that this decision is a big one and you may want some help with it.
At Consulting For Architects, Inc. Careers we’ve helped recent graduates just like you with this important next step, ensuring that they find jobs which fall in line with their interests and career goals. Contact us today at (212) 532-4360 or [email protected] to learn more about how we can help you do the exact same thing.
Download our mobile app. The mobile app is the fastest and most enjoyable way to search new job openings in architecture and interior design from the leading staffing and recruiting firm exclusive to the design community. Download appiPhone and Android
1. Install the CFA Job Search mobile app.
2. Create or import your resume
3. Swipe through jobs and apply!
Use this app to apply to jobs, manage your resume and other documents, and more – all directly from your smartphone using our mobile app. With the our mobile app you can:
* Search and apply for open positions. Find jobs and share your resume with only a few taps of your smartphone.
* Track your Applications.
* Store and manage your resumes. Upload your latest resume to the Job Search app and use it to apply for jobs with one tap.
* Fill out, electronically sign and submit On-Boarding documents.
* Submit feedback on Assignments. Communicate with our team without leaving the Job Search app.
CFA is the only placement firm built from scratch by a published designer educated and experienced in architecture. Our search techniques utilize that enhanced insight, which is why job seekers and hiring firms choose our top-tier staffing services.
Visit our Booth on the 1st Floor #4315 June 21-23 New York City – Jacob Javits center
Get ready for three immersive days of what’s new and now in architecture and design, hosted in one of the most iconic cities in the world. At A’18, some of the most creative architects, designers, and firms will share how they’re creating their own blueprint and making a difference in cities of every size all over the world. Find us on google.
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.
Architecture firms anticipate relatively slow adoption rates for new and emerging technologies in design and construction
By Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, AIA Chief Economist
U.S. architecture firms reported another solid month of growth in October 2015. The AIA’s Architecture Billings Index (ABI) was 53.1 for the month, demonstrating a solid increase in firm billings that was just below the 53.7 score for September. New project inquiries, with a score of 58.5 for the month, and new design contracts at 51.7, point to healthy business conditions at architecture firms. However, both readings fell a bit from their September level, suggesting that growth may moderate just a bit in the coming months.
Click to expand
The overall strong performance in business activity in recent months is beginning to show a regional pattern. Firms in the South have been reporting continued strong business conditions through the year, while firms in the West have been reporting acceleration in billings over the past few months. In contrast, Northeast firms have been reporting weak conditions in recent months, and Midwest firms—while reporting growth—have seen billings increase at a somewhat slower pace.
Firms in all the major construction sectors reported healthy conditions in October, with the strongest growth coming from commercial/industrial firms. Residential firms recorded their second straight monthly increase after seven straight monthly declines. Institutional firms saw growth on par with September, but their ABI scores have been declining for the past several months, indicating that the pace of growth of billings at these firms has been moderating.
In Spite of International Concerns, U.S. Economy Doing Well
The economy sputtered a bit in the third quarter, producing only 1.5% growth at an annualized basis. However, there appears to be some firming in economic conditions to date in the fourth quarter. There was a net increase of 271,000 payroll positions nationally in October, well above expectations, and the strongest monthly increase so far this year. That pushed the national unemployment rate down to 5.0%, its lowest level since early 2008. The construction sector has been an important contributor to the employment front, adding 31,000 payroll positions for October and 159,000 through the first ten months of the year. Construction has thus accounted for almost 8% of payroll gains so far in 2015.
An improving labor market, coupled with continued low gasoline prices, has improved the consumer’s outlook. The preliminary consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan jumped up in November to its highest level in several months. This has produced higher levels of consumer spending, as retail sales—after netting the lower amounts spent on gasoline—saw healthy gains in October. A key test of the perceived health of the economy will come in mid-December when the Federal Reserve Board decides whether an increase in short-term interest rates is warranted to prevent potential future overheating.
Innovative Technologies May Not Yet Be Ready For Prime Time
In the design professions, as in other sectors in our economy, change is inevitable, but the pace of change may be slower than commonly thought. In an effort to see how the profession might be evolving over the coming five to ten years, this month’s question to the AIA’s Work-on-the Boards panel looked at design and construction elements that might be increasing in importance over this time period.
Topics covered included the areas of design and construction process and techniques, building characteristics, building features and systems, and construction materials. Several of the areas deemed to be becoming more widespread over this period are already fairly widely utilized, such as lighting technology systems (LED, day lighting/natural light), water conservation/efficiency, and energy efficiency designs and retrofits. The overwhelming majority of respondents felt that these design elements would be increasing in importance over the coming five to ten years.
However, other recent innovations that typically have garnered more attention may not reach the same levels of adoption over this period according to architecture firms. One example is the use of robotics in the construction process. Only one in nine respondents feels that this technology will significantly increase in importance over the next five to ten years. Conversely, about four in ten respondents feel that there were be no significant increase in this technology over the coming years. The results were not much different for 3D printing used in the construction process. Only about one in six respondents feels that this technology will significantly increase in importance in the coming years.
This month, Work-on-the-Boards participants are saying:
• After a late summer lull, clients seem to be back at their desks, making decisions and issuing RFPs and RFQs. Prospects for 2016 are looking up.
—33-person firm in the West, mixed specialization
• Firms are very busy and fees are slowly catching up with personnel salary increases.
—6-person firm in the South, institutional specialization
• Northeast (other than NYC) is still struggling to come out of the recession.
—4-person firm in the Northeast, mixed specialization
• New problem for us, long-predicted: talent shortage. Could increase staff by 15-20% if people were available. I expect this to last a long time.
—20-person firm in the Midwest, commercial/industrial specialization
The ABI Work-on-the-Boards Survey Panel is open to any AIA member who is principal/partner of their firm. Apply to join the ABI panel by completing a brief background information form on your firm here.
An architecture firm is only as good as its people. Here are a few tips for attracting—and retaining—the best in the business.
By Nate Berg
From entry-level interns to top-tier management, the business of architecture relies on smart workers [staff]. To stay competitive and endure an ever-turbulent job market, design firms need to recruit the best and the brightest while holding on to the skilled talent they already have.
Look for Inquisitive Minds When seeking new talent, New York–based Robert A.M. Stern Architects partner Graham Wyatt, AIA, says firms should look broadly at the candidates’ talents. Architectural ability and design skills are obviously important, but they shouldn’t be the only factors considered. “Look for people who are broadly educated and, beyond that, people who are inquisitive about the world, who are not just one-dimensional,” he says.
Incentive High Performance
Rewarding employees based on the quality of their work will push them to excel and make them feel appreciated. Robert A.M. Stern Architects uses a system as part of a profit-sharing model that, when the firm is in the black, issues an additional bonus to employees based on annual reviews. “The principle of it is important to the culture of our firm, which is to reward people at all levels so they feel that they’re pulling in the same direction,” Wyatt says, “and that’s really essential to our success.”
Respond to Shifts in Supply and Demand
The layoffs during the recession may seem like fresh wounds, but the market has recovered. Demand for architects is high now due to increased work and a limited supply of professionals. “Twenty to 30 percent of the architectural workforce left in the last recession, so the talent pool is much smaller,” says David McFadden, CEO of Consulting for Architects, a staffing agency. Firms need to recognize that it’s a seller’s market. “Architects are just not sitting on a department store shelf anymore.”
Regular performance reviews are crucial for employers to track progress and for workers to get positive feedback, constructive criticism, and, ideally, a chance to request a raise. Communication is mutually beneficial, but it sometimes doesn’t happen enough. “In some firms, the annual review only happens every two or three years,” says Herbert Cannon, president of consultancy AEC Management Solutions. “That can be demoralizing to employees.”
Be Less Picky, Hire More Quickly
A dearth of architects means employers need to adjust expectations and perhaps lower their hiring standards. The perfect candidate simply might not exist. “There’s still this perception that there’s people available that meet all of your criteria. But in fact there’s not and so you need to make a quick attitude adjustment,” says McFadden. To top it off, the limited supply is in such demand—the candidates you want may be under consideration by other firms. McFadden suggests acting quickly: “Shorten the time from receiving a résumé to scheduling an interview to making an offer. … You have to be quick; otherwise you’re going to lose out to a firm that is.”
Firms need to know how to hold on to what they’ve got. That was easier during the recession when many architects were happy to have any job. But now that things have turned around and opportunities are opening up, employers need to do more to keep their workers from perusing the job boards. McFadden says firms should increase compensation for the people who stuck with them during the recession, and even more so for those who saw years pass by without a raise.
Unemployment rates are still uncomfortably high across the nation, there is a misperception that architectural talent must be plentiful, but for specific experience, the exact opposite is true. The shortage is so acute that it has been associated with a rise in offshoring, a bidding war and comparisons to college recruiting. To secure the architecture talent they need, hiring managers must adopt a competitive hiring strategy or lose to someone who does.
Architects had to get even more creative after the economic recession that began around December 2007. The built-in versatility from their studies in areas such as civil engineering, math, art history, and physics positioned them well for thinking outside the box. Jumping ahead seven years, the demand for architectural talent in the wake of the recession has re-stabilized, but talent availability lags behind. No hiring firm could have possibly predicted this rapid shift. To remedy the imbalance between supply and demand, hiring firms must shift their perception of what is viable and consider potential candidates on more realistic criteria.
Supply and Demand
Within the last 10 years, supply and demand in the architecture industry have moved in opposite directions. Uncertainty about capital access discouraged building development, leading to dormant projects and a lack of ambition in both the commercial and residential markets. In 2012, a study by Georgetown University revealed that architecture graduates had experienced the highest rate of unemployment (13.9%) when compared to other fields. Prior to the recession, this problem was not nearly so pronounced.
The Recession’s Effect
The poor economy challenged architects to get creative. According to the Department of Labor, 39,900 jobs were lost in 2010 alone. Architects were forced to think flexibly in order to sustain a livelihood and many did. For example, take 26-year-old architect Natasha Case: she was laid off from a prestigious position at Walt Disney Imagineering. Within a year, Case developed a homemade mobile ice cream business with a friend. Flavors were inspired by architecture. One such flavor was the “Frank Behry,” named after renowned architect Frank Gehry. The startup was such a hit that Case’s former employer, Walt Disney Imagineering, became a customer.
Case is not the only person who resorted to new endeavors during the recession. After years of uncertainty, architects have settled into new careers both in and outside of the industry, leaving the talent pool depleted.
Demand is Rapidly Growing
As the architecture industry attempts to bounce back from economic instability, the landscape has changed significantly. According to MNI News, hiring firms in New York, Los Angeles, and North Carolina report explosive growth; the American Institute of Architects released a billing index in August 2014, showing its highest growth rate since 2007. There are no signs of this pattern slowing.
Industry spending is projected to increase by 10 percent for non-residential construction in 2015. Kermit Baker, chief economist at the American Association of Architects, attributes this growth to more capital access and recovering business confidence.
Institutional projects, which were sluggish in early 2014, are generating growth as well, with public, private and charter school projects popping up in New York City, Long Island, and beyond. Better access to capital has allowed for the renewal of projects that were once dormant, and for the launching of new ones. The Housing Studio, an 18-year-old firm in Charlotte, North Carolina, is billing at its highest rates.
According to the Federal Reserve’s economic forecast, growth is expected to rise 3 percent in the second half of 2014, followed by another 3 percent in 2015. At the same time, the national unemployment rate is projected to fall to 5.5 percent in 2015. Design projects are regenerating, demand snowballing nationally, and architectural demand outpaces supply.
The Talent Pool
Like Natasha Case, many architects have scattered into new industries since the recession. Architecture graduates have been forced out of the field due to a lack of opportunities and inadequate levels of experience.As many hiring firms know, several factors must fall into place for talent to be hired for a project. Candidates are expected, at a minimum, to be proficient in design software, have at least three to seven years of experience in a specific type of work, be eligible to work in the U.S, and be a good cultural fit. The rise in both residential and commercial design projects in 2014 qualified architects, who are still in the talent pool, simply cannot meet the demand.
On top of this, federal and state laws provide a slew of other obstacles for hiring firms to secure the right candidates. Even small firms must comply with the requirements laid out by the Affordable Care Act and the Department of Labor and Homeland Security. Further complications arise when determining exempt vs. nonexempt employees, contractors and overtime eligibility. Considering this myriad of complications, it is no surprise that firms are experiencing an imbalance of supply and demand.Aside from this, cultural changes have caused Millennials to leave their firms after an average of just three years. This puts an extra layer of pressure on firms to continuously cycle through the recruitment process. Retention levels have dipped due to this shift toward a freelance-style career.
In combination, these factors lead to significant stress and a continuous lack of stability at firms, who must constantly process recruitment materials and decide on new candidates. A simple attitude adjustment by hiring firms is necessary for the industry to regain its economic footing. This does not refer to a lowering of standards but rather an expansion in considerations during the hiring process.
In Order to Compete for Quality Talent, Hiring Firms Must Be More Flexible in 6 Crucial Areas:
1. Experiential Requirements
Considering the sluggish pace at which design projects progressed in recent years, newer architects were unable to acquire extensive experience in various areas. With larger commercial projects handed off to established architects, those with less experience are continuously overlooked.
2. Cultural Fit
While a person’s character and their ability to mesh with current company values are important, the decision to hire should primarily be determined by the candidate’s ability to execute the design. Assessing perfect cultural fit is generally a matter of opinion, best made flexible during times of talent shortages.
Considering the level of competition currently face by hiring firms who are in need of talent, flexibility in compensation is crucial. Approaching candidates confidently with a reasonable figure will motivate them and assure them that they are in the right place.
4. Hiring Time
Architects are at an advantage as the industry currently stands. When the correct candidate is found, hiring firms should work to reduce the time between the initial meeting, and the extension of an offer; under lengthier circumstances, architects may move on to other available firms.
5. Employment Duration
While it may be frustrating for both firms and architects to be floating in a sea of uncertainty, this post-recession period of adjustment are unavoidable. It’s worth considering a candidate regardless of the amount of time he or she plans to stay with a firm, and the training time required.
6. Project Placement
In a talent shortage such as this, it may not be feasible to have every employee working as a full-time staff member. While it may sound like a hassle, temporary employees can provide the extra energy burst needed to push a project beyond original expectations. These employees could also serve as a more objective third party with unique backgrounds and perspectives while stabilizing the peaks and valleys associated with architectural practice.
As projects slowly resume and capital becomes available, a full recovery from the recession is in sight. The final puzzle piece involves architects being reacquainted with hiring firms. At least a few decades will pass before for the talent pool can catch up with demand. With many senior architects out of the game for good, and waves of graduates who’ve yet to mature, this problem won’t diminish anytime soon.In order to bridge the gap, hiring firms must be willing to adapt. If the above changes are implemented, hiring firms will be better able to thrive in the industry’s current climate.