Job losses in the UK have been an unfortunate consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has meant that the architecture and interior design jobs market has seen significant increases in the number of candidates actively seeking new roles. We reported earlier in September that 32% of architecture practices had already made redundancies.
The architecture employment market has quickly changed from a candidate-driven market to an employer-driven one. There are now more qualified candidates than job openings.
If you are currently looking to hire in your practice, having access to a larger qualified talent pool can be advantageous. If you and your team are not used to receiving and sorting through high volumes of CVs and portfolios, you will be faced with a key challenge. You will need to make sure the hiring process you have set up can identify the right skills, knowledge and experience promptly, often with a reduced hiring budget or hiring team.
You want to hire the best person for the job, so here are our tips on how to find the right candidate in a job short market:
Provide clear information about the job from the outset
Providing clear information about the role and the responsibilities, challenges, growth opportunities, perks and culture are, are important for two key reasons. Firstly, you want to attract the best talent to apply for your job. Secondly, you will also want to deter those who are not suitable for the position or the culture of your practice too.
Being clear in the job advert about what you are looking for and the opportunity on offer is an important part of attracting the right talent and the best talent.
Speak to your trusted recruitment partner
If your sole role is not as a recruiter in your business, you may find that the volume of applications you receive and the time it takes to process them becomes a full-time job. Establishing a relationship with a specialist architecture recruiter like FRAME can help you find the right candidate for you. They will save you time, have access to candidates you might know of and work on a contingency basis. You won’t need to pay anything unless they find the person that you hire.
Technology has been vital for practices to continue working in lockdown. Many have invested in tools such as Zoom and Teams. These technologies are not only useful for communicating internally and with clients but can also have a significant impact on your recruitment processes.
Video interviews save travel time and costs. The lockdown has provided many with the opportunity to hone their technical skills and become proficient at communicating via video interview.
If you are finding it hard to shortlist candidates, you could add an extra layer to the hiring process and ask for candidates to pre-record their answers to questions. This means that if more than one person is involved in the decision-making process you can all watch these separately and make decisions on who you would like to interview.
Consider agile employment solutions
Considering agile employment solutions like contract and temporary employment can be a great way to help you and your practice to complete projects on time and to budget. Many candidates are keen to join practices on a contract basis.
You may even decide you want to extend the contract or even make the contractor a permanent employee. Agile employment solutions also allow you to find out what a candidate is really like before committing to a long-term contract.
Find out more about the benefits of hiring a contractor here.
Candidate experience is key
Thinking about the future is vital for the recruitment you are doing right now. How you treat candidates now will impact how they perceive you as an employer brand and affect their decision to work for you in the future.
Consider all points of contact during the hiring process including sourcing, the application process, interview process, assessment as well as onboarding. Communicating in a personalised, timely and informative manner will create a positive image of you as an employer. Providing a superior candidate experience can lead to more (and sometimes better) applications, hires and referrals. It can also lead to lower costs of recruiting.
Focus on business agility
The Pandemic has changed the way we do many things at work and practices have had to adapt. Whilst technical skills remain important, soft skills will prove to be a vital part of managing change and opening up new strategic business opportunities.
Look for candidates who can also adapt to a changing market landscape. Skills such as empathy, communication, flexibility and initiative will prove vital for success in your practice.
If you would like to discuss any of this in more detail or need help with your recruitment needs, please do get in touch.