11 April 2024

The architecture sector in the UK is experiencing a surge in demand for top talent. With an increase in client projects, firms are actively seeking skilled professionals to join their teams and contribute to their business goals. Navigating this competitive hiring landscape can be challenging, as certain skill sets are in higher demand than others. Based on our analysis, we've identified the most sought-after roles in the architecture field, helping practices source the best candidates to meet their needs.

Jonty Cooke, Director of FRAME also shares advice on recruitment practices to put you ahead of your competition, including creating great job offers, your employer value proposition, succession planning, and executive search.

The top people in demand in architecture include:

BIM Coordinators with level 2 experience and Revit families

For the first time, BIM Coordinators have made it to the top people in demand list, particularly those for permanent roles and who have level 2 and Revit families experience and qualifications.

Whilst the majority of the AJ100 practices will have a BIM department, SMEs are now also starting to build this department out due to projects needing to be BIM compliant. This is generating an increased demand for BIM Coordinators.

These roles are super niche and suit a minority of people. The BIM discipline is still relatively new when you compare it to some other areas. However, in comparison to something like FF&E Design, it is available to study at university. What is going to be important moving forward is that BIM roles are promoted and made attractive to new generations going into education and thinking about their future careers. It can be a fantastic role for anyone who wants to work on the more technical side of things and large-scale projects.” says Ella Quinnen, Lead Architecture Consultant at FRAME Recruitment.

Due to the uniqueness of the role, the lack of experienced people is heightening the salaries on offer. We are seeing some BIM Managers, for example, now being paid more than equivalent pure Architecture roles due to their value in the marketplace as a skill-short discipline.

BIM Coordinators - In Deamnd in Architecture - FRAME Recruitment

Revit Contractors

We have never released a most in-demand people in architecture article without mentioning Revit Contractors and this year is no different.

Sarah Anderson, Head of Contract at FRAME Recruitment says: “The reality has been that there aren’t the permanent employees in the marketplace to fulfil the Revit need. This means that Revit Contractors remain in demand and are still solving workforce and skill shortages. The most attractive are those with experience from a variety of project types, who can work independently and are ‘plug and play’. Contractors who can slot into place immediately and aid the project lead with their workload are precious. Many clients we work with now have their favourite Contractors and we urge them to plan ahead to ensure they can secure them on their next project.

IR35 did have an impact and we have seen some Contractors move to permanent work. At least in the short and medium term, unless we see investment in on-the-job training of Revit in practices, we appear to be entering a severe candidate crisis in this skill area.

Project running Architects/ Architectural Technologists / Architectural Technicians

For the second year project running Architects, Technologists, and Technicians are amongst the most in demand. We are seeing a theme across Architecture for project-running experienced people, and this demand seems set to increase further.

Anderson says: “Having people with the technical and detail knowledge in running projects from start to finish has become advantageous for some practices and other practices are keen to reap the benefits. As not all architectural companies run projects from start to finish, it is creating skill shortages for those who do, with a limited number of talent in the marketplace. I think we need to also consider how attractive running projects is to people in architecture. If we cannot get enough people interested in these types of roles and be adequately compensated for it, again I think we have a possible candidate crisis on our hands.

Project Running Architects are In-Demand - FRAME Recruitment

Senior Appointments in Architecture

In the architecture sector, there's a notable surge in Senior Appointments within practices, particularly in the last quarter.

"It's not just about architecture knowledge and skills anymore; there's a rising demand for individuals with robust business acumen," notes Cooke. "Clients now seek professionals capable of elevating their practices to new heights, whether through operational excellence, strategic commercial initiatives, or fostering a people-centric environment." This trend underscores clients' determination to excel in a competitive landscape and provide unparalleled value to their clientele.

To stay ahead in this dynamic environment, architecture firms must explore innovative avenues and distinguish themselves from competitors. Senior appointments signify a strategic move to onboard seasoned leaders who can spearhead innovation, introduce novel services, and position the studio as an industry frontrunner.

"The recent appointments span a spectrum, including Associates, Heads of Departments, Managing Directors, Chief Operating Officers, and even Partners. Clients are increasingly relying on specialised headhunters with deep sector knowledge to conduct discreet and personalized high-level searches," Cooke adds.

Recruitment Advice

If you are a hiring manager seeking the most sought-after talent in architecture, it is essential to review your recruitment strategies to stay competitive.

Firstly, prioritise succession planning. This proactive approach helps avoid last-minute recruitment rushes and shifts your recruitment strategy towards a more long-term perspective. By investing in training, and retaining individuals with diverse skill sets, you can ensure your studio or practice is equipped to meet both current and future demands. Explore our insights on succession planning to understand its benefits and implementation strategies.

Secondly, consider refining your Employer Value Proposition (EVP). In today's candidate-driven market, establishing yourself as an employer of choice is vital. Communicating what sets your firm apart and what unique opportunities you offer can attract top talent. Whether you're crafting a new EVP or revamping an existing one, our guide on creating an EVP can provide valuable insights.

Lastly, when extending job offers to candidates, act promptly. In-demand professionals often have multiple job prospects and prefer swift and comprehensive offers. Ensure your offer encompasses more than just salary details and communicates the full range of benefits. Refer to our guide on crafting compelling job offers for tips on creating attractive offers that stand out to candidates.

Lastly, we understand the challenges of securing a partner well-versed in the intricacies of Senior Appointments within the architecture sector. We're eager to discuss how our Executive Search model can cater to your needs effectively. Our executive search process is exclusively overseen by our most senior team members, including board directors.

While numerous recruitment agencies operate in the architecture realm, and generalist executive search firms abound, it is our team's expertise and industry-specific experience that set us apart. We're deeply committed to facilitating exceptional connections and assisting you in finding the perfect candidates for your executive positions.

Architecture Recruitment Advice - FRAME Recruitment

What next?

If you are looking for a new job in Architecture, you can search for jobs and set up job alerts here:

Search Architecture Jobs

If you need help with Architecture Recruitment, you can find out more here, or please get in touch:

Contact Jonty Cooke

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