We hope you enjoyed reading our Architecture and Interior Design Salary Survey & Employment Review that we published back in January and found it thought-provoking.
To follow this up we have put together a short half-year industry update to ensure we keep our clients and candidates up to date with any changes that we are seeing in the marketplace.
So, what is happening in Architecture and Interiors from a recruitment point of view?
Brexit – “Business as usual”
Back in the summer of 2018, we were patiently waiting on the withdrawal agreement of Brexit by the Government. Twelve months on and we are still waiting. There was uncertainty from clients and candidates alike in the industry about what its effect might bring to the marketplace. We were looking forward to the agreement making things much clearer. Would projects be put on hold indefinitely or even cancelled? Where would it leave European Architects and Interior Designers currently working in the UK?
In reality, as of writing this in June 2019, we have seen no progress on the withdrawal agreement, just the imminent departure of our Prime Minister Theresa May. What we have seen from our clients is that they are resilient and they are continuing to focus on ‘Business as usual’. What other option is there right now? The next few months may give us all more clarity, but we thought this 6 months ago and so let’s not hold our breath!
Architecture and Interior Design Practices – still hiring
The last 6 months have shown continued caution from our clients to hire the ‘not perfect’ candidate. Hiring Managers continue to be very particular in their selection of new hires as they need to be absolutely certain before offering employment.
We see employers being very specific in terms of the person specification for new hires, almost a ‘wish list’ of attributes. This has meant that often they feel more comfortable in holding out for longer periods in their hiring process to ensure that they hire the perfect ‘plug and play’ candidate.
Clients are continuing to be precautious in their hiring plans but ultimately Architecture and Interior Design practices are still hiring. They simply require the best fit for their practice, with the perfect skill set.
Revit skills shortage – the new normal?
Revit continues to be a thorn in many clients sides as the crusade to find skilled Revit technicians continues.
Why does Revit continue to be such an issue? There are many technical software packages out there, but it has only been in the last few years that increasingly practices have decided to make the investment and purchase the more expensive Revit product. As more practices see the benefits of this package, the more they require the particular skill set to use it – but they cannot find them. Many clients have been resorting to contractors; even those practices that have previously shied away from this employment type.
A Revit shortage is simply becoming the ‘new normal’ for this sector and clients are continuing to consider in-house training to alleviate the shortage. We are pleased to see this and hope this goes some way to resolve the shortage.
“Pace picking up in Landscape Architecture”
Over the 6 month period, the FRAME Recruitment team have witnessed an unprecedented surge in the number of open requirements for Landscape Architects.
The problem from a recruitment point of view is the low supply of available candidates in the marketplace. The salaries being offered are not necessarily high enough to attract the passive candidate and so active candidates are hard to find and entice from their current employer.
What do the specific industry sectors look like?
The Residential and Hospitality sectors have enjoyed continued busy times in the last 6 months, particularly enhanced by projects from the Middle East.
Due to the positive market conditions, clients are having to pay Interior Designers with 7 year + experience, and an excellent portfolio, in excess of £50k.
Unfortunately, Retail appears to have continued on its downward path. We have all seen the headlines ‘The High Street Is Dead’, however, some practices have been given the task of bringing life back to the High Street and giving highly creative professionals the opportunity to try to get more people into shops. Will this lead to a return of good fortunes in this sector?
Will Brexit be resolved anytime soon? The impact of Brexit will clearly have an impact on this marketplace. At this stage, however, you would be incredibly brave to forecast the outcome. Our FRAME Recruitment team continue to recruit at a good pace and will continue to report on any new changes as they occur. The skills shortages, particularly in Revit will not be resolved anytime soon and so any candidates considering extra training would be well advised to do so.
For now, if you are looking to expand your team, do not hesitate to contact us and discuss your specific requirements.
I always welcome feedback to our findings and would be delighted if you would like to discuss any of the trends in further detail.
Martin Bennell BA (Hons) FIRP CertRP
Managing Director, FRAME Recruitment