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Top Tips to Win the War for Talent in Architecture & Interior Design

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How To Win The War For Talent In Architecture & Interior Design (1)

Are you looking to make crucial Architectural and Design hires in 2019? The industry is busier than ever before and as a result the war for talent is continuing to grow at a rapid pace. With great candidates either happy in their current role, or being headhunted for fantastic opportunities, available top talent is hard to come by. In demand candidates who are looking for a new role are being snapped up in record time.

At FRAME Recruitment, we are frequently asked by our clients how they can secure individuals before they find employment elsewhere.

With the hiring market being a difficult playing field to navigate, we wanted to share our seven top recruitment tips for securing the best employee for your business. If implemented well, these tips will help ensure your recruitment process is set up for success and ensure you do not lose out to your competition.

1)     Be prepared to move quickly 

With the competition to source top talent greater than ever before, businesses can no longer afford to leave candidates waiting whilst they make a decision. There are occasions when businesses have time on their side, but more often than not, if a candidate is good it is likely they will be interviewing for other opportunities.

From a recruiters point of view, when you have briefed us on a new role and we have sent across our top candidate CV’s, these potential employees will more than likely have applied to a number of other practices. To get a head start our top tip would be to avoid sitting on the CV’s for weeks, or even days. It may come as a surprise that some businesses leave candidates waiting for several weeks and are then shocked when the candidate is no longer available.

Remember, leaving a candidate waiting could result in individuals interviewing elsewhere or even being offered at another practice before you get a chance to look at the CV, let alone invite them for interview.

The hiring market moves quickly, and you need to be prepared for this. 

2)      If you like someone, then tell them

Most of us like to know where we stand, whether it is a new relationship, an exam result or the outcome of a job application or interview. If you meet and interview with someone and you feel they would be a good fit for your practice then tell them. Also communicate this with your recruitment agency. This ensures that there are no unnecessary delays in the hiring process, and it means you could have your new hire in the position sooner than expected.

This communication helps your recruitment agency get a greater idea of what you are looking for in your candidates. It is a fantastic opportunity for your recruitment agency to give the candidate feedback after the interview and make sure they are still interested in the opportunity.

There are times when candidates feel uncertain after an interview, so providing feedback at this stage could help. It prevents candidates from making the assumption that you did not like them, and in the worst case, accepting another offer.

Keeping your candidates informed is key.


3)      Work out a recruitment timeframe and stick to it

The recruitment process can be tricky; after all, your ultimate goal is to find the right person. If you are feeling like you have to rush to make a decision, it is not an ideal situation and you could make a hiring mistake. If you keep a candidate engaged, you will have more time to make any final decisions. However, if you interview someone then do not provide feedback for two or three weeks and are still hoping they will be available, you are likely to be left disappointed.

How can you avoid this?

Our top tip would be to agree on a timeframe before you go to market. That way you can manage candidate expectations. When candidates know what to expect, they are typically more willing to wait.

4)      Be organised and prepared

A recruitment foundation that is often overlooked is to make sure you are familiar with the candidate’s CV ahead of time. Make notes on any particular projects you would like to discuss, or areas you think that they might be lacking in experience.

Once you begin an interview and start discussing a candidate’s previous projects, sometimes it can be easy to get into the flow of conversation and you might forget to talk about the areas you wanted to discuss. At FRAME Recruitment, too often we have received feedback that the interview felt rushed or even that the interviewer didn’t take time to look through the candidate’s CV. So, we advise our clients to avoid this feedback and ensure they are well prepared in advance.

5)      Show the interviewee the office/team

For most people, we will spend more time at work than at home with our loved ones. As a result, cultural fit is important for many. As recruiters, we often get asked “what is the office like?” So, what better way for a potential employee to get the feel of their potential work place than to see it for themselves? Even if you have already decided that they may not be right for the role, this could still be a good opportunity for them to act as a brand advocate for you and tell others how great your office looks. Plus you never know, you may want to offer them a different opportunity in the future.


6)      Sell your practice and the benefits in the interview

Don’t forget that an interview isn’t just for you to make a decision; the interviewee is also interviewing you. We recently carried out an employment survey of Architecture & Interior Design employees to see what is most important to them, finding that the benefits package and office culture were at the top of their list.

Initiatives, such as landmark projects, career progression, pension, healthcare, cycle to work schemes, company events, Friday drinks, and yoga classes – make sure you tell them about these initiatives. They can make such a difference in attracting and enticing candidates. It might be the factor that makes your practice stand out from the competition.


7)      Under offering on salary

This is always a tricky subject, but our advice is to never under offer a candidate on their salary.  We have experienced practices losing people that they would have loved to hire because they have offered an offensive package, despite having the budget to meet the candidate’s requirements.

Remember, great candidates are highly sought after and they will know their worth. Ask yourself, if you had applied to a job with a given salary and you received an offer £5K under, how would you feel? It can often leave candidates feeling that the hiring business does not see their worth. Don’t forget the Architectural and Interior Design industry is small and people talk.

If you really like someone and their salary exceeds your hiring budget, be sure to leverage on your recruitment partner for advice on negotiation.

If you are looking for advice on how to source great candidates, or manage your current recruitment process, be sure to get in touch with our team for a confidential discussion at or 02382 025240.


Kate Drever - Blog