Natick, MA (September, 2006)—The inability to find qualified staff was rated as the most important issue facing AEC firms in 2006 by respondents to ZweigWhite's 2006 AEC Business Trends Survey.
"In an industry that is reliant on relationships and the knowledge of staff, the ability to recruit and retain qualified talent is critical to a firm's success," says Saman Chaudry, a vice president and managing director of ZweigWhite's human resources advisory services consulting group.
Chaudry shares a few tips for firm leaders to help win the talent war:
- Develop an open position process. Create a formal process to plan for long-term hiring needs, maintain a central database of candidates, stay in touch with potential employees, and leverage employee referrals.
- Use the Web site for recruitment. The company Web site is often the first place potential employees will look for information about the firm. Describe the life of an employee at your firm, what separates your firm from competitors, and update the list of current openings.
- Develop a college recruitment program. Fewer students are pursuing studies in science and technology so competition for college recruits is fierce. Participate in career fairs, utilize alumni networks, and provide internship opportunities to undergraduates.
- Identify passive job seekers. Create a "wish list" of employees in the local market. Then take a direct approach with these ideal candidates in describing the professional opportunities at your firm.
Source: ZweigWhite (www.zweigwhite.com).