Demystifying Recruitment in 2020

Recruitment is a difficult topic to tackle because sometimes finding and hiring the right candidate seems like luck or some sort of alchemy—perhaps that’s why PSMJ chose Disney World as the site of their most recent conference. Would the magic of Disney rub off on the A/E industry’s recruitment efforts?

This past month, Becky White (COO/owner) and I attended PSMJ’s PeopleMax conference in Orlando, Florida to learn about the current state of recruitment and retention in the A/E industry.  At the conference, you could hear the collective groan and struggle that firms have when searching for talent. According to one of our speakers, Barbara Bruno, the tight labor market isn’t going away. In fact, she said labor forecasts show that by 2030, businesses will be closing down not because there isn’t enough work, but because there are not enough people to do the work.

With this in mind, how will our industry respond to the challenge of finding and keeping great workers? As it turns out, we don’t need luck or Disney Magic. Good hiring and employee engagement practices reap great benefits, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.   

One of the key takeaways for me was that Sain and other A/E firms need to think about the long-term staffing needs rather than the hire needed today. Shifting to a long-term plan means creating a recruitment pipeline, where you are constantly sourcing new candidates. The most common recruitment pipeline would be engaging in university recruitment for entry-level engineers. However, we can move beyond that one source by looking back at candidates years after their initial application.

Instead of approaching recruitment as a one-and-done transaction, recruitment can become a relationship-building process that goes beyond a single application. Throughout our firm, we look for ways to create partnerships with our clients and meaningful relationships with our employees. This conference highlighted how recruitment isn’t something separate from our mission—we can apply our same core values to our recruitment process, where we create long-lasting partnerships with our candidates as well.

And, for those reading who may be job searching or curious about our company, now you know: just reach out to me. I am happy to speak with you about what you might be looking for in your next career move.

Caroline Young