Bridging the talent gap in the infrastructure and urban development industry (IU) is a global challenge. The World Economic Forum’s paper, “Shaping the Future of Construction: An Action Plan to Solve the Industry’s Talent Gap,” reports that the industry’s core around engineering and construction employs approximately 100 million people worldwide with an annual revenue of $10 trillion. But, there are widespread staffing shortages due to multiple factors, leaving many companies scrambling to fill vacancies.
Demand for architects and engineers in Europe continues to rise
Although think tanks have come up with long-term strategies to address the gap, including the adoption of new technologies to bolster productivity and efficiency, and educational campaigns that promote career opportunities in the industry, businesses will be playing catchup for at least the near future. That means that for now, it’s a red-hot job market for in-demand professionals such as architects and engineers – and competition among employers trying to attract and retain the right talent.
The European Commission reports that the number of job vacancies in the construction sector in Germany increased by 18.8% between 2011 and 2015, from 61,001 to 72,484. In the United Kingdom, hard-to-fill vacancies have more than doubled since 2011. Not surprisingly, the competition to recruit talent is fierce.
“It may be an ironic thing to say with Brexit on the horizon, but the European Union (EU) continues to grow smaller in terms of communications in business,” says Alex Hayes, associate director at LVI Associates. “The recruitment market for engineering in building services and construction is still very young in Europe as building engineering itself is still very much an emerging sector in engineering.”
Growth in the German market and technological advancement drive job opportunities
Hayes adds that the German market is particularly localised and compartmentalised compared to its EU counterparts, but that’s quickly changing. German architecture, engineering, and construction companies now see the financial reward of international projects. Technological advancements like the integration of BIM are changing firms’ approaches.
According to the European Innovation Scoreboard 2017, Germany is classified as an innovation leader. The German construction sector has made a concerted effort to innovate and digitalise the industry. In 2017, the Ministry of Construction, Ministry of Economics and industry leaders championed "Digitaler Hochbau"; ‘digital construction’, to transform the sector so that it can compete internationally.
Candidates look to specialist recruiters for pick of the best jobs
“These changes are now reflected in the local job market,” explains Hayes. “The demand for local talent with international exposure is now higher than ever. As a candidate aligning yourself with an international firm like ours puts you in the front of the queue and demonstrates you are forward thinking and at the forefront of innovation.”
Given the fact that the project demands in Europe far outweigh the availability of talent in 2018, it is daunting to navigate the job market. That’s where LVI Associates can assist. “Candidates now understand how much choice they have but neither have the knowledge of the recruitment process nor the knowledge about the wider market to make an informed decision,” explains Hayes. “Not only do we open up a candidate’s network, but we also provide coaching and expertise in the recruitment process to help people make the right decision, and not an impulsive one.”
Because Germany’s unemployment rate is at its lowest point since World War II, the majority of the job market is not actively seeking employment. LVI Associates takes the time to understand potential candidates’ career aspirations and only presents relevant opportunities.
“The majority of our clients in building services engineering and construction complain about generalist recruiters sending them the wrong CVs and putting forward candidates who do not match the criteria,” says Hayes. “As a niche specialist in architecture, engineering, and construction, we go through a stringent screening process to ensure we do not waste the time of any candidate – or client.”
LVI Associates is the leading specialist recruitment agency for the infrastructure sector. We were born from the fusion of two existing companies—Laking Group and Viridium Associates who recruited for the oil and gas and renewable energy markets. While working for some of the largest energy companies in the world, we realised that we could transform more careers and support greater projects and companies by opening our services to the wider infrastructure market. More than the sum of our parts, today LVI Associates provides permanent, contract and multi-hire recruitment from our global hubs in Boston, London and Singapore. Contact us to find out more.