Recruitment companies, client construction companies, and consultancies often ask why Quantity Surveyor recruitment is challenging. Quality Surveyors aren't impossible to recruit, of course, but many believe there is not enough supply to meet the growing demand. It's important to understand why this perception exists though and, to do that, one must lay the blame at the abolishment of apprenticeships in the 1980s along with the withdrawal of professional examinations in favor of graduate or degree entry. The 1990s recession also did a certain amount of damage, coupled with the rising number of Quantity Surveyors retiring early. Given these conditions, things still aren't as grim as they are made out to be, and this post explains why.
How things have changed
There are more courses now offered by colleges and universities, but gaining adequate experience takes time. Expectations of high remuneration also affect surveyor recruitment, and the procurement of projects has also changed significantly. More Quantity Surveyors are now required at the tender as well as the post-contract stage to settle potential disputes about the scope of work. They are also being asked to do more in terms of financial and project management, which only makes the task of surveyor recruitment more challenging.
Is there an easy fix?
There is no easy fix to the shortage and higher demand for competent Quantity Surveyors, and throwing money at the problem only creates a vicious circle. Placing more advertisements isn't a solution either, nor is a reduction of dependence on Quantity Surveyors. The solution lies in understanding what you need in terms of commercial support, thinking out of the box, offering adequate support for graduating Quantity Surveyors, and keeping existing staff up to date by investing in training and software. Finally, it is important to turn to a specialist recruiter, because they alone understand the roles and nuances involved in surveyor recruitment.
Survey Recruitment Experts
Employers, new college grads and seasoned professionals seeking the next step in their geospatial careers all turn to GeoSearch, Inc., the leading recruiting firm in mapping and geospatial. To find out more about how we can help you with surveyor recruitment, get in touch with us today.
Are you always making a project plan for your engineering projects, no matter how small? If so, you're helping to make yourself more attractive to civil engineering recruitment programs, private businesses, and anyone else in need of an engineer. Creating solid project plans helps demonstrate your competency to them, as well as bringing a wide range of benefits to your own career.
These are just a few of the benefits that you'll see, once you make project plans a part of every project you work on.
Five Major Reasons to Always Create A Project Plan
1 - Improved communication
No matter how perfectly you can visualize your project in your mind, you still need to communicate that vision to everyone else involved in the project. That's exactly what a detailed project plan can do. It ensures everyone is on the same page and understands what needs to be done.
2 - Adds motivation
When you have a well-imagined plan to work off of, that makes it much easier to maintain motivation in a project. It can be treated like a roadmap, with major hurdles and features checked off one-by-one. As the project drags on, the plan can become what you focus on to always understand that you are making progress.
3 - Predicting future problems
One of the things that separates a good engineer from a great engineer is having the ability to predict problems that are likely to occur and have contingency plans in place to deal with such eventualities. The more detailed your project plan is, the more likely you'll be able to see such possibilities - and be able to deal with them.
4 - Control the project, rather than being controlled
One of the biggest existential dangers in engineering is the project that becomes so huge that it gets out of control. Choices aren't dictated by larger goals, but by day-to-day reactions to things happening with the project. The more detailed your plan is, the less likely this is to happen.
5 - Stay on track
If you ever lose your way on a project, the plan will be there to remind you of what needs to be done. It can remain rock-solid, no matter how much anything else changes.
GeoSearch Offers Superior Civil Engineering Recruitment
We are one of the leading recruiters for the geospatial sciences! To learn more about our services, just contact us.
3D printing is disrupting many markets, but one might not -at first- think of transportation engineering as being boosted by 3D printing. After all, you can't 3D print a train... can you? Well, you can't 3D print an entire train, but the convergence between 3D printing technologies and new techniques for working with carbon fiber are opening entirely new ways to create train components! We've recently been following a fascinating initiative in Europe, called Run2Rail, which is all about utilizing cutting-edge technology to improve rail service across the EU. With partners in 15 countries, it's a truly continental project - and one with the potential to greatly advance the state-of-the-art in railways.
What Run2Rail Could Do for Transportation Engineering
According to a recent interview with Run2Rail researchers, the project has four broad goals:
1 - Improved use of passive and active sensors for condition monitoring, providing greater feedback on the state of the train while in operation.
2 - Developing active suspension technologies which can be predictive, rather than relying on springs and other "dumb" reactive suspension techniques.
3 - Finding better ways to utilize modern composite materials and the latest manufacturing techniques, like 3D printing, in train construction.
4 - Improved noise dampening, to prevent larger/heavier trains and more frequent runs from becoming a noise hazard to the surrounding environment.
At present, the project is focusing most of their attention on the third item on that list, the materials, and manufacturing goals. They're exploring multiple highly-innovative techniques for improving train and component manufacture. 3D printing is a major part of this since it greatly simplifies the process of prototyping and testing.
Along with 3D printing, they are also exploring what robotics and automation bring to the picture. Robots can work with materials at micro scales beyond easy human craftsmanship, such as working with carbon fiber on a fiber-by-fiber basis for maximum precision. This also allows them to experiment with adding a range of materials to the basic carbon fiber, looking for new composites which add strength or reliability.
The rail industry tends to be conservative and tied closely to traditional materials like steel. They'll be facing an uphill battle pushing adoption of new methods - but if their transportation engineering projects work out, the result could revolutionize the railways.
Are you looking for transportation engineering jobs? GeoSearch is a leading civil engineering recruitment agency. Contact us to learn more!
The world has more need of engineers and other geospatial specialists than ever before, but that doesn't mean getting a job as an engineer is easy. Civil engineering recruitment firms see plenty of people who have the skills and the talent but find they just can't quite manage to seal the deal when applying for jobs.
Based on our years of experience in civil engineering recruitment and extensive industry contacts, we can offer some tips on how to land those job offers you want.
Four Specialists' Tips on Landing the Engineering Jobs You Want
1 - Find good fits
As tempting as it is to take a "shotgun" approach to job applications, such an approach rarely yields improved results. Take your time, do plenty of research, and look for positions where you honestly believe you will be a good fit. If you find yourself thinking you'll have to bluff your way through your resume, or interviews, you should probably keep looking for a better match.
2 - Keep researching your key prospects
If you want to impress a recruiter or hiring agent, few things will do it better than demonstrating genuine knowledge about their company and its needs. Review their website. Look them up on LinkedIn and other social outlets. Search for articles written about the company. See if they're attached to papers in professional journals.
Then, when you walk into the interview, you won't be asking "What can I do for you?" You'll be declaring "Here's what I will do for you."
3 - Make friends on the inside
To really push your chances of a job offer over the edge, you want a person on the inside promoting you from within. If that means taking some time cultivating contacts via social media or real-world social circles, do it! Internal referrals are an incredibly powerful driver of job offers. If someone on the inside says, "Yes, this person is the right hire," you'll probably get the job.
4 - Really prepare for the interview
Don't walk in cold. Practice! Have a friend play the role of the recruiter and throw questions at you. Few people can truly "wing" an interview and pull it off. They're putting in plenty of work, even if they won't admit it.
According to P&S market research, the global GIS job market is set to grow from around $9 billion (2016) to $17 billion by 2023. Public sector and geospatial work are expected to make up the bulk of this growth. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the fields of cartography and photogrammetry specifically will continue to boom with a growth rate of about 19%.
Other applications that will continue to be in-demand in a range of government and business settings include ARC GIS and AutoCAD, surveying, land assessment, environmental assessment work, urban planning, and visualization.
With such a high demand for GIS specialists, department managers, hiring managers, HR departments, and leaders in other Geography-related, engineering and tech fields may continue to struggle in their search for qualified, competent staff. With much of this work being project-based, employers and job seekers can expect to see many of these positions advertised as contract work.
If you are a GIS specialist who is on the fence about hiring or being a contract worker, you’ll want to consider the following.
The Benefits of Contract Staffing for Employers & Employees
CNN recently reported that the “gig economy” – people who work independently as freelancers or contractors, rather than full-time employees – now makes up about 34% of the workforce, and this trend is expected to continue. Despite the fact that contract work is gaining in popularity, it still has a bad rap for some employers as well as other contractors.
Contract staffing today has many benefits especially in a field such as GIS, and a qualified recruiting agency will be able to match businesses with contractors in Geography-related fields.
It’s important for both employers and workers in this field to have a clear understanding of what contract work entails and how each side can frame the working relationship to create a growth opportunity that benefits both parties.
The Nature of the Work
There are many reasons why contract staffing just makes sense for employers in the field of Geography and GIS, not the least of which is the general nature of many of the projects that take place in this area.
From a business organization standpoint, many of these jobs are project-based and somewhat separate from the core functioning of the organization, so they are suitable for individuals and small teams who don’t require a complete working knowledge of the organization to effectively carry out the tasks.
Data-gathering projects like surveying or environmental assessments often take place primarily in the field and would generally comprise the front-end preparation of bigger projects or initiatives. The somewhat externalized nature of these types of sub-projects may make them well-suited for contract work.
Many GIS contracts are created in the case of a last-minute type of need or a call for expertise in a highly specialized area. Employers in this area often have a need for qualified staff in the GIS sector, often on short notice and for specific projects. In this light, contracting can work well for both parties as employers have the opportunity to bring in professionals who demonstrate a clear understanding of the scope and nature of the job, which current employees may not have.
Focus & Flexibility
Many professionals choose to freelance because they enjoy the freedom and flexibility of working with different people and organizations, they want to diversify their time and earnings, and they have a broader opportunity for both learning and networking.
Fee-based, independent work projects can also be motivating for contractors who thrive on setting their own hours and working independently. They may simply have a greater appreciation for the work if they have the type of lifestyle that demands flexibility, and therefore be more engaged in their work.
For employers, having a qualified GIS professional capable of devoting 100% of their focus to a single project -- rather than asking current staff to multi-task or work beyond their job scope or qualifications -- can be an extremely effective way of moving forward on a given project.
Managers and HR specialists are already familiar with the fact that the normal hiring process can strain resources. Between multiple interviews, training, onboarding, policy reviews, medical coverage and paid sick time (just to name a few things), hiring W-2 employees can take up a lot of energy and time.
And even though a short-term position may appear less secure (and therefore riskier) for contractors than a permanent position, it can save them a lot of time and energy too. For instance, it can take a lot of time and energy to apply and interview for a job that they may not be positive they want to stick with if they aren’t familiar with the company. Contractors can also mitigate their own time/money costs by taking on more than one job at a time.
Testing & Forecasting
Short-term contracts are excellent opportunities for “trial runs,” both with regards to the work itself as well as to see whether or not the contractor is a good fit with the rest of the team. They are also excellent opportunities for contract workers to demonstrate their expertise in a relevant context. Temporary jobs can turn into permanent jobs, and having a chance to test the waters gives each side a chance to get a feel for how they work together.
Hiring a contractor can give employers an idea of what type of expertise is available in the big picture while helping them to forecast and control long-term costs. For instance, if they know that they can hire a team member last-minute at a set fee to get a project completed two weeks earlier than expected, they can then factor this staffing strategy into their annual budgeting, include it on funding proposals, and possibly even bank on a better return on investment.
Why Contract Work Can Seem Risky for Job Seekers
Since about 75% of contract staffing today is project-based, many of today’s GIS professionals are accustomed to accepting a string of short-term but high-impact contract projects. For those accustomed to working as freelancers, this is the norm.
But some of the risks that companies negate by hiring contract workers (e.g., no obligation to provide medical coverage) essentially get passed along to the workers themselves – so that the less risk the company takes on, the more risk the employee could be taking on. This is why some experienced professionals may still view contract work as less desirable than permanent work, which can pose challenges for organizations looking for qualified professionals.
Here are a few reasons why contract work may be seen as risky or less attractive for job seekers:
How to Make Contract Work More Desirable for Job Seekers
Given the possible risks and drawbacks that a contractor could experience, it’s important that employers consider developing contracts from the outset that address potential drawbacks or fears.
Independent contractors – especially highly specialized GIS professionals – will continue to be in-demand. This is why it’s so important that employers go the extra mile to make sure that they feel as comfortable as possible within the confines of a given contract.
For employers, finding a contractor with the right skills and aptitude for a given position needs to be a top priority. Likewise, finding a job that offers a growth opportunity and ample financial compensation is key for GIS professionals. But beyond these basics, each must have a solid grasp on whether a given agreement will truly be a win-win. Overall, a contract-based relationship can offer both parties a considerable amount of flexibility and freedom (and therefore job satisfaction) when it is approached in the right way.
Employers will find that they may have a better time finding contractors when they pay close attention to the contract and clearly address areas that freelancers may have doubts about.
This not only fosters trust but also will offer more opportunities to really explore whether the relationship would work in the long term, either for a contract renewal or in a work-for-hire scenario.
It may seem daunting to jump into a search for a qualified GIS technician or specialist -- that’s why you can use a staffing agency instead of taking on the hiring yourself. If you’re looking for a reputable staffing agency, get in touch today for a free consultation and let us match you with a professional or organization that exceeds your expectations.