Revit specialists and estimators have a commanding position in the labour market as the design professions actively embrace building information modelling (BIM) and the construction bid process grows more complex. Newly released survey results charting the demand for human resources in major Canadian markets and business sectors identify the two roles among highly sought expertise in the development industry.
Nearly 40 per cent of surveyed employers in the construction sector expect to hire more permanent staff in 2017. This follows a year when 48 per cent of them reported an increase in business from 2015.
Meanwhile, architecture firms generally anticipate a bounce-back from 2016 — when 36 per cent of surveyed employers suffered a decline in business — along with the need to augment staff. More than half indicate they will add permanent staff, while another 40 per cent may find their goal to retain their existing roster almost as challenging.
“There is a good deal of movement between companies, as some lose projects while others gain projects, and staff retention and turnover has come more into focus for many firms,” states analysis from Hays Canada, accompanying its annual survey results. “The more senior the architect, the harder it tends to be to attract them away from their current employer. Good technologists or architects proficient in Revit are highly sought after, and best efforts are made to retain successful employees.”
Construction employers are similarly facing an “experience gap” as a large cohort of skilled trades nears or reaches retirement.
“Competition is tight for experienced workers and managers,” the report notes. “The estimator shortage nationwide continues to be a challenge, especially since the bid process has become more complex and the construction models have changed with the introduction of P3 and other new models.”
Other occupations deemed to be in demand include: project managers; project architects; specification writers; civil construction workers; and multifamily and commercial construction professionals. Design and construction skill shortages also have flow-through impacts on the timing for staffing up projects.
Across the entire survey base, more than 50 per cent of employers now budget a two- to six-month timeline to fill a “candidate-short” position, while less challenging hires are typically accomplished in two weeks to a month. Specifically in the construction sector, 35 per cent of survey respondents reported it was “significantly to extremely difficult” to recruit top talent.