We are in the privileged position of speaking to people in the market every single day about their decision making. What do they consider important? Why have they decided to make a move or decided to stay put? Understanding the motivations behind making a change or having stayed put, having dipped their toe in the market, is essential. 

I am sure that you already know this but Quantity Surveyors are in high demand. You only have to take a look at the amount of job adverts out there, company websites, or ask your team how often they are being approached. The market has an appetite for growth and is intelligent enough to know that without good people, that is a pretty tall order.

If you are finding it tough to attract the best people, struggling to get them signed up or falling foul of counter offers (all a big waste of time that is not often measured), then what can we do (or not do) as employers & recruiters in partnership to give us the best chance of hiring the top industry talent? 

Here are some things to think about and some actions you can take to put you in better shape...

Same Job Different Wallpaper - In a competitive and busy market most companies need someone that can be up to speed quickly. I appreciate that, however looking for someone that is already doing the same job and offering them the same job with different wallpaper is a sure fire way to end up with the average performers or those that need a job.

“Senior QS - London, £55k - Resi Experience” - Click this button to apply? - Unless I NEED a new role, why would I bother?

WIIFM - When putting together any kind of people attraction documents or materials make sure that you get in the mind set of WIIFM (What's In It For Me), not you but for the person that may be interested in joining. This one is certainly not just about the salary, it can be the little things like using technology for remote working, providing breakfast for the team, healthcare for their family or perhaps having some kind of flexible benefits scheme where they can swap the benefits that do not hold much value for ones that do!

Take some time out to get yourself in the market of someone considering a move and on each of these points, think about what is in it for them; why should they give up the credits they have earned to join?

What does that mean? - Often we see companies talking about progression, growth and learning. The challenge with these words and phrases is that they become common place and therefore pretty vanilla, a bit like Dave from Essex leaving a testimonial, do people actually believe it? “At x we love learning, we have a reputation of making people better. In fact we love it so much that every Wednesday we meet in the local coffee shop for a voluntary breakfast and learn session, and have 94% attendance, what does that tell you about the people you would be working with?” - Powerful?

Something they don’t already have - Extending the wallpaper theme, typically the best people move for something they don’t already have. That could be project size, variety, training, autonomy, more responsibility, promotion or salary/package. Usually it is a combination of at least 2/3 of these factors, so what can you offer people that they may not get now? What backgrounds have you hired from in the past that have been successful and why did they decide to join? Oh, you didn’t ask them yet, perhaps that is a good place to start!

What does your voice say? -  Bear with me on this one. When industry professionals are looking at your website, social media or LinkedIn, can they relate to you? (People, stories, social, events etc.) - Could I see myself working with these guys? (We spend more time at work than with our own families) - Does it seem like people enjoy working here? - Videos from current employees talking about the business can be really powerful here...

Will you make me better at what I do? - Top people are nearly always looking to grow, yes you may have a RICs assessor as a partner but are you clearly articulating what that has meant for others in the business? How do we make it real? Perhaps a story or video from one of your team on the website, perhaps meeting someone of the top performers in the team at 2nd stage interview?

Don’t let something small ruin the whole thing - Take a hard look at your interview process and break down the steps, or as it is called in marketing the “moments of truth." How could you improve each one by just 10%, giving you a huge compound gain in terms of likelihood of securing the best people. Some ideas...

  • Website & attraction materials
  • How well you brief your internal or external recruitment partners (to position your company at the forefront.)
  • The office - What are the first impressions, how are they greeted, do they feel welcomed, do the people seem happy here?
  • Your interviewing - Yes we need to work out whether this person is both capable and willing, however this is also your main opportunity to present your business as the best solution to solve their challenges.
  • Follow up - Momentum is key, perhaps they came out of the interview feeling ready to sign, however after not hearing for 4 days they take the call from another recruiter who asks them “what have you got to lose by considering another opportunity” - next thing your competitor is selling their opportunity and also selling against yours and you have potentially missed the shot.

Let us know your thoughts on the above, anything you plan to implement, things that are working well and whether you agree or disagree.