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Building a future in construction

03 December 2014

The construction industry was one of the first to be hit by global recession.

Construction downsizing can have a major and an immediate effect on; employment, government tax collections, and general confidence among the mass population. As private investors pulled back, the public sector put the plug on funding, leaving many employees; blue and white collar, junior and senior, concerned with job loss. Morgan Hunt Director, Dan Taylor, shares his construction market insights.

During a long period of recession a large volume of the workforce left or moved on and those entering the workplace didn’t see construction as a desirable or stable profession. The latest UK Construction PMI shows the construction industry expanding for the eighth consecutive month. With new optimism among clients, construction companies are looking to invest, not just in housing demand but in private sector infrastructure projects and commercial building work. 

Construction jobs

An increase in construction output is good, but challenges will arise in sustaining this if the skills required are in short demand. Fewer candidates in the market have the effect of pushing up salaries, making projects more expensive and more variable to price. A strong demand for skills can put the supply chain under pressure and put projects in financial jeopardy should they fail to meet deadlines.
Competition for skills will be fought in the battlegrounds of who is the; ‘best company to work for’ and ‘best at paying suppliers promptly’. A failure to understand these finer points may result in no ‘man’ on site. There is also a need to improve the image of the UK construction industry and its attractiveness to potential employees. All this however has a positive effect for the candidate as they will have more choice, and better pay and conditions.

Jobs in demand

Experienced people are in short supply across nearly every trade and skill level. The industry is reporting a strong need for quantity surveyors, chartered surveyors, estimators, architects, qualified contracts managers and construction engineers. Two very severe and long recessionary periods in as many generations has simply not brought sufficient numbers of these through the building construction colleges and universities which is now taking its toll but will get worst as the industry picks up into full swing over the coming year.
There has never been a better time to become involved in the building and trades field. For those who are seeking long term jobs and reasonable security, the construction industry appears to be a safe bet. People who trained to do construction during the economic crash were able to take advantage of the fact that many had left the industry. These professionals were exposed to big projects at an early age. With the new projects coming in they will be able to take advantage of the demand for senior members of staff.

What is the future for construction professionals?

Generally the future looks bright for construction workers. Now is the time for companies to improve their employer branding to compete in what will become a candidate driven market. With promises of new construction projects and therefore long term employment opportunities, the industry will lure back some of those who left, but this may not fill the void completely. Employers will need to be more flexible, offer better incentives, think about what their future workforce will look like and be prepared to nurture their talent pool to resemble that vision.
The largest construction project in the UK being Crossrail, and looking further ahead there are prospective construction projects that include; the High Speed 2 (HS2) line and Crossrail 2, all of which will consume large quantities of professional skills, trades and labour.
Morgan Hunt offer a consultative service to help your organisation with their employer branding and to compete for the best talent . For more information email [email protected]


Managing your recruitment agency

02 December 2014

10 things that will get you noticed and keep you in control

Have you heard, “we just don’t have anything suitable for you right now” too many times?  Well you need to turn the tables and get back in control.

At Morgan Hunt we’ve got over 20 years of experience in the recruitment industry, receiving 1000’s of applications every day. After a straw poll of our 200 consultants we’ve narrowed down the top 10 things that will get you noticed with your agency, providing you with the ability to shift the power back into your corner.

  1. It’s all about timing
    Recruitment is a fast-paced industry, so timing is of the essence. On average consultants have around 1 hour to provide CVs to a client after receiving a job description so the key is to act fast – respond quickly to an agency’s telephone call or email and if they ask for additional information, to fill in a form or for a re-written cover letter, make it your top priority. This will demonstrate your commitment to the role, something that is priceless when it comes to convincing consultants to put you at the top of the list.
  2. A truly tailored suit – suits better
    The perfect candidate is one that’s looking for roles consistent with their work history, simply because they’re easier to market to the employer. Ensure your CV is tailored toward the job you’re applying for; take keywords from the job description and work them into your CV and cover letter - this way you’re the obvious choice for the role.
  3. Nothing beats the personal touch
    Talk to your consultant by phone whenever possible, they receive on average around 80 emails a day so it’s easy to get lost in a mailbox. Also, most consultants KPI’s are based on time spent on the phone so they’ll appreciate you helping them out there. The best time to catch your consultant is either before 10 or after 4.
  4. Listen
    Recruitment consultants have an in depth knowledge of the hiring market, usually working across multiple roles providing them with industry insight that is invaluable to your job search. After reviewing your CV they might see some potential for you in a sector you hadn’t previously considered, heed their advice but keep a level head, if you’ve been taking part in a job search for over 3 months with no luck, going down a different track might be the right course of action.
  5. Know your value and stick to it
    While negotiation is essential, avoid setting your salary expectations too low. Know your worth within the industry you work in by checking salary survey results and similar roles in your sector. Don’t be afraid to stick to your guns but be open to consultants advice – they know the clients budget & capabilities so can put you in the right direction.
  6. Make it personal
    We’re not saying you need to be best friends with your recruitment consultant but back up your relationship and stay at the forefront of their mind by connecting with them via social media, especially LinkedIn. Most the time you’ll find their LinkedIn profile in their email signature. This not only demonstrates your commitment but also shows them youronline branding – a key tool for getting ahead.
  7. Show no fear
    Your job search is your own, although recruiters will have an opinion on your salary expectations and what job roles will suit your experience; if you know what you want let them know. The clearer you are about where you want to be the better they’ll be able to tailor their advice towards your needs.
  8. Be visible in your industry
    Position yourself as an industry expert by either writing articles & blogs, commenting on discussions or becoming involved in professional online communities.  Have a strong on-line presence and join social networking sites like LinkedIn to promote your business profile which can place you in the sightline of recruiters looking to source good candidates.
  9. Feedback
    After an interview, recruiters will want to know as much about how it went as you will want to know what the company said about you. Don’t be afraid to share this information, the more you share the more they’ll be able to advise you, it also demonstrates your pro-activity and desire to succeed by taking the initiative and getting in touch to find out more yourself.
  10. Keep in touch
    After you get the job maintain your relationship with your consultant, thank them for their help and keep them updated on how it’s going throughout your time there, this will be remembered when it comes to your next job hunt and having had a successful relationship with them you’re sure to be favoured above other candidates.

Closing thoughts

Recruiters are easy to handle when you know how, especially when you consider you’re both after the same thing – getting you a job. Take some key steps to getting on top of their candidate list by firstly, acting quickly – they haven’t got time to mess around. Secondly, be clear and focused in what you want from your next career move so they can sell you effortlessly.

Ready to turn our advice into practise? Talk to one of our consultants today about your next career move by getting in touch or calling us on 020 7419 8900.