The US construction industry is a hot market, but somehow the right people are simply not finding their way into the right jobs. To put it simply, top talent is scarce. Job openings have doubled since 2014, yet the number of hires has increased by only 14%.
To combat this issue, construction and engineering businesses should be assessing whether they have the right processes in place to attract the right talent.
But US construction recruiters have grown complacent – if a candidate is a near fit to a job description, they will likely get an interview. Put forward enough candidates from your “pool” on a regular enough basis, and a regular income stream is guaranteed.
The challenges of US construction recruitment can be solved by a Scottish recruiter, but more specifically by James Gray Recruitment. Wondering why you should choose us? Because we truly are different…
James Gray Recruitment is what is called a ‘disruptive newcomer’. There are no off-limit clauses, no client loyalty and no geographical biases. We don’t do things that are traditional in the market. We want to find the very best people for our clients.
At James Gray Recruitment, we don’t just want to win your business. We want to find someone great who will stay and shine, and then repeat the process. For that, you have to search far and wide for the perfect fit. And that’s exactly what we do!
We embrace technology
With the technological changes and operational challenges that lie ahead, construction and engineering businesses are having to rethink their approach to hiring. Working the same way that they have worked for decades is now not sustainable.
That’s why we’re moving forward and opening a US office. Combining this with years of recruitment and cutting-edge technology, we are able to give our US clients the very best Scottish service. That is a high bar that not all US recruiters can sustain.
We value listening
Recruitment is about having the right conversations. We take the time to understand what a role requires, and whether we think that it is realistic to find someone who meets the exact criteria. Our approach is consultative – and comprehensive.
If you shape a role before you go to market with it, you have the best chance of attracting the right people. Through us, you can both attract and retain the candidates you need.
If this sounds like the sort of recruitment relationship that you would welcome, then don’t hesitate for a second. Let’s get to know each other today.
Get in touch
And remember, the best recruitment happens when you work with a great recruiter. Want to find out a little bit more about what we do here at James Gray Recruitment? Our brochure summarizes our offering.
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The US construction industry is set to grow at a rate of at least 5% over the coming year. But, whilst the sector is thriving, recruitment couldn’t be more difficult.
Challenge 1: Trouble sourcing talent
Top talent is scarce. The US construction industry employs 7.2 million professionals and unemployment has fallen to an 18-year low. Job openings have doubled since 2014, yet the number of hires has increased by only 14%.
Technology needs to be harnessed by the sector – otherwise it’s a recipe for stagnation. If companies don’t improve their odds, the impact is unthinkable. They won’t be able to respond to market needs; they will lose bids to their rivals and fall behind in the race to innovate. Working the same way as previously is now not sustainable. Capitalizing on the efficiencies of recruitment technology will be key.
Challenge 2: Lack of quality recruitment
When the market is rich in roles and tight on high-caliber candidates, recruiters don’t need to offer a quality service to their clients. Instead, the talent that becomes available is simply “marketed” out to a large number of companies. This results in complacency.
As there are so many opportunities out there, recruiters aren’t incentivized to get to know them or the role specifications. Consequently, there is a significant number of missed opportunities. Without a consistently brilliant service, these matches can’t be made. The best recruitment only happens when you work with a great recruiter.
The solution: Scottish recruitment
UK (and in particular Scottish) recruitment is known for its levels of client and candidate care. It’s not about the numbers for us folks in Scotland. We achieve the perfect match by focusing on the following:
Attention to detail
Us Scots take pride in getting under the skin of a job brief or a resume. We believe that the best client-candidate matches happen when there are compelling reasons for them. Without offering an in-depth service for both candidates and clients, we would be recruiting in the dark. And that’s simply something we’re not willing to do. Remember, when you provide a fantastic service, people come back for more by themselves.
We are a friendly bunch – in fact, we’re considered to be some of the most hospitable and accommodating people in the world. Our approach is to develop close relationships and put other people first. It might currently make financial sense to fire a load of resumes at multiple companies, but when roles lessen and candidate numbers snowball, we know that our clients will appreciate our proven focus on quality and relationships.
Recruitment is all about having the right conversations. We don’t want to rush into a relationship until we understand what is required of a candidate in a role and whether we think that it is realistic to find someone. Our approach is consultative, and when a job description is not suitably thought through, it can put candidates off and deter them from even having a conversation.
The essence of the Scottish service is a deep understanding of how to add value and a caring soul to accompany you on the journey. And James Gray Recruitment can offer even more than the average Scot recruiter. Curious?
Get in touch today
When the talent pool is as tight as the current US construction market, you’ll want to grasp onto any suitable candidate with both hands. But this needs to happen way before the first interview.
You can’t just expect candidates to land on your doorstep. Effective recruitment marketing is essential.
We’re not talking a big advertisement on the subway – though, this does fall under the marketing umbrella. There are many other ways candidates are forming a mental picture of your brand, including by:
This gives them a peek behind the curtain, and can be an incredibly powerful influence if combined with proven marketing techniques and a consistent message.
As the construction industry has a cyclical nature, this triggers a feast and famine pattern and so a ‘drip-drip’ nature works best. You don’t have to invest much money into it either – just a bit of time.
Attract the best people with these five strategies:
Create a careers page
Don’t assume that every candidate will only be searching specific job listing websites. Why? Because:
Make friends with marketing
It’s okay if marketing doesn’t come naturally to you. Instead, take inspiration from your marketing colleagues. Through them you can discover:
Add value – don’t just sell
One of the golden rules of recruitment marketing is to add value for your audience, rather than constantly “selling” your company. This guarantees:
Curate as well as create
The creative process doesn’t need to be a cradle to grave operation. Share the wealth of fantastic content out there by:
Stick to your marketing process
Let’s be honest: posting on social media and consistently updating your website will never be at the top of your priorities. But, by having the mindset that every piece of content is a potential touch point with a future candidate, you can ensure marketing will form part of your daily recruitment routine.
When companies are fighting for the same talent, they have to try to gain every competitive advantage. Making changes in your people attraction will ensure that you get the very best candidates walking through your doors for those interviews.
Curious to discover more about how marketing can prove to be your competitive advantage?
Speak to the James Gray Recruitment team today.
Recruitment – you either love it or hate it. Whilst some find it an exciting and exhilarating career choice, others just simply aren’t cut out for it. With such opposite ends of the scale, it’s best to do your research before deciding whether this role is for you.
Here, we help by providing a handy list of the pros and cons of recruitment.
Pro 1: Rewarding
Recruitment is rewarding in every sense of the word. Performance-related bonuses mean you’ll get paid for every ounce of effort you put in. Plus, you’ll have the power to not just achieve your targets, but exceed them.
But it’s not just about financial success. Every time a role is filled, you’ll feel fulfilled personally too. This combination of benefits leads to an incredibly high level of job satisfaction, especially because many generally enjoy their role.
Pro 2: Social connections
If you like meeting and talking to people, then recruitment is the job for you. Being ‘too’ energetic or confident really is never a problem! It’s all about building relationships and making meaningful connections every single day.
Whatever role you’re helping to recruit for, it will be life-changing for those involved. It’s exciting to be part of such change. And, to achieve the right connections, networking is required so you’ll often attend a few fun events!
Pro 3: Life-changing
Recruitment isn’t just about sales. It’s about finding that perfect candidate and client match. You’re not just a playing a part in transforming someone else’s life. You can also revolutionise your own.
There can often be travel opportunities too – sometimes even outside the UK. In some agencies, you’ll have the chance to change the whole landscape of your career in ways you wouldn’t have thought possible before.
Pro 4: Growth
A great recruitment consultancy will give you the opportunity to both develop and progress. You’ll always be working towards a goal, rather than feeling like your daily tasks aren’t contributing to the bigger picture.
This is often delivered by continuous training and development, as well as support and encouragement from the team. Recruitment allows you to build on your entrepreneurial skills and progression is limitless.
Con 1: Pressure
If someone tells you that anyone can be a recruiter, they’re lying. It’s tough, with a lot of hard work and long hours involved. Not to mention, it’s competitive. Whilst some people thrive off the thrill, others simply don’t.
So, consider whether you can really hack the fast-paced nature. Being first on the phone, playing the long game and reaping the rewards later, and doing what it takes to reach targets – that’s truly what a recruitment role entails.
Con 2: Frustrating
A good recruiter needs to be prepared for disappointment and failure. Clients or candidates might not respond and phone sales can be a time-consuming, laborious task. And, you might come across individuals who waste your time.
Unfortunately, there may be situations where businesses or candidates don’t want to work with you or the consultancy. You will have to be prepared for rejection. Ultimately, you need to work hard for what you want.
Con 3: Reputation
Recruiters have a bad reputation, and you might meet people who expect you to be unreliable, lacking adequate knowledge, or uncaring. But the reality is, whilst there are some recruiters out there like that, it’s certainly not all recruiters.
James Gray Recruitment are the different ones. We bridge this gap in the market – putting integrity at the forefront, and focusing on long-lasting relationships. Not only do our candidates and clients benefit, but also our internal team.
On top of getting one of the best bonus structures in recruitment and annual incentive trips, you’ll receive the exhilaration of filling placements and daily improvement. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to showcase your abilities by building up your own personal desk and ‘mini-business’.
This truly is your chance to work with the best in the construction and engineering sector, in an incredibly vibrant environment. The advantages don’t end there either. Discover by getting in touch on 0141 404 3454.
Four leading authority figures have voiced their concerns about the skills shortage in the UK’s construction and engineering sectors.
As was reported in our previous skills shortage piece, there is a major shortfall facing the industry which could have a huge impact on the UK.
Ann Watson, chief executive of Semta (Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance), Sarah Beale, chief executive of the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board), Amanda Clark, president of the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and Michael Brown, Deputy Chief Executive at the CIOB (Chartered Institute for Building) have admitted that supply isn’t currently fitting demand...
Ms Watson says that we must start looking at the school system, but that means employers getting involved too. She said:
We need to be starting much earlier. We need children of primary-school age to be given the opportunity to see what a modern cutting-edge engineering workplace looks like.
While the Government has prioritised a focus on work experience for pupils aged 16 to 18, by then it’s often too late.
So many young people who have an engineering skill and aptitude are lost to the sector because they’re not given that encouragement earlier.
It’s not just about work placements. It’s even more important that at school they are not receiving negative messages about the sector.
Meanwhile, Mr Brown is a big fan of the apprenticeship levy. He said
It is encouraging that there are still a number of construction companies taking on apprentices, particularly when many are suffering with reduced margins and workloads.
Moreover, it is positive to see the construction industry delivering long-term apprenticeship training, with many being offered further opportunities to build upon these skills.
Ms Beale was also optimistic the shortage can be addressed if the correct modernisation takes place. She said:
Construction’s continued growth, forecast to average 1.3 per cent over the next five years, along with news that employment will rise for the fourth year running is encouraging.
However to recruit the extra 158,000 construction workers required to meet demand by 2022, industry must collaborate on a range of skills and recruitment challenges.
UK construction needs to boost apprenticeships and work placements. It also has to reduce the skills supply gap and accelerate the pace of modernisation. As part of this, CITB needs to reform and modernise swiftly too, as demonstrated in the feedback during our biggest ever Levy consultation.
In my first year as CITB Chief Executive I have seen excellent work to boost skills and employment across the UK.
In Scotland the Modern Apprenticeship (MA) programme continues to go from strength to strength with over 5,000 modern apprentices currently in training.
Meanwhile, Ms Clark added:
We need a long term programme is needed to evolve the skills and practices of the sector in line with cultural and technological change. This would be done to attract a more diverse workforce and take advantage of efficiencies offered by new ways of building.
We also need a new pathway for entry into the sector at a post graduate level for established professionals wanting to transition into the construction sector, with appropriate levels of higher apprenticeship funding.
Does any of this ring true to you? If you have an opinion on the current skills shortage we'd love to hear from you!
Leave a comment or get in touch to discuss more on 0141 404 3454 or email@example.com
The construction and engineering sectors in the UK are facing a skills shortage of unprecedented levels. One report by Engineering UK estimates that 1.8 million people need to be trained by 2025 to fill the gap. This could have a huge effect on the country as a whole with delayed projects, falling profitability of companies and public anger at havoc on roads, bridges and railways.
So what are the factors to blame for this shortage? And more importantly what can be done about it?
Not encouraged at school
Young children might already be turned off a career in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) before they even reach secondary school. STEM subjects have been unpopular for a while, with many schools unable to encourage anyone to take these subjects at A-Level. Several STEM related agencies and youth schemes have pledged to support the Year of Engineering in 2018.
Not enough work experience placements
School children in many instances are not exposed to possibilities. While some schools include work experience in the school year it isn’t compulsory, and often engineering companies don’t take on pupils because of health and safety fears. Employers have a lot on their plates at present, especially with the uncertainty of Brexit, and safeguarding for the future falls below more urgent concerns.
The stigma of apprenticeships
New apprenticeship legislation – an employer levy to boost numbers of apprentices – and the introduction of new standards for the work-based training have been implemented recently. The apprenticeship levy can be used to train and develop existing employees as well as find new staff. But public perceptions need to change towards apprenticeships. Parents often don’t value this route.
The diversity issueThe number of young women embarking upon construction and engineering careers remains low. Many employers are introducing formal schemes to encourage diversity, and offering policies such as flexible working. The industry is still commonly viewed as the sole preserve of males and this is may be holding further growth back. This can be overcome with greater collaboration and partnership between educators and employers.
The BREXIT factorWith Brexit on the horizon and the uncertainty surrounding the status of EU workers, the prospects for UK employers finding construction and engineering professionals look bleak. Brexit negotiations aside there is much the industry can do but wait and see. Either way there must be an increasing collaboration between employers and educators to facilitate and encourage a much needed growth of homegrown talent in the sector. Whereas up until recently, skilled and educated workers from the continent would happily step into the breach with realistic prospects of living in the UK, it may now be seen that the UK is no longer quite as attractive for skilled foreign nationals as it once was.
Many qualifications exist that demonstrate the technical competence of a candidate but one of the most sought after by employers is Chartered Engineer (CEng).
Typically earned while on the job, the Chartered Engineer qualification shows that you can solve practical problems, think outside the box and complete work to a high standard – all essential when you’re managing a project. CEng qualifications are particularly attractive to employers due to the emphasis on solving problems using innovative solutions, incorporating new technology and team leadership. Here we take a look at the routes that can be taken to achieve CEng status, and the options that can open up for candidates who have the qualification:
The CEng standard requires a high level of knowledge and understanding. In order to ensure you qualify for CEng status you must have a minimum level of academic qualification:
If the candidate doesn’t have qualifications at this level they may still be able to qualify by submitting a Technical Report to demonstrate equivalent knowledge.
Beginning the journey to achieving Chartered Engineer status is usually done through a professional body such as the Engineering Council. If you are not already a member of a professional engineering institution your first step is to join the most appropriate governing body for your field, such as the ICE for Civil Engineers. The governing body will itself have minimum requirements for qualifications and technical knowledge so membership is a positive sign to employers in the first place, showing commitment to your career path. The Engineering Council has a handy Pocket Guide that explains the routes to achieving membership of the body.
Building a Portfolio
You will need to build a portfolio of evidence to show your knowledge and understanding is up to the level required for CEng. This is completed post-graduation in the workplace and consists of several stages:
Initial Professional Development
Usually started by aspiring Engineers on their first post-graduate job, Initial Professional Development (IPD) is often undertaken through accredited apprenticeship and graduate schemes, though it can be developed independently. IPD shows that your skills and understanding meet the standards required for professional registration and usually takes 4 – 6 years to complete. Progress towards achieving technical competence must be recorded and submitted to your professional body for review. Specifically, you will be required to demonstrate:
Professional ReviewThe candidate must submit the portfolio of evidence they have accumulated to their governing body. This portfolio should include demonstrations of the training and in-depth knowledge they have developed over their career in the form of a documented report demonstrating when you have shown the values required by your governing body. You will usually then be asked to attend an interview where you will have to go over your portfolio in-depth and demonstrate in person the knowledge and experience required to achieve chartered status.
No matter what industry you are in the route to achieving Chartered Engineer status can be long and arduous, but the end result is an internationally recognised title that employers recognise as the highest mark of technical competence.
For more guidance on how to become a chartered engineer call the James Gray team on 0141 404 3454 or leave a comment below.
Our MD Richard has revealed this week that he will be participating in the “Brave the Shave” fundraiser for MacMillan Cancer Support.
On Friday July 6th Richard will be shaving his head in honour of all the nurses who offer fantastic support and the friends, family and individuals suffering from the devastating effects of cancer.
James Gray Recruitment are proud to support MacMillan and thank everyone who has donated so far.
If you would like to donate, please follow this link to the fundraising page to do so:
Career changes can be daunting, and they’re almost a necessity these days.
You may struggle to understand salary scales, development paths, the differences between companies, and the varying cultures of organisations. Yes, salary is a factor for many, but what else makes up the DNA of the right company for you?
James Gray Recruitment believes that you are more than a candidate… and we are more than recruiters. As impartial, dedicated and trusted advisors in the construction and engineering sector, we start with what’s right for YOU.
We’ll be with you every step of the way in your career search, and then even further than that. Our bespoke service is about attraction, retention and development of talent. Finding people isn’t a problem for us, anyone can do that. We don’t just send CVs out. We guide you through the recruitment process. We ask the right questions of both our clients and candidates to make sure they know what’s right for them. Your application will go straight to one of our qualified personal recruiters, who is screening and meeting candidates for the client. We will review your application, and put just a handful of applicants forward, giving you a much better opportunity to prove yourself. You will also be one of the first people reviewed for similar roles before they’re even posted. If you are selected for an interview, our recruiters can give you preparation tips on everything from the interviewer’s personality to common interests you may have to build rapport. We’re not aiming to move as many people from A to B as quickly as possible, we want to identify and place the best candidates we can find. As specialists in construction and engineering our focus is on recruiting for a number of key sectors:
Within these sectors we recruit for all disciplines in the business on both a permanent, fixed term and temporary contract basis. As part of our service we offer contingent recruitment services as well as search and selection solutions for more senior and strategic roles. By concentrating on these specialised sectors and roles our consultants ensure a thorough understanding of the skills, personality and experience necessary to fill each role with the best people for the role.
James Gray Recruitment are corporate members of APSCo, and all our staff are fully trained and updated on relevant legislation. We’re ahead of the technology game too, with video interviewing platforms for our candidates. Video interviewing can give you an edge over your competition by removing travel barriers, and speed up the whole process.
We were founded in March 2006 by owner Richard Samuels. Richard wanted to move away from the numbers led recruitment process with its one size fits all approach, and towards a recruitment firm that was all about personal relationships.
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