Many employers are concerned with getting their posts in front of a large qualified job seekers, hoping that the perfect employee is soon to respond to their ad. But getting the results they expected can be difficult in a competitive job market. Employers often ask what they can do to make their ads more appealing to job seekers? In an effort to help employers tailor their ads, as well as their companies , to the constantly-changing, aggressive job market, we asked the Archinect talent to share some thoughts about their "ideal" job ad, interview and work environment.
The following information has been compiled from hundreds of survey results posted by Archinect job seekers. The information is provided to help you, the employer, understand what makes your company stand out among the rest in an aggressive search for the ideal employee.
THE PERFECT EMPLOYER
Architects seeking employment desire a variety things. Some report being most motivated by a firm that values good design. Some are more concerned with working for a conscientious company that focuses on sustainability. Others feel it is most important to work for a company that displays professional integrity and ethical practices. While others are most driven to work for a firm that has an excellent reputation and a clear mission. Regardless of the employee's personal value system, we found a common thread in their requests. Job seekers reported that they wanted to work for a company that kept up to date with the latest technology. Employees wanted an opportunity to be creative, rather than stuck in a production-only position (aka "CAD Monkey"). They want to work in an environment where employees are valued and respected, where there is job stability, security and an opportunity for growth. Architecture job seekers report wanting to be challenged, but at the same time, would like to carry a realistic work load. Most often, architects and designers report that they want to be hired into a stimulating work climate where the types of projects match their interest.
Archinect asked: What do you look for in an employer?
Be clear about the type of work that the firm does. Employers are more likely to attract the right candidates when they are honest about the type of work that the potential employee will be doing. The employer will ultimately have a happier, more driven, and focused employee if they are doing the type of work that interests them.
Examples from the Archinect Job Board:
Cicognani Kalla Architects is a ten person architectural firm that was founded in 1985 and specializes in highly-detailed single-family residential projects, museum and gallery work, office headquarters and restaurant projects. - Cicognani Kalla Architects gives a good description of the firm and it's work
Internet job postings have become the quickest and most effective way for employers to advertise a job opening. Writing the perfect job ad that will attract a well qualified job seeker can be tricky. Employees reported the importance of several key bits of information they felt were most important in a job ad.
Archinect asked: What information do you look for when reviewing job ads?
Be clear. Be specific. Be clear about the needs of the firm. Be specific about the experience required for the position. You'll be less inclined to be bombarded with under-qualified job seeker resumes if you are clear and specific regarding the job duties and the exact skills required. Use a simple job title that can be easily located through the Archinect search tool.
Examples from the Archinect Job Board:
We are looking for highly motivated individuals who are team leaders with strong communication skills. Applicants should have a degree in architecture from an accredited college, 6+ years of working experience in schematic design through construction administration phases, and proficiency in AutoCAD. Previous experience with consulting engineer coordination, technical detailing, specification research, obtaining agency approvals and working with contractors is required. - Marmol Radziner and Associates gives a detailed description of the qualifications required for an open position
We are looking for a landscape architect / head of our landscape department who can oversee a number of landscape projects and can liaise with external consultants and clients.
All candidates should possess strong technical and communication abilities to function at the highest level of design sensibility. Candidates must feel confident in a complex, stressful and chaotic environment. - Office for Metropolitan Architecture gives an exact description of the required skills
An interview should have structure. Objectives should be defined before the interview takes place. Important questions should be outlined in advance. The interviewer should have a thorough description of the position, the duties involved and the knowledge and skills required. The interviewer should be able to identify success factors of previous architects in the same position and be able to set clear performance expectations. In this competitive job landscape, employers should realize that they are selling themselves as much as the candidate being interviewed.
Archinect asked : Describe the perfect job interviewer.
Before the interview:
Spend some time planning. Many larger firms have predetermined interview questions. These questions should be used as a guideline but employers should not be afraid to deviate. Sometimes the most important information is gathered through responses to secondary questions built off previous questions. Employers should review the candidates resume and portfolio before the interview.
During the interview:
Start the interview with some ice breakers. Ask a few light hearted questions to ease tension. The interviewer should spend some time describing the company, the position, duties and required skills and knowledge. He should ask questions regarding the candidate's education, experience and ask questions regarding their portfolio. Many employers ask to review the portfolio at the end of the interview, but using a portfolio as a launching pad can initiate great conversation. The interviewer should ask some traditional, as well as, situational questions.
Many employers make a mistake in dominating the interview. The interviewer should spend 80% of their time listening and only 20% of their time talking. If an interviewer spends too much time talking about the company, projects or personal experience, he will not be able to gather enough information from the candidate to determine if she is a good fit for the firm.
It is a good idea to be able communicate success factors for the previous employee in that position. Employees will benefit from knowing how the person before them succeeded in this position. This will often lead into a conversation regarding performance expectations. An interviewer should be able to openly discuss what will be expected of the potential employee.
Take notes. If you are interviewing multiple candidates, you'll need to jot down important information to go over during the review process. Lastly, when possible, have more than one manager interview a potential employee. A quick consensus among interviewers will help the employer gain a well-rounded evaluation of the candidate.
Traditional question help the employer to gather information.
Ex: What would you consider your strengths? How do you feel your experience would contribute to your success in this position?
Situational questions help the employer to understand the candidate's thought process.
Ex: If you were asked to use a software program you were unfamiliar with how would you handle that assignment?
The purpose of this type of questions is to predict future behaviors based on previous behaviors. By having a describe something he has accomplished, it allows the employer to measure the job seeker's knowledge, attitude, reaction and creativity in a given situation.
Ex: Tell me about a time when you were under a deadline and something unexpected went wrong?
These types of questions assist the employer revealing the candidate's work style, personality, values, and team orientation. These elements are used to determine whether the potential employee is a "good fit" or compatible with the hiring company.
Ex: What type of work environment motivates you most?
After the interview:
Always close an interview by asking if the candidate has any additional questions. Be wary of candidates that do not have any questions. Let the potential employee know what they can expect next. Many job seekers report that they are left wondering what the next steps will be. Always contact a potential candidate to let them know that they have not been chosen.
KEEPING THE TALENT
In a competitive job market, it can be hard to keep a great architect or designer. Employee retention is an extremely important factor in a company's success. Losing star talent is not only time consuming, it is also costly. When an employee is lost it can cost up to 150% of the position's annual salary to fill the position. Archinect job seekers openly discussed what they thought were key motivators in staying with a company.
Archinect asked: What job characteristics would keep you at a firm?
There are many things a firm can do to increase employee longevity. Employers are encouraged to perform exit interviews to gather useful information needed to keep their staff. This data is crucial for the employers assess and address problem areas. More employees leave their supervisors or managers rather than their company. It is critically important that employers hire the "right" managers to keep the "right" employees.
15 Tips To Keep Your Talent
Suben Dougherty Partnership describes a few of their office perks
Our office culture is friendly and informal. We hold weekly Design Crits to share information, to inspire, and to encourage design dialogue in a relaxed setting. Staff and their families also gather at annual pumpkin carving contests, summer picnics, and holiday parties. - GGLO describes the nature of their work environment and promotes a work/life balance
Did you know that the original opening lyrics to Simon and Garfunkel’s Scarborough Fair were “ Do you have an understanding of schematic design and programming skills?” True story.
Did you know before she had titled her hit song “Rehab” Amy Winehouse was calling the pop gem “Hip To Green Design And Socially Conscious Public Projects”? - Goshow Architects depicts a fun, energetic environment in their humorous ad introduction
ARCHINECT CAN HELP GET THE WORD OUT
Let's face it, quality job seekers look for work online. Whether you're hunting for new talent or just keeping abreast with what's new in the job market, Archinect is a one-stop-shop and convenient resource. Archinect delivers more quality job seekers than any other online architecture job board. Archinect has filled thousands of positions and continues to be the #1 recruitment job board for the architecture industry . Let Archinect keep you connected with the best talent in the industry.
Good luck in your search!