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Bespoke Careers

17 January 2023

17 January 2023

Why you should work with a (good) recruiter to land your next architecture or interior design role

James Boggan, MD of our Texan offices discusses why using a recruiter might be your best option

Working with a good recruiter is like having your very own career manager. In their capable hands you will be guided through promotions, redundancies, negotiations. You’ll be offered career advice and support. Guided through the transition from permanent to contract and back again. You will be kept in the loop when your perfect opportunities come up, coached through internal and external promotions, lent a sympathetic ear when you need career advice or a whine and a wine.

  • A candidate-recruiter relationship should be one that is strategic and long-term. Mutually beneficial.
  • As a candidate you benefit from this service for free. How come I get this great service for free I hear you ask? Clients pays the recruiter for finding you.
  • As a passive or active architect or interior design candidate working with a recruiter, you get the following benefits:
Market Insight

A good architecture and design recruiter will know their local market inside out. Speaking to clients and candidates every day. They’ll have the inside scoop on who’s winning projects, what practices are looking to open new offices and what practices practice what they preach when it comes to culture and promoting from within. They’ll also know what companies are embracing work/life balance and who are committed to achieving true DE&I. Who helps out when it comes to registration, who onboards well, what the culture’s really like.

Access to confidential roles

For a myriad of reasons, in certain cases, practices may wish not to publicly advertise when they are looking for to make a hire. In these instances, they will use a specialist architecture and design recruitment agency to do the anonymous advertising and candidate shortlisting. By registering with a specialist recruitment agency you will have access to these roles; should you decide you want to make a move.

(Passively) Keeping your finger on the pulse

Although you’re happy in your current position and not actively looking for a new role; there may be a role that could tempt you to move, and if it comes up you want to know about it. Perhaps your dream practice, the chance to manage a team, to work in a different sector, to a remote model, for higher pay. The best way of keeping up to date as a passive candidate is through a specialist architecture and design recruitment agency. Tell your recruiter what you want and for them to keep let you know if they’re working on a role that ticks your box. By being more proactive while you a passive candidate, you’ll avoid having to be reactive when you become an active candidate. As they say, you’ve got to be in it to win it!

Up to the minute salary data

Salaries in the architecture and design industry change as much as any other industry, perhaps more so given the project nature of the work; impacted by supply, demand, inflation, building, government policy and other more macro factors. Speaking to practice owners, HR Managers, architects and designers every day means we are on the pulse with what the current market salary rate is for designers at different levels. A good recruitment agency will collate this data into a salary guide – available so you can benchmark yourself against the industry averages.

Portfolio and CV workshopping

Your portfolio is a glimpse into not only the quality of your work, but also your personality and the way you like to present yourself. The layout, font and images are all important and give a potential employer an insight into the way you will approach their projects. Some practices like to see a snapshot of projects, others want to see everything you’ve done. Some want to see work that is inline with their style and/or sector, others want to see a range of projects. A good recruiter knows what their clients want to see and can help guide you in presenting yourself in the best way possible. The same goes for your CV – how many pages, what level of detail, the design – you can get help and advice with this.

Guidance through the recruitment process

Interview preparation and debriefs. A good recruiter will help you prepare for the interview with a prospective employer. Guiding you on how to prepare, what research to do, practice answering questions using the STAR method. They will debrief and follow up with your future employer. Not everyone excels in interview situations, despite being great hires - admittedly a paradox. Working with a good recruiter, you will have someone in your corner, guiding you and encouraging you through every step of the process.

Salary negotiation

Not many people enjoy talking about money. As a human race we tend to squirm and avoid this topic at all costs, particularly when it comes to salary negotiation. Once it gets to the crunch time of an offer, if required, a good recruiter can have these negotiations on your behalf – mediating between you and your new employer so that both parties are happy with the compensation offered.

Working with a good recruiter can have a profoundly positive impact on your career. Find a good one and stick with them.

Author: James Boggan, Managing Director, Dallas & Austin, Bespoke Careers

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