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Bespoke Careers

09 July 2019

09 July 2019

What's trending in the NYC architecture and design hiring market?

Market update summary - New York City

Alastair Wallace, Managing Director of Bespoke Careers’ New York office, reflects on 2019 to get a feel for the talent pool and what’s trending in the Architecture and Design hiring market in New York.  Alastair shares his observations, experiences and recommendations, and what he’s anticipating in the coming months.

What is the overall health of the architecture and design industry in New York?

Overall, the market appears to remain healthy with steady growth.  Despite a slight slow in billings reported in the region over the past few months, many firms that we speak with are reporting busy workloads and future work remaining extremely positive.  There remains a clear talent shortage and firms looking to add staff are experiencing an increasingly competitive candidate market.

Do you have specific observations about the temporary labor pool?

When talking specifically about bringing people in for a short-term contract role, hiring managers are essentially engaging the unemployed candidate pool.  Professionals are not leaving permanent positions for temporary assignments.  If you are hiring for a temp or temp-to-perm role, you are looking for talent in the smallest candidate pool.

What can hiring managers do to improve their odds of hiring the best talent?

With so many candidates reporting to us that their search is prompted by career progression, employers need to be able to clearly articulate the vision for their company.  Job seekers that can see themselves growing within the company’s vision and that are excited by the potential path of the firm are more likely to accept.  Employers also need to make their open positions highly attractive for job seekers. Whether that’s flexible hours, increased compensation, bonus potential, creative benefits, enhanced vacation time or other perks.  

Clients who are winning the best talent – what are they doing right?

Employers that understand the speed of the current market have a distinct advantage in securing the candidate of their choice.  With so many firms competing for talent, time really comes into play.  This does not mean rushing to a decision but streamlining the hiring process by grouping interviews together or having fewer rounds of interview.  Setting out your timeline to hire also helps with a candidate’s expectations and may mean that they check in with you before accepting another offer.

What skills and backgrounds are in the highest demand?

The demand remains high for BIM managers/BIM coordinators and there is a continued lack of talent in this specialist position.  Growth in the commercial/office sector has seen a huge increase in demand for workplace architects, designers, space planners and strategists.  In general terms, demand is high for architects and designers with between 6 and 9 years of experience, who are well rounded project runners.  In non-design positions within architecture and design firms, the biggest increase we have seen is in marketing roles. 

How is social media affecting recruiting in your industry?

Social media provides a unique opportunity for firms to give a glimpse behind the curtain and to showcase exciting new projects that are currently on the drawing boards.  It is also the chance to promote the culture within the firm and give job seekers an insight into workflow, the team dynamic, benefits and culture.  Whilst social media is perhaps not yet the place for direct applications it is a fantastic platform to help drive people towards your company.  Our daily Instagram report on what makes a design studio a great place to work is a great insight into global firm culture.  Follow us at @bespokesbest for more information.



Author: Alastair Wallace, Managing Director, Bespoke Careers

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