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5 Common Mistakes Architecture Firms Are Making In Hiring

Updated: Mar 26, 2019

New challenges are arising in hiring for architecture firms. We are facing a whole different generation with different expectations, desires, and goals. The job market is tightening up further and there are less prospective employees compared to the demand.


Architecture firms are not quite ready to take on this 'new normal'. Old hiring methods will only make it more painful. There is a strong need to abandon certain trains of thought and behavior patterns in order to compete for talent in this digital age. A new mindset, strategy, and execution plan are a must if you are serious about meeting your 2019 hiring goal.



Lacking A Hiring Strategy


Many architecture firms start without a hiring strategy in the first place. They are always in a reactive mode due to irregularity of hiring needs and lack of predictability. This often leads to the use of inefficient avenues and tools for recruiting when a new position comes up.


Your hiring strategy today has to be creative. Leveraging social recruiting avenues, passive candidate outreach, ongoing talent pipeline building and nurturing your talent pool are very important.


Developing an annual resource plan that effectively ties to the need and growth of the business is a good start. Follow it up with a holistic hiring strategy encompassing branding, job marketing and sourcing. Finally, put into place a streamlined interviewing process. All this will ensure that you can execute quickly when a hiring need does come up.



Being Over-Reliant On Employee Referrals


An organization’s goal is to hire the best talent. Employee Referrals are a great way to get good talent. But relying too much on it may mean missing out on possibly better talent in the market. Having a healthy mix of different sources is a must to expand your selection.


If your total hiring depends on more than 15-20% on employee referrals then your sources are not diverse enough. Also, employees tend to refer candidates with a similar style of working or expertise. This sometimes may not fit the requirement.



Not Actively Recruiting Interns


Hiring interns in architecture firms is absolutely imperative to boost employee retention. We all know an intern has expectations of working in an entry-level position. And, that they have hopes of moving up the ladder as they prove themselves.


Using interns is a great way to plan the succession of existing employees. It is a natural hierarchy that promotes growth within. Without growth, employees may feel stagnated, become frustrated and leave.


Internships also help new hires develop loyalty towards a company. In fact, they have an expectation of hiring on as a regular employee. This is great strategy for improving employee retention. It also is an easier sell for the less experienced, but talented recruit.



Focusing Primarily On Skills & Experience


There is much more to a person than talent alone. It is more important to hire people that fit into the style, pace, culture, and values of the firm. The skills and experience they bring to the table are important but these are only one aspect of what makes the right fit.


Even in today’s competitive market, it is important to take your time. In spite of great talent and experience, when a new hire does not fit into the company it will lead to hiring remorse.


You want to look more holistically at a prospective employee when considering them for your position. This leads to high retention as both continue to enjoy working together.



Being More Reactive Than Proactive


Don't wait for the leads to come to you. Keep recruiting as a proactive effort in finding the right talent. Make sure your recruiting stakeholders are in the loop. And, they update their resourcing plan based on business need. This helps you plan better and align your recruiting resources to meet the upcoming hiring needs.


It also opens doors for more resources as you need them. A good example of being proactive is to continue building the talent pipeline. Then, doing regular branding initiatives to maintain company visibility. This will ensure that you are always in the game. And, enable you to move quickly to fulfill a position when it opens.



A new approach and strategy are critical considering the hiring challenges an architecture firm faces in today's market. Reassessing the People, Process, Tools, and governance of your recruiting function is a must if you want to meet your 2019 hiring needs.



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