Welcome to the April edition of the CGC Newsletter.
As the construction and engineering sectors continue to show positive signs of growth, this months newsletter will explore the question “When is the right time to add strategic hires?” We will also hear from Steve Morris on the latest trends within the civil and structural consulting market.
The downturn in the mining sector, federal and state elections and uncertain economic conditions have created hesitancy towards strategic hiring activity over the last 18 months. We have seen many clients put on hold their growth plans and adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach to strategic hires. However with economic conditions improving, a settled government and major projects coming online the plan for growth is firmly back on the agenda.
With this in mind when is it the best time to commit the investment to strategic hiring?
The age old question of having a project to hire people for versus having the people to deliver the project is becoming more important as conditions improve. Add headcount too early and your overheads could spiral out of control, act too late and you risk missing out on that key opportunity or miss out on sparse talent to your competitors.
At CGC we are seeing clients take a mixed approach to this challenge.
Generally speaking many of our SME client base are demonstrating flexibility in their recruitment approach and have begun adding strategic appoints particularly around the construction, MEP and infrastructure sectors. Candidates who can perform a dual business development and operational delivery role are attracting significant interest with companies committing significant funding to grow existing business lines or create additional revenue streams in associated sectors.
At the tier one level, recruitment activity is still very much in the project dependent bracket. With major projects on the horizon it is easy to envisage a ‘feast or famine’ scenario emerging with the successful tenderers requiring a massive uplift in resources, whilst those who miss out revisiting their strategy for the next wave of projects.
Our advice to clients is to have a clear plan on targets markets, identify gaps early and have a clear idea of the skills required to deliver the role. What are the upcoming opportunities in that sector? What salary are we committing to the role? How long are we committing to this process for and what is the expected return? As always a supportive structure, financial backing and a clear business plan is essential to ensure the success of any strategic hire.
Industry insight with Steve Morris
As a specialist supplier of contract staff into the engineering market, on a daily basis I see first-hand the trends for specialist skills across the consultancy market; whether it is a small-to-medium practice working on a specific project or a multi-disciplinary working on a major transport project.
I have seen the latter half of last year as having a demand for drafters and engineers within the building structures industry, with a significant increase in projects being given the green light post-Federal Election. Leading the way in this sector has been NSW, with notable projects including the Green Square redevelopment (http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/vision/major-developments/green-square) as well as the on-going major development at the Barangaroo site attracting major resources and investment.
Since the turn of the year, the demand for civil drafters and engineers has increased, both driven by associated works around building structures, but also with a particular emphasis on those with subdivision experience. This has been driven by notable projects including the area of Camden, which has been designated as a growth area in the Sydney Metropolitan Plan. This plan is designed to cope with the anticipated growth of the population of Sydney by 1.7million people between now and 2036 and will lead to continued work in this sector for many years.
The forecast for the remainder of the year continues to be positive. The areas above are set to continue to be busy and experience further growth, whilst we also have a number of large-scale infrastructure projects entering tender design, submission and detailed design phases. These include the various packages for the North-West Rail Link and WestConnex, which will again provide work for years to come.
With this in mind, we are keen to hear from people who have experience in the above sectors as there are continuing to be numerous opportunities for skilled professionals who can demonstrate proven experience in these fields. Building structures drafters with Revit Structures experience continue to be in high demand with numerous consultancies preferring to deliver projects utilising this software package, whist civil engineers are also a position that I am regularly being asked to recruit for.
If you are a client looking for your next contractor, or you yourself are looking for your next contract opportunity then please do not hesitate to contact Steve Morris for a confidential discussion.
A new addition to the CGC Family
We would like to take the opportunity to welcome James Loomes to the CGC team. James is a technical recruiter who has 7 years recruitment experience working in the Australia and UK construction industry. James joins the CGC MEP Team and is responsible for search and selection across the MEP contractor industry.
The sound of wedding bells rang through the halls of CGC HQ this month with two of their employees marrying their beautiful brides.
Anna Thompson became Mrs David Hope. Anna and David chose an idyllic setting in Woolgoolga, NSW to exchange their vows.
Laura Hilder became Mrs Kenneth Coleman . Ken and Laura got married earlier this month at a lovely ceremony in the beautiful and scenic area of Burrawang, NSW.