As things stand, the Australian building and engineering market is generally very busy. There are several significant civil and structural projects underway, as well as plenty at design stage. Sydney is seeing the bulk of the work at present, although the uplift has been anticipated and gradual. Feedback from our Brisbane office is also very positive for construction, and with James Loomes and David Thompson recently returning from a trip there, the reports were equally as plentiful on the mechanical side. Sentiments are generally very good as we look forward to a busy winter!
Building update, Carmel Jones on the recruiting challenges faced with a booming construction market:
There is no doubt that the NSW building industry is booming. I have worked in the NSW market for 10 years and haven’t seen conditions like this since 2006/2007. Although this is fantastic news for all involved in the building and construction industry, such growth doesn’t come without its challenges.
Within our building division we are working closely with select clients to fill more than 40 positions and are experiencing a real shortage in skilled candidates. As a consequence, we are seeing an increase in the uptake of temporary contractors which, at a time like this, is pivotal to keeping the wheels turning on site whilst a permanent long term solution can be found. Positions in highest demand are Site Managers and Foreman along with Junior Estimators and Contract Administrators which seem to be relieving busy builders who cannot find the intermediate level employees they need. This is great for the younger generation looking to get their first start in construction however does create real pressures for already under-resourced project teams.
Even though conditions are tough we are still managing to find highly skilled candidates looking for their next position. However, as CGC’s Evan Morgan outlined in his blog this month, the time from job vacancy to interview and offer is taking far too long and clients are missing out on the talent they need to complete their projects, thus putting more pressure on existing staff. I cannot see conditions softening in NSW for the foreseeable future and believe we need to start thinking more about tightening up the recruitment process. When a talent pool is lacking, this will mean looking at different options to secure candidates. For instance, I have always been a huge advocate of overseas talent from commonwealth countries. I recruited for two years in England and know from experience that our industries are very similar. The visa process for engaging skilled candidates is very straight forward and inexpensive, but, for this approach to work, clients need to change their mentality and be more open to overseas candidates.
In summary, the current outlook is positive but we need to keep our eye on the ball when recruiting to ensure that we look at all avenues available to us. Whether that be temporary recruitment to relieve stresses on site or looking to hire overseas candidates to fill the gaps, or just ensuring that we have set timeframes for the recruitment process so that we don’t miss the boat on that quality candidate.
This month is a special month for our resident boxer/consultant, Rory Todd. Rory’s been so excited about picking up his puppy, Wilson, another boxer in his own right! So we welcome our new recruit Wilson who is already in training and the business anticipates it won’t be long before he’s in on the phones here at CGC HQ – if not assisting Rory with the lunchtime boxing classes!
James Loomes & David Thompson recently spent a couple of nights in Brisbane entertaining clients. They also took the opportunity to catch up with David Hope who heads up the Brisbane office which no doubt involved one or two beers on the Thursday night!!
To top off the month, we celebrated two CGC anniversaries. Both Billy Versey and Steve Morris have clocked up 3 years at CGC and we wish them many more.
Congratulations lads and enjoy your restaurant voucher!