Rob Kiernan & Lisa Broderick - Directors, Construction
Rob is the Operations Director of Tech Skills Resources (part of the Cpl Group) Tech Skills provide Recruitment, Contract Staffing and Outsourcing services to Construction and Property clients in Ireland, Europe and the Middle-East.
Lisa has worked with a diverse portfolio of clients across Ireland, the Middle East and most recently Australia. With a strong focus on delivery and a customer centric attitude, she helps businesses to attract and retain the best people.
Construction and Property sector assessment
The Construction and Property markets are adapting well to the challenges and changes initiated by the Covid pandemic. Demand for talent is growing and this is being reflected in how companies are changing to meet employee needs. The past year has seen Construction companies become much quicker to recruit, often without meeting the candidate in person, as virtual interviews have become the norm. The demand for experienced intermediate to senior candidates will continue to create competition, fuelling the need for a more streamlined, equitable, and quick hiring process. The demand for health and safety officers has increased markedly as rapidly changing regulations considering the Covid pandemic are processed and implemented at speeds never seen before. The pandemic has also created the demand for a new role in the industry, Covid compliance officers.
What are the underlying forces at work in the Construction and Property industry
Despite a rocky 2021, most Construction and Property employers are optimistic about the year ahead, with most expecting their organisation’s activity levels to increase or stay the same over the next 12 months. While this demonstrates employer confidence in the recovering market, there are still concerns from professionals, many of whom are worried about the wider economic climate and the employment opportunities it may create within the next 2-5 years. Last year’s hiring plans continue; however, competition has risen over the last 12 months. A majority of employers have reported some form of skills shortage in their team. To add to the challenge, employers also noted a struggle to recruit and hire permanent and temporary staff. Looking to the year ahead, activity is set to rise, with most employers intending to hire. This is due to be felt throughout the sector across permanent, temporary, contract or interim hires. The roles most in-demand are, Contract Managers, Quantity Surveyors, Site Engineers, Project and Property Managers, and Health & Safety Officers. For many employers, the expectation is that they face another challenging year with recruitment. We anticipate a shortage of suitable applicants will be the top hiring challenge this year, followed by competition from other employers. With unrealistic salary requirements rounding out the top three concerns for employers.
Pay transparency key to attracting and retaining talent
There were minimal salary increases across the Construction and Property sector over the past 12 months, far lower than expected. Despite this, salaries within the Construction and Property sector have remained steady in the past year. There are exceptions, however, in-demand health and safety professionals bucked the trend and reported an increase over the year. Pay transparency remains an issue. Clear pay transparency will be key to improving both talent attraction and retention in the year ahead. As will raising salaries after the challenge of the pandemic has passed.
What is exciting about the Construction and Property industry in 2022
There have been positive developments as we start into a new year. The Pharmaceutical and Residential sectors are continuing with their ambitious growth plans and we’re seeing an increase in planned data centres across the country. In short, construction projects that have already begun will continue, however, those in the pipeline will be slow to get off the ground. Uncertainty remains over commercial projects in Dublin City Centre. Many investors will wait until well into this year to decide on what they are willing to finance as they get a better understanding of the landscape. This will no doubt have a negative impact on larger developments with overseas funding, but smaller projects may avoid serious disruption, especially in residential property, which could see a well needed boom. The government has recognised the importance of the Construction industry to the future success of the country, and their appetite to keep construction sites open will help to preserve stability in the sector.
What are the key issues facing the Construction and Property industry in 2022
Skills shortages impacting productivity
Many employers do not think their organisation has the talent needed to achieve current business objectives. Negative impacts from a lack of skills are being felt on productivity side, the ability to deliver projects and employee morale. Companies are also short on soft and technical skills. The most sought-after soft skills include communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to adopt change, and problem-solving skills. The technical skills most required include projects and change management, operations, and managerial and leadership skills. The most common reason employers believe causing skills shortages is a lack of people entering the job market looking for Construction and Property roles.
Employee movement high due to Covid
Employees are showing a slightly more cautious approach to changing jobs this year. The economic effects of the Covid pandemic have had a considerable part to play. Other commonly cited reasons for leaving included a too low salary, a lack of job security, and future opportunities.
What critical skills do companies need to develop for success in 2022
Some Construction and Property professionals are more actively looking for employment due to Covid even though they are still employed, implying a sense of uncertainty about long-term job prospects. Some are keeping a close eye on the job market and have decided to stop job searching due to concern about job security. Construction and Property professionals are looking for the options to work remotely or to be given hybrid options going forward.
Workers rate work-life balance as highly as salary
When considering a new role, job security is top of professionals’ wish list aside from salary, on a par with work-life balance. Job location is also important for professionals. Salary and benefits packages are key to Construction and Property professions. In line with this, the most popular benefit jobseekers look for is having over 28 days paid annual leave and pension provision above the legal minimum. Combining generous holiday allowances with hybrid working practices, considering concerns about job security, and defining key opportunities for progression could help savvy employers retain and attract key talent.
The Construction and Property markets are adapting well to the challenges and changes initiated by the Covid pandemic. Demand for talent is growing and this is being reflected in how companies are changing to meet employee needs. The past year has seen construction companies become much quicker to recruit, often without meeting the candidate in person, as virtual interviews have become the norm. The demand for experienced intermediate to senior candidates will continue to create competition, fuelling the need for a more streamlined, equitable, and quick hiring process.
The demand for Health and Safety Officers has increased markedly as rapidly changing regulations considering the Covid-19 pandemic are processed and implemented at speeds never before seen. The pandemic has also created a demand for a new role in the industry, Covid-19 Compliance Officers.