Human Capital Management is a critical aspect of the architecture and engineering (A&E) industry, as it plays a pivotal role in attracting, retaining, and developing skilled talent to drive business growth. The 44th Annual Deltek Clarity Architecture & Engineering Industry Study highlights key challenges and initiatives related to HCM in the A&E sector. In this blog, we will touch on some findings regarding HCM trends to understand how A&E firms can enhance their HCM strategies to stay competitive and succeed in today's dynamic market.
Focus on Developing and Cross-Training Existing Staff
With staffing challenges persisting and the cost of new hires on the rise, A&E firms must shift their focus towards developing and cross-training their existing staff. The Clarity study indicates that the number of firms reporting more open positions in 2022 fell compared to the previous year. To encourage this trend, these professional services firms are increasingly turning their attention to internal talent development to meet project demands effectively.
To address this challenge, these professional services firms should invest in robust training and development programs that empower employees to acquire new skills and take on more responsibilities. By cross-training staff, A&E firms can create a more versatile workforce capable of delivering projects across different disciplines and specialties. Additionally, these efforts boost employee satisfaction and reduce turnover, leading to a more stable and productive work environment.
Finding the Right Solutions and Tools for Talent Acquisition
Acquiring the right talent is an ongoing challenge for A&E firms. This year’s Clarity study highlights difficulties in finding time and budget to select the best technology solutions that can identify and accelerate candidate selection. To address this issue, professional services firms like architects and engineers should explore innovative talent acquisition tools and techniques to widen the candidate pool and streamline the hiring process.
Furthermore, implementing an efficient applicant tracking system (ATS) can help manage job postings, track candidate applications, and streamline the recruitment workflow. Also, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics in talent acquisition can provide valuable insights for identifying qualified candidates and predicting their potential fit within the organization.
Offering Competitive Compensation
In a competitive talent market, A&E firms are facing increasing pressure to offer attractive compensation packages to attract and retain top talent according to the 44th Clarity report. The cost of new hires is rising, and employees are seeking competitive pay and benefits to align with their skills and experience.
To remain competitive, these professional services firms should regularly review their compensation structures, benchmark against industry standards, and consider geographical variances in salary offerings. Moreover, investing in compensation management tools can facilitate data-driven decision-making and ensure that salary offers are competitive and fair, reducing the risk of losing potential candidates to competitors.
The Availability of Good Candidates
Based on this year’s Clarity study, while the turnover rate has stabilized, the availability of qualified candidates remains a challenge. A&E firms should focus on nurturing and developing existing talent while seeking external candidates to fill open positions. Upskilling, cross-training, and offering career development opportunities are essential to position firms for growth.
Furthermore, creating a strong employer brand through targeted employer branding initiatives and robust employee value proposition (EVP) can help attract diverse and skilled candidates. These professional services firms can additionally leverage their existing employees as brand ambassadors to promote the company culture and highlight growth opportunities within the organization.
Building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Programs
The 44th Deltek Clarity study emphasizes the growing importance of DE&I initiatives in these professional services firms. Many A&E firms acknowledge the need for DE&I programs but are unsure about how to measure and implement them effectively.
A&E firms should start by conducting a DE&I assessment to identify areas for improvement and set specific goals for enhancing diversity and fostering a more inclusive workplace. Creating an inclusive work environment requires ongoing efforts, including diverse hiring practices, inclusive leadership training, and regular monitoring of DE&I metrics to measure progress.
Learn More about HCM Trends from the 44th Deltek Annual A&E Clarity Study
As seen from the findings of this year’s Clarity report, Human Capital Management is a critical factor in the success of architecture and engineering firms. By focusing on developing existing staff, implementing effective talent acquisition tools, offering competitive compensation, nurturing good candidates, and building robust DE&I programs, these professional services firms can position themselves for growth and stay ahead in a competitive market. Additionally, leveraging technology and data-driven strategies can further optimize HCM efforts, leading to improved employee satisfaction, reduced turnover, and overall business success. As the A&E industry evolves, firms that prioritize and invest in their human capital will be better equipped to tackle challenges and seize opportunities for future growth.
For more details on HCM Trends from the 44th Clarity Study, read the entire report.