Architecture Jobs, Jobs In Interior Design & Autocad Jobs

SYDNEY MARKET UPDATE SPRING 2011


Welcome to the Spring quarter's Sydney Market update and what an interesting few months we have had! Trouble with the US and European share markets, a minor interest rate cut and the state budget have been the talking points for a number of months now.

The general feeling is that the employment market is still slow, with "caution" being the word that our clients are using more often than not. Larger projects are taking time to come to fruition and many of our clients seem to have been waiting for the go ahead on projects for what feels like an eternity. There are a number of larger infrastructure projects that are in the pipeline and hopefully this will kick start what is still a very slow NSW market.
 
One comment that we are hearing over and over is that people are happy to ‘watch and see’ how things pan out over the next couple of months before making decisions on recruitment. The upshot of this is that a great deal of candidates are being left frustrated whilst they wait for interviews to be arranged, or in many cases, for offers to come through.

Another factor towards the current negativity is some pretty glum statistics recently released in regards to building approvals in NSW. We saw the number of new homes starting construction drop by 4.7 per cent in the second quarter of the year to 37,820. On top of this the non–residential construction market also experienced some contraction during the same period. These factors are often used as a barometer to get a feel for the market.

All of the above means we are still seeing that clients can afford to be very picky in regards to hiring new staff, across the board. It is more likely that companies will meet 4 or 5 strong candidates for a role and this is only after initially considering candidates that fully match their criteria. Candidates are being urged to spend time researching companies and the role so that they can produce a portfolio that gives them an edge in the actual interview. 

Architecture:

There is no doubt that the Architectural Market is struggling at the moment with many companies looking at reducing staff numbers or hours in order to help them through a tough period of time.
 
As has been the case in the previous three months, our clients are continuing to look for particular 'skills sets' in regards to projects and also CAD experience. As usual, Revit is in demand as the pool of candidates with Revit experience slowly grows. A number of firms understand that BIM is something that will play a big part in their future but are finding it hard to bring in high level BIM experience.

Larger Architectural firms in Sydney are still very cautious in regards to long-term recruitment strategies with even the most positive groups not committed on growth over the next six months. Once again, this lack of confidence has meant more contract positions for highly skilled and flexible candidates. These contract roles tend to focus on documentation skills and CAD experience and seek candidates who can start immediately.

Project experience is also something that is more important than ever in the selection criteria. Architectural practices understand that they can wait for the right candidate to come along who has exactly the right experience. Areas that we have had the greatest demand for over the last three months has been Healthcare, Aged Care and multi-unit Residential experience.

The overall feeling amongst groups is that things will plod through to the New Year and that it will be well into 2012 before things really start to pick up. Once again there are "pockets" of opportunities for practices but securing them and making them profitable is going to be tough. As always and now more than ever, it is the companies with long-standing, strong relationships with their clients that will most certainly fair better during this tough period.

Interior Design:

As has been the case for most of 2011, the vast majority of our new positions have come from within the Interior Design market, which continues to remain busy across most sectors. Certainly the Commercial, Hospitality and Retail markets have all remained relatively buoyant. However, clients are in a position to be very particular about the type of person, skill set and experience they seek.

Our interior clients have been much more receptive to looking at candidates for strategic roles and in some cases are confident enough about the market to consider candidates when they come along. Many of our interiors clients are feeling fairly positive about the rest of the year but because of the turnover and smaller scale of the projects underway, they will have to reassess the situation early in the newyear.

Design and Construct firms seem to be going from strength to strength in the current market, particularly within the corporate sector. A number of project management firms have decided to appoint ‘in house’ design teams, thereby offering more of a complete service for their corporate clients.

More promising news is that the retail sector has made somewhat of a comeback with a number of new positions being made available in this sector during these past few months. We are also likely to see some contract positions become available in this particular market as retailers push to open stores before Christmas.

As with Architecture, highly skilled and experienced candidates will be targeted as companies look to strategically appoint staff in order to develop their market share in the coming months.

So that’s it in a nutshell from our Sydney office. In essence, a patchy market punctuated with "pockets" of activity and whilst this may not be the best time, we are finding that nearly all of our clients are confident and optimistic about the future and we join them in this sentiment, as we look forward to seeing what the near year brings!
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