A/E/C Outlook 2012 Part II: Talent Management

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Helbling executive search consultants discusses the talent management strategies and initiatives that are taking precedence among A/E/C firms and the types of professionals who are in high demand in today's market.

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A/E/C Outlook 2012 Part II: Talent Management

  1. 1. Facilities Construction Real Estate Engineering R E TA I N E D E X E C U T I V E S E A RCH Architectural,  Engineering  &  Construction  Outlook  2012 Part  II Talent  Management  StrategiesAs  discussed  in  our  Architectural,  Engineering  &  Construction  Outlook  2012  Part  I,  while  the  A/E/C  industry  remains  in  a  recovery  stage,  there  are  several  market  sectors  offering  tremendous  opportunities.    As  well,  there  are  trends  in  strategic  initiatives  among  industry  players  such  as:    strengthening  competitive  advantage  through  innovation,  offering  alternative  project  delivery  methods  and  improving  business  development  practices.      Helbling  &  Associates  is  an  executive  search  firm  that  specializes  exclusively  in  construction,  facilities  management,  real  estate  and  engineering.    We  have  watched  our  clients  sustain  and  improve  themselves  by  developing  approaches  to  the  concepts  outlined  above.    We  have  also  seen  them  retain  their  focus  on  attracting  strong  professionals  who  can  assist  them  in  achieving  their  objectives  of  these  new  initiatives  and  more.Within  this  Outlook,  we  outline  the  trends  that  are  taking  precedence  in  recruitment  and  talent  management  strategies.✴ Recruiting talented professionals. To  leverage  the  opportunities  being  presented  within  the  industry,  companies  have  to  recruit  and  retain  high-­‐caliber  professionals   who  can  assist  them  in  achieving  their  goals.    Firms  understand  their  need  to  infuse  intelligent,  technologically  savvy  individuals   into  their  organizations  who  can  lead  progressive  initiatives.    Impeding  their  efforts  is  an  aging  population  at  the  executive   management  and  operational  levels,  lack  of  succession  and  transition  strategies,  and  a  shortage  of  competent  professionals  with   specific  skill  sets.    Coming  out  of  the  worst  recession  in  history,  many  firms  had  cut  back  to  just  essential  staff  members  over  the   past  few  years  which  compounds  the  challenge.     Senior Executives Leadership  talent  has  always  been  difficult  to  find  and  attract  but  now  it  is  more  challenging  than  ever  in  the  A/E/C  industry.       Companies  are  actively  seeking  executives  who: ✓ Are  change  agents. ✓ Are  technologically  savvy  to  lead  by  example. ✓ Understand  strategies  and  execution  leadership. ✓ Can  manage  profitable  business  units  or  regions. ✓ Have  either  broad  or  industry-­‐specific  experiences. ✓ Are  able  to  lead  in  an  inclusive  and  empowering  way. ✓ Possess  the  ability  to  build  and  lead  high-­‐performance  teams. ✓ Foster  a  collaborative  work  environment  that  motivates  employees.   ✓ Have  the  ability  to  create  a  culture  of  innovation  and  continuous  improvement. Executives  who  possess  these  new  desired  skill  sets  are  not  easy  to  find  and  they  are  usually  embedded  in  their  current   organizations  thus  making  it  difficult  to  attract  them  to  new  opportunities.    
  2. 2. Seller – Doers Seller-­‐Doers  have  been  sought  after  for  the  past  several  years  and  the  demand  for  them  has  not  wavered.    These  are  the  individuals   who: ✓ Possess  a  strong  business  and  sales  acumen. ✓ Offer  a  “single-­‐contact”  concept  to  prospective  clients. ✓ Are  “tapped”  into  the  marketplace  by  networking  with  existing  and  prospective  customers. ✓ Have  the  ability  to  learn  of  opportunities  before  plans  are  made  public  because  of  their  contacts. ✓ Have  the  sales  acumen  to  sell  a  project  as  well  as  the  understanding  and  knowledge  to  discuss  its  constructibility   and  engineering  issues  which  creates  added  value  to  the  customer,  developing  a  tighter  relationship. Professionals with specialized skill sets, advanced degrees and certifications Innovation  and  diversification  are  common  initiatives  within  the  A/E/C  industry  and  companies  are  seeking  individuals  with   specialized  skill  sets  such  as  knowledge  and  understanding  of  BIM,  LEED,  green  building,  energy  efficiency,  IPD,  lean  construction   and  integrating  IT  into  processes  and  procedures.    Advanced  certifications  and  degrees  are  also  of  interest  including  Professional   Engineer,  Registered  Architect  and  Project  Management  Professional.✴ Giving increased consideration to the Emotional Intelligence of candidates. Emotional  Intelligence  (EI)  has  been  proven  to  significantly  impact  a  person’s  ability  to  lead  an  organization,  business  unit  or  team.     Post-­‐recession,  it  has  been  given  more  attention  in  prospective  candidates.    EI  provides  a  way  to  understand  and  assess  a  person’s   behaviors,  management  styles,  attitudes,  interpersonal  skills  and,  ultimately,  their  potential. Characteristics  of  high  EI  are: ✓ Optimism  and  positive  attitude.   ✓ Decisiveness  and  self-­‐motivation. ✓ Ability  to  adapt  quickly  to  market  changes  and  to  creatively  develop  new  solutions.   ✓ Understanding  of  how  to  effectively  handle  difficult  or  highly  emotional  situations. ✓ “Participative”  management  style  and  adeptness  at  persuading  people  to  “buy-­‐in”  to  initiatives  and  goals. ✓ Understanding  of  how  to  build  relationships  –  with  subordinates,  with  superiors,  with  customers  and  with  teams. ✓ An  appreciation  of  the  importance  of  listening  to  others  and  gathering  their  input  before  implementing  major   changes.✴ Overlapping roles and responsibilities in C-suite. Many  companies  are  trying  to  do  more  with  less  and  are  looking  for  individuals  who  have  the  experience  and  capabilities  to  fulfill   multiple  roles  and  to  juggle  diverse  responsibilities.    Chief  Financial  Officers  (CFOs)  are  now  often  asked  to  take  on  responsibilities   normally  for  a  Chief  Operating  Officer  (COO)  and  vice  versa.    COOs  are  expected  to  become  more  knowledgeable  of  available   technologies  and  are  sometimes  tasked  with  the  responsibilities  normally  given  to  a  Chief  Information  Officer  (CIO).    For  General   Counsels  and  Chief  Legal  Officers,  they  are  more  actively  involved  in  decision  making  at  the  executive  level  and  are  expected  to  rely   less  upon  outside  legal  teams.    Chief  Executive  Officers  (CEOs)  must  have  experience  and  knowledge  across  all  functions  to   effectively  lead  organizations. These  increased  responsibilities  and  expectations  have  made  filling  these  positions  more  difficult  as  well  as  more  critical  to  the   overall  success  of  companies.    
  3. 3. ✴ Retaining key employees and performing succession planning. Not  only  is  competition  strong  in  acquiring  work  in  the  A/E/C  industry  but  it  is  also  fierce  in  retaining  employees.    Talented   professionals  with  certain  skill  sets  are  becoming  increasingly  scarce  making  it  difficult  for  firms  to  not  only  find  people  but  to  also   hold  on  to  them.    The  more  progressive  firms  have  specific  strategies  for  retaining  their  key  employees  such  as: ✓ Consistently  monitoring  employee  satisfaction. ✓ Offering  non-­‐financial  incentives  that  employees  find  valuable. ✓ Creating  special  projects  to  challenge  professionals  and  keep  them  engaged.     ✓ Identifying  employees  who  are  high-­‐potentials  and  creating  a  professional  development  program  for  them. Although  retaining  high-­‐potential  employees  is  a  major  concern  of  most  companies,  only  38%  of  employers  have  a  formal  plan  to   retain  those  employees  while  62%  do  not,  according  to  Fails  Management  Corporation.    The  key  thing  to  remember  is  that  money  is   rarely  a  reason  why  top  performers  leave.    The  reasons  usually  revolve  around  future  project  potential,  career  advancement  and   their  ability  to  impact  the  success  of  an  organization.In  closing,  there  are  many  strategies  being  implemented  among  A/E/C  firms  to  ensure  their  ability  to  continue  attracting  and  retaining  key  players  involved  in  leadership,  operations  and  project  execution.    And  the  companies  who  are  most  attentive  and  progressive  in  these  initiatives  will  experience  the  most  success.    As  we  all  move  forward,  Helbling  &  Associates  appreciates  the  opportunity  to  continue  partnering  with  our  clients  in  securing  talented  individuals  who  have  the  ability  to  significantly  impact  their  organizations.        Sources:   Deloitte  &Touche,  Fails  Management  Corporation,  PricewaterhouseCoopers  Authors:     Sami  L.  Barry,  Strategic  Business  Development   Marc  K.  Datz,  Senior  Managing  Consultant   Matthew  D.  Lesher,  Managing  ConsultantRelated  Information:Case  study:   To  subscribe  to  Helbling’s  quarterly   e-­‐Newsle7er  and  Assignment     Group  Chief  Executive  Officer  For  A  Global  Contractor Alerts,  visit  our  home  page  at   www.helblingsearch.com.Blogs:   Social  Media:   How  To  Determine  Your  Organization’s  Ideal  Employee  Attitude  Fit   Top  Reasons  Why  New  Hires  Fail  &  What  Hiring  Managers  Can  Learn  From  Them Blog:    blog.helblingsearch.com   Simple  Onboarding  Techniques  That  Improve  Retention Twi7er:    @helblingsearch   Executive  Search  Activity  Increases  As  Organizations  Climb  Out  Of  Recession   Emotional  Intelligence:    Why  Your  Next  Leader  Should  Have  It ✓ HELBLING & ASSOCIATES, INC. RETAINED EXECUTIVE SEARCH RESPONSIVE RELIABLE Motivation  and  urgency  to  fulfill  your  needs Comprehensive  and  accurate  market  intelligence RESULTS Performance  that  exceeds  your  expectations RESOURCEFUL RELATIONSHIPS Extensive  network  of  contacts  in  your  industry Consulting  based  upon  trust  and  commitment Pittsburgh w w w . h www.helblingsearch.com c h . c o m elblingsear 724.935.7500

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