Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people, has reported that the construction sector is seeking flexible freelancers with a first-rate career history and experience in the public sector.
Ongoing investment in the public sector has generated a demand for experienced individuals to work on a range of refurbishment, rebuild and extension projects, including local authority buildings, hospital renovation projects and the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme. Social housing is another area that has remained resilient.
“Site managers with Decent Homes or Responsive Repairs experience working with contractors on behalf of housing associations, councils and schools are sought after,” said Tony Keel, Regional Manager at Hays Construction.
On the commercial side, the demand for estimators, bid managers and business development managers has also remained steady, as many contractors are preparing their bids for future project work.
“There is a demand for pre-contract and tendering expertise as well as estimating and bid management skills in the current marketplace”, continued Keel.
A visible trend in the market is how the way in which the role of the temporary and interim workforce has evolved, due to the flexibility they offer an employer.
“Temporary roles are more in demand than permanent positions and we are seeing an increase in registered temp to perm jobs,” continued Keel. “Candidates need to remember that the temporary option offers them a foot in the door and those with strong CVs will be in a great position to benefit when the market recovers.”
There is still activity in the residential market, particularly in the larger cities, with affordable housing and shared ownership through house builders’ refurbishment activity providing constant project work. The demand for trades and labouring jobs has remained steady overall, although the average length of a contract has been reduced.
“Contractors working on these developments are still busy and this has fuelled demand for quality trades in this area. There are also excellent opportunities for companies with strong cash flow to upgrade properties now and resell when prices rise again,” added Keel.
Employers can afford to be more selective as to the calibre of applicants they recruit and the specific requirements needed given the volume of experienced site staff in the marketplace.
“Candidates need to focus on their CV’s, clearly outlining how their skills differentiate f r o m others and also concentrate on their interview technique – creating a positive first impression is critical,” concluded Keel.