94% of construction and property employers have experienced skills shortages in the last year, according to research collected for the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 report. In building services, these shortages have led to an average salary increase of 2.2%. Some roles, however, due to heightened demand, have risen even higher:
Top 10 pay rises in building services:
- Contract Quantity Surveyor
- Project Engineer
- Senior Contracts Manager
- Senior Design Engineer
- CAD Technician
- Revit/BIM Technician
- Professional Quantity Surveyor
- Junior Design Engineer
Salary increases were highest for building services contractors, with Estimators commanding a 4.4% increase. The average salary increase for contractors overall was 2.8%, compared to 1.8% for building services consultants, of whom Senior Design Engineers, CAD Technicians and Revit/BIM technicians were most in demand, each seeing a salary increase of 2.5%.
The strong technical skillsets of each of these roles explains their rise in demand, as employers struggle to access the talent they need to plug skills gaps. Overall, 65% of employers in construction and property said their biggest challenge was overcoming a shortage of suitable applicants for their available roles.
Specialist skills in demand?
In construction and property, the top specialist skills employers say they need the most include operations (48%), and managerial and leadership skills (46%). 61% of employers also say they’re short on workers with strong communication and interpersonal skills, highlighting the importance not just of technical expertise, but of soft skills too.
How are hiring patterns changing?
Almost three-quarters of construction and property employers plan to recruit in the next 12 months. Half expect to hire permanent staff and 38% plan to recruit temporary, contract or interim workers.
What’s motivating construction and property professionals to change roles?
30% of construction and property professionals who left their role last year did so because they believed their salary was too low, although this is not the only influencing factor. We also found that 31% of construction and property workers feel there is no scope for progression at their organisation and almost half (48%) consider their work-life balance as average to poor.
Employers seeking workers with niche skillsets should offer clear progression pathways and flexible working as part of their hiring strategy. Professionals looking to improve their salary, work-life balance or career prospects should also be proactive and consider how their skills can be applied or developed to make themselves a top prospect for new employers.
For more insights into the hiring market in 2020, and how you can take advantage, request your copy of the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 guide.
About this author
Richard leads specialist recruiting consultants across the sector. He joined Hays in 1991 and quickly worked his way up through the ranks and was appointed Director in 2001.