Search recommendations
    25 June 2020
    Recruiting professional designers: how to stay ahead of the competition?

    Elona Balatbieva

    If the market is narrow, and experienced professionals are much in demand and expensive, then the cost of making a mistake is high. How to keep or attract a good designer in the midst of a crisis? Elona Balatbieva, Head of HR department at Metropolis, answered this and other questions to RBC.

    Recruitment is a type of activity specific to each industry, with its own secrets and rules of the game. One of the most difficult areas is the search for specialists for the construction industry, more precisely, its most intellectual direction - the design of residential and commercial real estate.


    Two labor market mistakes are lodged in the minds of young Russian executives who have not gone through many crises. First, they believe there will be a large number of great candidates on the design market in 2020. However, this is not the correct point of view. Here's why: no one will fire real professionals. This applies even to companies from the hardest hit industries. In the most pessimistic scenario, such specialists will be cut last. After a period of self-isolation and remote work in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and other large cities, businesses are planning to survive. And you have to survive with a strong team.

    The second mistake is a hope of some top executives is that there will be many inexpensive, experienced designers and design engineers on the market willing to consider salary offers below the market level of early 2020. This is also an illusion. In our segment, more than 70% of candidates are men under the age of 45. Often these are family people, with children and the mandatory costs of renting an apartment or a mortgage. It is shortsighted to think that in times of crisis, good specialists will agree to work for less money. On the contrary, the motivation to make money will only grow, and companies that miss out on such candidates may be under the illusion that there are excellent engineers somewhere who dream of working for only an idea and food.


    According to the two largest recruiting sites - HeadHunter and SuperJob - in April 2020, the number of jobs posted on their platforms across all industries decreased by 48% and by 33% respectively.

    The number of published CVs also decreased - by 26% and 30%. However, the competition among job seekers for jobs still increased: there were 2.89 resumes per new vacancy in May, compared to 2.25 in February.

    The situation in the construction industry now looks like this: over 25 thousand vacancies were opened throughout Russia as of mid-May. Of these, 15% are in Moscow, 7% - in St. Petersburg, 4% - in the Moscow region and Krasnodar region, 3% - in the Krasnoyarsk region, Irkutsk and Novosibirsk regions. The minimum number of vacancies was recorded in the Republic of Ingushetia and the Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

    The area of "design of civil engineering objects" accounts for a little more than 15% of the total volume of vacancies in the construction sector. The maximum demand for designers is in Moscow; it accounts for almost 24% of the total demand throughout Russia. In St. Petersburg, the demand for designers is also high and remains at the level of 11%. In other regions, the picture differs significantly downward, but it can be noted that in the Sverdlovsk Region, Krasnodar Territory, Novosibirsk and Chelyabinsk Regions, as well as in the Republic of Tatarstan, demand ranges from 3 to 5%.

    Employers and Applicants

    Employers have become more discerning about the job experience of potential candidates.

    So, for 15% of vacancies, they are ready to consider candidates with more than 6 years of work experience. In 52% of cases - with experience from 3 to 6 years, in 28% - with experience from 1 to 3 years. Vacancies without work experience account for about 5% of offers. For applicants, teamwork skills are still important, as well as knowledge of special products, such as AutoCAD, Autodesk Revit, ArchiCAD and others.

    If during 2019 there was an increase in salaries in all areas of the construction sector, now the salary proposals froze at the level of January-March 2020.

    This is how the situation looks from the point of view of employers. And what about the applicants? Passive candidates did not start looking for work more actively, rather the opposite. Many lay low in anticipation of the end of the pandemic and even refuse remote interviews, since many are afraid of working in a new company remotely, and they do not want to go to work in the office and risk their health.

    Six months ago, candidates' priorities were lined up in the following sequence:
    1. Interesting tasks or projects;
    2. Team;
    3. Wages.

    Now the priorities have been transformed. The first place was taken by a stable company (more than 10-15 years on the market) and the level of wages. Active search candidates are not willing to waste their time with small businesses.

    Employers whose order book provides a workload for the next year or two continue to monitor the market and make offers to job seekers.

    Tips for employers

    The current situation clearly shows that companies need to quickly adapt to new conditions, learn to build business processes in a new way, including HR. You need to be flexible and adapt to the current situation. Here are some tips.

    If you have found a candidate that you need for your business now and in the future, do not waste time hoping that “the candidate will become cheaper.”
    Great candidates have no “expiration date” and there will be no markdown. Don't waste time making a decision. Great candidates are flying out of the market as quickly as they were before. Waiting in the hope of saving money only lengthens the hiring process. This is a bad strategy, because in addition to a frozen market, such companies "slow down" themselves and lose in the fight for relevant candidates.

    Do not be afraid to hire young specialists if the company has the resources for their development.
    Today, more candidates have appeared on the market with little or no work experience, but with a good specialized education. In our segment, these are recent graduates of MGSU, SPbGASU, KGASU and other leading universities of the country. Now there is an opportunity to attract the best newcomers, and after a while, after corporate training, get an excellent employee.

    Do not be afraid to work with remote employees, set clear goals and objectives for them.
    The trend for remote work will continue. Therefore, it is necessary to develop competencies for managing employees and build up the technical capabilities of such work. In addition, the ability to work remotely is today one of the key factors that increase the company's competitiveness in the labor market.

    Read the article on RBC website.