Technological advances in Measured Building continue to change the way the survey industry works. We understand that employers need to create the right environment to attract the best employees. Surveyors need to focus on finding the skills and talent. This is essential to thrive in this ever-changing environment. SUMO asked its industry-leading experts to explore what attracting the right talent to the industry really means.
The Measured Building Survey industry, like the construction industry as a whole, faces enormous challenges in attracting fresh talent. Amidst a skills crisis and an ageing supply of knowledge, it is imperative that younger industry members are engaged. This ensures that the industry not only survives, but thrives.
Technological advancements over the years have brought about numerous benefits, such as time and cost savings. In an industry where equipment is becoming increasingly automated, in some cases it has diluted the skills pool. There is also a perception that automation has depleted salary and career expectations. This happens as employers become more heavily reliant on equipment over the operator.
Like the rest of the construction industry, education generally falls somewhat short for Measured Building Surveyors. This can be especially prevalent when attracting female talent to the industry. What's more, the MBS industry is technically unregulated. This means no formal qualifications are legally required to perform Measured Building Surveys in the UK, This could also be discouraging potential talent.
So, what should we be doing as an industry?
There are several things we can be doing as an industry to ensure a rich pool of skills including:
- Educating fresh talent about the genuine career opportunities available within the surveying industry.
- Providing on-going training and development for all survey staff.
- Ensuring cross-training over different survey sectors. This will create a pool of multi-skilled surveyors, with increased job variety and satisfaction
- Offering competitive salaries and bonus schemes, which encourage and reward education and progression.
- Creating a great company culture to work in.
In short, we must create an industry that people want to invest their talent into. We need to educate people about the survey industry from a younger age. Then we can provide ample work experience opportunities. Adopting the strategies listed above could help retain existing talent and attract new members to the industry.
New technology will also inevitably attract fresh interest. Especially with advancements in virtual and augmented reality progress. We should be promoting the latest advancements and technology within the industry. We should also be educating new members about these innovations.
What is SUMO doing to counter the skills shortage?
At SUMO we find the best method of training new team members is 'the old-fashioned way'. We provide SUMO surveyors with essential knowledge and experience by working throughout the life-cycle of a project. We provide training from inception to completion, to ensure maximum understanding and learning. Additionally, we feel that it is important to train members in tripod and instrument equipment (traditional survey techniques). As well as the latest automated scanning equipment, to give a broader range of knowledge.
We believe that having a working knowledge and experience of a survey project from start to finish is essential. We often encourage junior staff to work with traditional sketch drawings on paper to get a complete understanding of survey practices. We also encourage innovative thinkers. Our surveyors have the opportunity to work on a host of digital projects that utilise 3D models such as SketchUp models and BIM Level 2 projects. This can be very attractive to employees. It gives surveyors many opportunities to grow as a professional. Having project ownership and the satisfaction of seeing a project through from beginning to end is also attractive. Moreover, we continually work closely with our staff members to ensure great job satisfaction. We achieve this through on-going training. A recognised career plan linked to earnings and personal career development is ideal.
Company culture is also an attractive business quality. We ensure a thriving company culture, which embodies our core values of:
Commitment to others
There is no quick solution to the challenges faced by the survey industry. SUMO believes that being aware of the skills shortage and encouraging these discussions is a step in the right direction. Our aim is to achieve a thriving industry with a rich pool of skills.