What Job Candidates Need to Know to Choose Wisely

In the AEC industry’s competitive job market, McKissack has found new ways to attract the best talent to join a unique organization with transformative projects.
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McKissack is hiring, a good problem to have in any economic climate but particularly right now. Taking substantial buildings—especially landmarks—from concept to completion is a long, involved process, yet the uncertainty spurred by COVID-19 hasn’t slowed down our workflow. During this time, we’ve won new assignments and kept current projects on schedule. But more significantly, we’ve found new ways to attract the best talent to join our unique organization.

Admittedly, the job market is challenging right now. But this is a good time to look for jobs in the AEC industry. Civil engineering and construction projects are forging ahead and creating new jobs. Airports,offices, schools and performance venues need new and restructured spaces for the post-COVID world, and utilities are building reliable infrastructure that’s resilient enough to weather the next crisis.

Thanks to the strategies and technology advancements we’ve implemented over the last three years, McKissack is in a strong position to take on new challenges. Beyond its portfolio of impactful and exciting projects, McKissack’s history, engaged management and financial stability attract people looking for a vibrant, inclusive corporate culture.

 

We Keep in Touch, Now More Than Ever

Under lock down, however, recruiting in person has been tricky. An unstable economy makes job candidates cautious about changing firms. Nevertheless, the projects we work on most frequently,from capital-intensive infrastructure that must often come together quickly to high-profile healthcare facilities and museums, requires the planning skills of experienced specialists who are in high demand.

Just as our designers and planners found more frequent contact vital to resolving problems and keeping projects on track as they worked remotely, our talent acquisition team is now in more frequent touch with the candidates they recruit. It’s one advantage of a mid-sized design and construction management firm, as well as the ability to bring professionals into frequent contact with practice leaders and top executives, from the CEO on down.

Today, job interviews no longer require putting on a suit, going downtown and sitting across a conference-room table.Video conferences level the playing field and remove some of the stress of the job hunt. With any one of us likely to have children or dogs in the background,the dynamic is more intimate—and authentic, given that the workplace will be different going forward.

Video chats help both the prospective hire and the hiring manager get a solid feel for the job and the company. Panel interviews with three-to-five colleagues bring candidates together with future collaborators who know the technical ins-and-outs of the position. While video conference interviews have given candidates direct access to decision makers, the process has also required our team leaders to be more perceptive and intuitive. And of course, working from home has made us more comfortable hiring with telework in mind.

With all the changes in the COVID-19 workplace and the AEC industry, the ideal candidate hasn’t changed. He or she has to have the bedside manner to be a trusted adviser to our clients and a problem-solver throughout the planning and construction process. In a more mobile world, that means stepping in quickly to talk through issues and having the emotional intelligence to resolve them when in-person meetings may not be possible.

 

Our Shared Goal Is to Make a Difference

Once a new hire is in place, COVID-19 has made on-boarding virtual as well. Frankly, we miss the person-to-person interaction of taking people out to lunch on their first day to get to know them. However,we have a virtual process in place for now to learn their concerns, guide their career development and foster interaction with their team members.

The challenge in the COVID-19 environment is to maintain more frequent engagement with our employees, where we can all let our hair down and ask questions. Conversations around performance improvement and accountability don’t change, but we start from a position of mutual trust that assumes we’re all fully committed to the same goals—making an impact in the growth of the company and improving communities.  

Beyond the chance to work on interesting projects and iconic buildings, McKissack’s team shares pride in the company’s professionalism and entrepreneurial nature. Our base salaries and incentives are competitive with the largest firms in the AEC industry, and we’re always looking to innovate and explore new opportunities outside of our current geographical or service areas.

The quality of our personnel is extremely important to our brand. It takes time to find people who thrive on close interactions with top executives and practice leaders, and love what we stand for at McKissack.  By discussingit here, we want prospects to get a taste for our collaborative culture and gain the confidence to know that moving to McKissack is the right call.

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