In the latest issue of the AEC marketing industry publication Marketer, editor Randle Pollock states a shift in demand for talent in the industry. He quotes a few sources / surveys that show the following items:
40% of employers worldwide are having difficulty filling positions due to the lack of suitable talent (Manpower, Inc.)
The shortage of skilled workers will exceed 10 million by 2010 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
The shortage of skilled professionals will become more acute by 2011 at every level of the architecture field (American Institute of Architects)
78% of firms will need to turn away work by 2012 due to major workforce gaps (ACE Mentor Program)
I believe that all of these facts are genuine and should be adequately considered within business operations and structures—however there is a missing piece to this puzzle which I believe is just as important: the youth of the industry.
The facts are electric. Everyone is talking about a talent drought. With a record amount of our population (baby-boomers) on the tail end of their careers and ripe for retirement, who will fill the shoes of these high-level employees?
There’s another fact that is electric. Generation Y marketers in this industry are smart, energetic, driven, independent, and technologically-savvy. We multi-task, we learn quickly, we make mistakes, we learn from these mistakes and we’re tenacious about success. We don’t want money or glory like 80% of baby-booming management thinks—we want responsibility and opportunity to become a part of something greater. We love our work-life balance and we love what we do. As we’ve been taught since birth, anything is possible.
Now, I may just be speaking for a selected few workers (ranging from 22-29) but I sure know I speak for myself. I’ve found what I like to do and I tend to think I do it well. I am a hard-worker and have learned a lot in the past 2 years. I keep myself humble by listening, asking questions, keeping an open mind and always knowing there’s more to learn—more to gain.
So, to those who say the talent pool is running dry—I recommend looking to younger staff to take on new opportunity and responsibilities. Groom and mentor the younger generations in the office—because really that’s all we want. Treat us right and we’ll bend in any direction for you in return.
I believe that this is the future for the rising demand in talent for the AEC industry and that there will be more and more 30-somethings being placed in corporate management and decision making roles in the next 5-10 years.