To: Thought Leaders in the AEC Space

The Covid-19 impact on the future of how our built world, with too many variables and question marks, is financed, designed and constructed is anyone’s guess currently. It WILL be substantial.

I have focused exclusively on recruiting talent within this space and have a perspective from observing hundreds, if not thousands, of career paths post-Great Recession.

One observation has become abundantly clear, there is an obvious shortage of professionals in the +/- 10-12 year experience range. I have seen fierce competition between firms desperate for that level of team member to reach their goals, satisfy clients and take advantage of the burgeoning (pre-Coronavirus) economic climate. I have seen the search for several Senior Civil Engineers, excellent opportunities with great firms, go literally unfilled for a year….two years.…+.

Well, let’s do the math. What could be the underlying cause? I have a single question that is key in solving the conundrum. As a company owner, executive or other hiring manager - how many interns and/or recent graduates did you hire during the Great Economic downturn of 2008 and beyond? There was little work to be had – I get it. You cannot spend payroll on non-revenue producing staff – I get it. Times have been crazy good for over a decade and, hopefully, everyone’s war chest is overflowing. All of us have a fiduciary responsibility to “pay it forward”, insure the next generation of leaders has their start and are placed into the career pipeline. I ask you to take a hard look at the foreseeable future when this messy virus thing is well underhand.

Fast forward ten years. Looking back, did you go the extra mile to be sure we have strong, seasoned professionals in our talent bank to tackle our increasingly complex infrastructure puzzles moving forward? Will you be able to look in the mirror and honestly say you gave until it hurt ten years ago?