Architecture firms face the most difficult problem of talent retention and recruitment. To attract the best talent, you need to make marketing investments, even if it’s outside the box.

Many architecture firms don’t realize that marketing and recruiting go hand in hand. Managers are working closely with both marketing and recruiting departments in order to recruit talent and fill their positions. It’s hard. It’s really hard.

Business education has never been more important, particularly in today’s fast-changing market. With its unsettling predictions of employees leaving, and AEC practices having a harder time retaining and recruiting talent, the idea of “great retirement” is becoming a widespread phenomenon. Marketers and architects need to be smarter in order to solve this problem and prepare for the future. The Disrupt Business of Architecture Symposium is taking place in spring from 1-5 May. This event brings together major players from the Architecture industry, including C-level executives at architecture firms like OMA-AMO and ARUP.

You must make it easy for people to work for your company and allow you to grow in whatever direction you choose. Let’s dive into the main steps you can take today to save time and money, so you can reach your brand’s full potential.

Photo by Danist Soh on Unsplash

1. It’s not difficult to find.

Did you ever open an internet browser and search for a company but not find it? It’s a red flag for both clients and future employees in today’s digital world. If you want to attract top talent to your company, you must focus on your communication strategy. A website is similar to exchanging a business card from the 70s. It’s both a good standard and a positive affirmation. You will communicate clearly to clients and potential employees if you are visible and your message is designed to attract the right projects. If no one can find you, the problem is serious. Although many architecture firms don’t think about putting their business on Google maps, they should. Why? Why? Because the average client searching for local architecture firms will type “architect near you” into google. Potential employees will want to be able to locate you quickly, or at the very least see that your name is searchable on Google. A google review practice can be kept alive to avoid being lost in the seas of data that resemble the name of your company. Ask past clients for a public testimony. You don’t have to pay for visibility on Google and you can get the attention that you deserve. Businesses who choose to not participate in the “pay-for visibility” marketing program are hindered by the current infrastructure of commercial search engine. It is difficult to understand how algorithms work and it changes all the time. Therefore, staying in the game can be expensive, complicated, and demanding. Another benefit to consider is SEO. Consider all the data that you produce or all the information in your projects. Simple communication strategies can make you more visible to future clients as well as your employees. You will be more visible the sooner you publish information that other people are looking for. It must be on your website, in blogs, and in social media profiles.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu

2. You must ensure that you are serving convenience first.

What do Amazon, Twitter, and your local coffee shop share in common? All three offer convenience to customers and users by offering a simple subscription model. Is there an opt-in option on your website? Are you able to contact us from the top of your website? Is there a chat widget that allows people to send you a quick message? People won’t be able to browse your website without finding a way to contact you. In today’s world, people need to see your company 16 times before they feel comfortable engaging with it. Even if you don’t have a huge company with fame, it is important to inform future employers about your business and the ideal working environment. As sad as it may sound, not all candidates will want to apply for your company from the start. It might take them time to get to know you. Your website should make it easy for people to apply to your company. This can include filling out an online application or attaching your resume. This form of application can also be included in your mailing list.

These simple steps of data collection that you can easily implement on your website will help you build your own fan base of potential employers and clients. From there, you can educate them about your business. Your email campaign should be value-based, educational, fun, and easy to engage with. You might need to convince people to apply for work over a period of time. Don’t underestimate the power and potential impact of email campaigns.

3. Use the language of your employees.

Passively attracting employees requires that they fall in love with your company’s design process and company before meeting you. Refresh your communication strategy. Talking about your office culture will not only attract future employees but will also make potential clients feel more at ease and included. Particularly if they have similar values. Because it is based on the principle of relatability, people’s first approach works every time. Your language will therefore be more relatable to the people who most relate to your message. The best way to do this is to talk about your team and express your appreciation for them on your blog or website. Highlight their accomplishments and celebrate their uniqueness. Ask employees to share their stories and testimonials about working at your company. Photos of employees celebrating at company functions or participating in community service can be posted. These pictures will make your company more appealing and attract potential employees to your firm. Your website visitors will be able to filter your portfolio more easily by allowing your future employees to search for the projects that interest them. Their experience will be more personal. Many companies offer sorting and filtering tools that allow users to filter through their portfolios so that they can find the projects most relevant to them. Many people are searching for the exact match to their needs. Potential talent wants to know as much as their clients what your purpose is, what projects you are involved in, and how they can navigate to the most pertinent information.

4. Be aware of your biases

Let’s say you have all the above points. But, are you following equal opportunity principles? Women make up only 4% of the CEOs of S&P 500 companies. Francis Kere, the Pritzker Prize winner for Africa, is the first African architect to receive the award since 1979. Only five women have been awarded the Pritzker Prize since its inception. Companies are unable to move the needle because of unconscious bias. Instead of looking for employees through ‘adjectives” that they created, such as “Experienced”, skillful”, and “Passionate about Sustainability”, you should vet them through their portfolio work. You shouldn’t let their ethnicity, gender, or age distract you from who they are: excellent project coordinators and front-end designers, technical architects or passive house enthusiasts, computational architects, sustainable design gurus, or sustainable design gurus. Stereotypes and preconceived notions can impact your decisions and actions. This can make you less of a candidate who can thrive under another’s leadership. You can also digitally use platforms like Tunarch and DAAily jobs. These platforms, even at the start of their journey, are based on helping you showcase your work and attract employers that foster inclusivity. Tunarch employs an intuitive, accurate sorting and filtering engine to match the right people with the right projects. DAAily jobs allows users to search for the most recent offers in architecture, interior design, project manager, civil engineering and more. This means that you can find any job where design thinking/architecture is required. People can also filter for only-remote jobs according to their interests or search for specific companies’ applications.

5. Mobilise your current inner-network

You will have the emails of all your current employees. Because they are familiar with the company culture and know the challenges, they can also advocate for the benefits of working in your office. They may also know others with the same attributes that your current employees. Send out emails to your employers offering attractive dividends and create an online employee referral program. It encourages your top employees to bring the best talent to you. This program can also be managed digitally. To facilitate internal applications, you can also create an online employment form, which you send out via this email.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu

6. Use Linkedin to reach out to potential candidates through an automated campaign.

LinkedIn is a great tool for hiring. But what if you don’t have the time or resources to manually look through every person and contact them about employment opportunities? Expandi.io and ulink allow you to set up automated email campaigns to reach potential candidates who have commented under the relevant linkedin posts. These tools allow you to target comments or likes under specific posts by automatically adding people into your network, as well as sending them an automatic message informing them of an open position at your office and inviting them to apply. This will allow you to expand your reach and connect with top-quality candidates. LinkedIn Search Navigator allows you to search for experience, education, achievements, salary expectations, and geolocation.

7. Profit from your unbuilt project

Unbuilt projects are often viewed as failures by our industry. This is a stigma that I think is one of the most damaging in our industry. Bjarke Ingels is a good example. His studio’s huge success was largely due to unbuilt projects. The designer’s personality is revealed more by unbuilt projects than the ones that are executed. An unbuilt project is free from compromises. Nothing can alter the vision, including costs, procurement, materials and structural limitations. Every project that is built is a compromise, and pritzker awards are needed to make some. Because they are your original design intent and philosophy, unbuilt projects can be your untapped potential. Even the most abstract concepts are easy to explain or quantify.

You must strike a balance between what is important to future clients and employees, and what is important for you and your brands such as your project work and culture.

Communications for your firm are a broad topic. It aims to draw attention to your brand from a variety of people, including future employees. This topic was discussed on Archdaily’s last week live roundtable discussion broadcast, streamed via Archdaily FB. It was also discussed by Jeff Echols, Assistant Head of Global Communications at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Finn MacLeod, Jeff Echols – Director of Brand Strategy, EntreArchitect – Host of Context & Clarity LIVE, Christian Trampedach – Founder of Restless Architecture, and Bryon McArtney – Chief Creative Strategist Archmark Branding & Marketing Architects & Marketing Architects.