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What Does A Technical Manager Do?

03/07/17
Posted by: Darren Butland

In my career as a consultant specialising in the design and technical sectors, I get the privilege to speak to a variety of people, all from very different backgrounds. However, it still amazes me to this day how many people do not understand what these individuals do.

Additionally, competition between recruitment companies in the residential sector seems to be at an all-time high, despite the ongoing daily rumbles of Brexit (which I personally now despise the word of) and the recent snap election. Despite this, there seems to continue to be a lack of understanding what these individuals are actually recruiting for.

As a recruiter, you should generally get an idea of what a client is looking for and then find it, it forms the basics of being a recruiter. However, when I speak to numerous key decision makers and potential candidates for these open positions, they tell me they’ve been called by other recruiters who have no understandings of what they do and have been sold a job which in no way is what they actually do. Whilst I admit I am not an expert of the intricacies of every job (which is normally only known by those doing the job), I believe I have a decent understanding of what a client is looking for and what I need from a potential candidate.

It takes a long time to understand various positions, different titles, how these roles vary from company to company etc, but there seems to be many failing to put the required effort in to understand these requirements. At TDM, we have specialists who dedicate their time, energy and focus on one sector, in my case Design and Technical. This is what I enjoy about the company and the way we work, everyone understands the roles we work on and what we’re looking for and in turn, hopefully means we don’t waste both clients and candidates time.

Taking all of the above on board, I thought it would be a good idea to shadow an individual within the Architecture & Technical arena, allowing me to gain a greater understanding of what they do on a daily basis.

Therefore, earlier this year, I had the privilege to go and shadow Technical Manager, Chris Cooper, who works for Barratt Homes in Kent. Chris is an experienced individual with over 20 years in the construction industry, and is currently overseeing one of the largest garden village developments in Kent, Aylesham Village. Situated within stunning countryside and located between Canterbury and Dover, the development is a joint venture between Barratt Homes and Persimmon Homes comprising 1200 new homes from 1 to 5 bedroom homes. (http://www.ayleshamgardenvillage.co.uk/).

On shadowing Chris, I was amazed to see the numerous elements he was involved in and what he did. Most recruiters or individuals probably think a Technical Manager is normally there just to check through architectural drawings and make sure they are correct.

However, on following Chris, I could see that he was involved in all aspects of the development cycle, from cradle to grave. He had to be involved in meetings regarding utilities connections, meetings with the onsite civil engineering teams. Finally, he also works closely with the Project Director on checking that drawings are correct and if not, resolving those problems.

Being the only Technical Manager on site, I could see that he was someone who was in demand and someone who had to calmly juggle what seemed to be a hundred jobs at once. On top of this, he had two other sites, at other stages in the development cycle he was overseeing. It certainly is a demanding and hands on job, requiring people who are calm under pressure, and can prioritise these demands. Those who cannot, would simply buckle under the daily demands and pressures.

Added to this is the numerous developments underway and added pressure from increasing National House Building yearly targets. It will therefore be interesting to see how these increasing numbers of new houses are going to be built with what seems like a shortage of good talent like Chris in the current market.

The overall site.

As part of the development, Barratt have built new retail premises with apartments above.

The Barratt development is comprised of two sections named A and B

As part of the overall development, the local school is being rebuilt and expanded to compensate for growing numbers.