Are you a premiership footballer? No, I’m a surveyor.
Who has seen the biggest increase in wages over past 18 months? Who is in the highest demand at the moment in the property and construction market? Who do 72% of our clients wish they had more of?
Yes, you have guessed it – Surveyors and Cost Managers.
The pressure on the surveying and cost consultancy market was intense in the aftermath of Brexit, as my colleague Lewis Brown wrote about in Aug 16, however with the hangover of Brexit finally over this has been magnified.
Since the start of the new year 36% of the new jobs we have been instructed on are for surveyors and cost consultants. Salaries continue to rise and a lot of candidates are now turning into freelance contractors as day rates are going well north of £500 in central London.
With the tightening of money and the need to bring projects in under-budget, the Surveyor and Cost Consultant is often king on site and can easily turn a problem project into the best thing ever.
The shortage is becoming very acute now and clients are almost begging us to find them staff. Whilst meeting with a cost consultancy partner just after new year he confessed that “the lack of staff is the one thing that will hold us back in 2017 from hitting our growth targets”.
The problem is not only limited to the cost consultancy arena and is felt across the board in the property and construction industry from sub constructors to main contractors to developers. This has led to clients starting to recruit surveyor from other markets and unfortunately they don’t have the experience of dealing with such high profile and pressurised projects as we find in property.
A shortage of quantity surveyors is hampering 57% of firms according to the latest RICS UK Construction Market Survey and the problem looks likely to peak in 2020.
Over the past 6 months we have seen a massive increase in salaries and also candidates expectations as they realise they are in the position of power. You can’t really blame them for taking such high paying roles – who wouldn’t accept a 25% pay rise!
In the past month alone we have recruited 3 project surveyors on salaries in excess of £85k basic plus package and I don’t think it will be long before we see clients willing to pay £100k.
What’s the solution? I for one know we need to recruit more school leavers and graduates into this exciting industry. We need to develop the next generation of surveyors to relieve the pressure.
In the meantime, the Ferrari and Porsche outside your office is probably driven by one of the Surveyors.