macdonald and company
macdonald and company

How to Hire the Best Building Surveyor

Posting date: 11 April 2019
Author: Tim Stranks

From Job Description to Background Checks

Filling a building surveyor vacancy in your company with the best surveyor available is not an easy task. Suitable, RICS qualified surveyors are in short supply, (high demand) and the uncertainty surrounding the construction sector is encouraging many of the best surveyors to stay put in their current positions unless there is an opportunity that really sways their opinion and fulfils a lot of their ambitions.

When searching for your next building surveyor, how you word your job description makes a huge difference to the quality of building surveyor you will attract. Here, we help you learn how to:

  • Identify your perfect hire
  • Develop a job description that will attract the most talented building surveyors
  • Ensure that you interview those who have the talents you require

Qualities Your Building Surveyor Needs

Generic job descriptions won’t help you attract the best talent. Their vagueness won’t convey your needs, and the lack of specific information won’t make potential candidates eager to explore the opportunity. By understanding the qualities that you require your new employee to possess, you will compose a more meaningful job description.

The first step to understanding the qualities that you are seeking is to develop role-specific competencies. Matching the purpose and requirements of the position available will inform your needs for knowledge, skills, qualifications and other characteristics a candidate should possess to excel in the available position.

With a deep understanding of the competencies required, you will also be better able to design an interview and assessment process that identifies the applicant who is most likely to be the best performer. The essential qualities that you are likely to identify when considering role-specific competencies include:

· Relevant qualifications and experience

You’ll be looking for a certain set of skills for the role. The qualification level and experience of candidates will help you decide if they could be a good fit. You should consider what previous experience fits with the role available, and how other previous experiences could transfer to the role.

· Problem-Solving Skills

Increasingly, building surveyors need to be problem solvers. They need to think critically, understand complexities, and apply their knowledge and experience in practical contexts. RICS qualifications are evidence of these capabilities.

· Passion for the Role

People who are passionate about their building surveyor jobs perform better in them. They are more productive, more conscientious, and more inquisitive. They will be good role models to others, and good promoters of your company. Identifying those candidates who are passionate early in the process will help you streamline the hiring process. Use "juice words" to sell aspects of the role, the team and your company like "creative", "award-winning". You should try and reduce the amount of information for surveyors to consider that might act as a barrier to applying for your incredible opportunity in your amazing workplace. Try to reduce friction and improve the flow of your role description by using "security language" to build trust and confidence in you as their future employer. 

· Commitment to your Company

A candidate who is committed to working for your company will be a far better fit than one who simply wants a new job. People identify with jobs that employ their qualifications and experience, but they commit to a company that delivers an experience that is true to their values and beliefs.

The recent RICS and Macdonald & Company Rewards and Attitudes Survey 2019 (link) found that potential employees in the real estate and built environment want more than just a good salary. The most talented building surveyors are likely to be seeking:

  • Opportunities for personal development and career progression
  • An improved work/life balance, with flexible working
  • Quality of work
  • A good leadership team and manager who recognise good performance

What Can Your Company Offer a Building Surveyor?

Your job description should include information about your company, including your values, mission and goals. Building surveyors who align with your values and goals will be more passionate about their role and working with you.

As well as describing your company, you’ll need to give candidates an insight into the team culture that they should expect to experience. This includes the type of people you hire, how the team works together, and the autonomy provided in task completion.

People want to feel valued in their roles. While adequate remuneration is essential, those companies offering work in a welcoming culture, in an environment in which good performance is recognised and rewarded, where hard work and ambition are respected, are much more likely to attract the most talented people – those who identify with identical values and beliefs. The real question is, are you articulating all of that in your efforts to recruit building surveyors? 

Screening Candidates

Having identified the person you wish to hire for the role, and then included information about the company and team that should help to attract the best surveyors in the job description, next comes the hard work of screening candidates from the applications received. There are three steps to carry out:

1. Review applications against the job description

You’ll need to review each application individually, matching against your list of qualifications, experience, skills and character traits. This step will whittle the list of applicants down by removing those who are short of the requirements of the role.

2. Pre-screen candidates

The intention of a pre-screen interview is to identify those people who have come through step one but who are not quite the fit that their paper application describes, and thus remove these from the list of candidates who you will invite to interview.

There are several points that can be covered in the pre-screen interview, such as whether salary expectations are consistent with your budget and whether there will be a good cultural fit between the candidate and the team in which he or she will work.

3. Background checks

The third step to undertake is background checks. These include checking on work experience and qualifications, and they may also include checks such as credit history and criminal records.

Some of these checks can be conducted before the interview, some post-interview, and some only when a job offer has been made.

Build a Process with Focus

Creating a clear and concise job description for a building surveyor does several things. By focusing on the needs of the role, you will be more able to specify the qualities needed by those candidates who are going to secure your building surveyor role. Potential building surveyors will be more able to identify with the role, and a full description of company and the team they'll be working in will help them decide if they will be a good fit.

Pre-screening interviews will help reduce the first-round interview burden on HR and management. Though time-consuming, reviewing applications and conducting background checks are essential steps to finding the building surveyor that will be the best fit for your team and company. To learn how Macdonald & Company can help you find your perfect fit, share a few details of your building surveyor vacancy now for a no obligation, honest conversation about how you can find the right candidate as quickly as possible.

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