Tips for Employers Hiring Town Planners
Town Planners are a rare breed. According to the Royal Town Planning Institute, planning is the fourth most successful degree subject for finding work after completion of training. Therefore, it pays to understand what town planners really want from their role and your company. This will help you to attract the most talented professionals.
Why Town Planners Are in Demand
The UK government wants house builders to build more than 300,000 new homes each year by the mid-2020s. Every local authority in the UK has been put on alert to find ways to provide more housing. This has put regeneration and urban renewal high on the list of priorities. Town planning is an integral part of this process, and, therefore, there are pockets of high demand for town planner vacancies.
How Employers Stand Out
In competitive employment markets, employers must have an edge over their rivals. There are three factors to consider:
- You’ll need to stand out as a great place to work, and showcase your environment
- The job on offer must offer the challenge that great candidates desire
- Employers must offer a competitive remuneration package
Two recent surveys provide the answers to these three considerations.
Be a "Great Place to Work"
The RICS Macdonald & Company 2019 Salary Survey has great insights for employers. Questions about elements that cause most dissatisfaction and motivate productivity help to describe the workplace culture that candidates desire.
Professionals in the town planning sector want to feel valued. While salary is cited in the survey as the most important factor in shaping the way that employees feel valued (or not), other elements play an important role. These include:
- A good work/life balance
- Recognition and appreciation by colleagues, line managers and senior management
- Personal development and training opportunities
- Politeness in the workplace and management that listens
Factors that are most likely to cause professionals to search for a new planning job include having to work out of hours, at weekends, and during annual leave. Lack of line manager recognition also scored highly among those surveyed. There are a lot of elements an employer can influence and offer to prospective Town Planners that aren't linked to salary alone.
What Town Planners Want Most
The survey results tell us Town Planners in our industry look beyond salary when assessing their current position. They want to work in a company that values the contribution they make, and in which an open and appreciative culture exists. However, the survey also questions what it is that professionals want from their roles. "WIFIM" or What's in it for me?
A competitive salary is ranked as number one by all. This isn’t surprising – what does it say about self-valuation if a candidate would accept a lower salary than their current wage? Other important factors include:
- Opportunities for personal development and career progression
- An increase in responsibility
- Working for a good leadership team and manager
- A company that produces quality work
The latest survey from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) provides further fascinating insight into the mindset of talented town planners.
Town Planners Want Greater Involvement
The RTPI found that nearly 90% of professional planners want a greater involvement in housing design. Planners are happy that the government is focusing on the design of housing developments, and most believe that design is at least as important as affordability and infrastructure to develop communities.
The desire for greater involvement in design is evidence of the dedication that town planners have to their roles. They want to help to provide high-quality design and build of housing in the urban environment. This is the sort of dedication that drives professionals to go the extra mile in their role – employees who will add value to any team.
More than half of the survey’s 760 respondents use tools and processes to asses design quality. Most believe that there should be greater emphasis on providing consistency and national standards. 86% think that the government should do more to promote the use of design codes and styles.
Offer What Talented Town Planners Want
When deciding on what you want from your town planners, it really is worth considering what is important to them, too. By offering a Town Planner job that will engage the employee and provide them with opportunities to develop their skills and progress in their career, and in an environment of support in which contributions are highly valued, you’ll be much more likely to attract the most talented planners available.
Town Planners who feel valued at work, and know their contribution makes a real difference to the communities they help to develop, will be less money-oriented and less likely to search for a new job. The result is bottom-line positive to your company, as your employee retention rates rise and the cost of hiring replacements goes down - not to mention the boost to morale and productivity.
The factors that excite town planners about their jobs is essential for employers to understand. By offering the right challenge with commensurate responsibilities, you’ll unearth the people who want to make a difference by doing what they do best; it is these who will make a real difference to your team.
Do you want to know more about what town planners really want from their next role? Contact The Planning Recruitment Team today for a bespoke compilation of findings from the RICS and Macdonald & Company Rewards and Attitudes Survey 2019.