Australian Architects are being urged to develop technology and ‘soft’ skills in order to thrive in a changing environment.

Releasing its latest Quarterly Report, recruitment firm Hays says the market overall has shifted away from needing large headcounts on big projects toward more strategic and smarter appointments.

But it talks of a mismatch between skills jobseekers possess and those desired by employers.

In terms of technology, Hays says there is a particular shortage of Revit skills.

Along with ongoing demand among larger firms, it says there has been a spike in demand for these skills among small and medium practices as those with 50 or fewer staff transition to the program in response to client demands.

As well, interior designers previously on AutoCAD and other 3D rendering software are increasingly turning to Revit.

In addition, ArchiCAD is being sought by boutique practices specialising high-end residential projects and Vectorworks remains a significant player in landscape architecture and boutique interior design firms.

Whilst many job seekers were experiencing challenges in transitioning between companies where they operate on a different software platform, Hays says employers are increasingly willing to upskill candidates who possess the right soft skills, aptitude and cultural fit.

In terms of roles, Hays says areas of demand include:

  • Interior designers, particularly with good all-round skills and strong capabilities in both design and documentation
  • Technically-skilled project architects with strong construction knowledge
  • Specialist project architects with a sound portfolio in any one sector including education, healthcare and residential
  • Graduate architects with proficiency in Revit or ArchiCAD
  • Documenters/Draftspersons with experience in complex, large-scale projects.

According to Hays, candidates possessing a strong portfolio of work with diverse skills sets are in strong demand.

It urges candidates when choosing their next role to seek those which enable them to develop an extensive career with an ability to design, document and project manage.

Whilst AutoCAD and Revit are taught in most courses, Hays encourages anyone who does not have these skills to upskill through means such as short courses.

Whilst many job seekers were aware of the need to upskill in the latest technology, Hays encourages candidates to be proactive in this area.

“Our advice remains as it has been in recent months; go beyond observing technology trends to upskilling yourself so that you can practically use new technology on-the-job,” Hays said.

“This includes upskilling in digital design-to-fabrication, which is already becoming mainstream, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tools.

“Learn about scripting and get ready for software that makes recommendations.”