Cultural fit has emerged as a critical ingredient in hiring decisions throughout the architecture sector in Australia as the massive headcounts associated with large projects subsides and employers are increasingly willing to train and upskill those whom they feel blend in suitably with their team.

In a new report, recruitment outfit Hays says architecture firms have shifted away from needing large headcounts to service large projects and are looking to more strategic and innovative hires who will fit effectively within the team over the longer term.

In its report, Hays said demand for technology skills remains strong.

Demand for Revit architects remains consistent across larger architectural firms, whilst interior designers are increasingly changing over from AutoCAD to Revit in order to facilitate collaboration with architects.

Skills in ArchiCAD are also sought by smaller boutique practices specialising in high-end residential projects, whilst Vectorworks remains significant in landscape architecture and boutique interior design firms.

It is also proving challenging for job seekers to transition from one company to another where their new employers operate on a different software platform.

“Having said this, as noted above, cultural fit is taking precedence over software skills and experience,” Hays said. “As opposed to last year, employers are more willing to upskill a candidate in the required software, and invest time into those with nous, ambition, strong ethics, good communication skills and a grounded personality.

“In general, the market has shifted away from needing large headcounts to service big projects, to more strategic and innovative hires to continue to thrive.”

In addition to employers, Hays says cultural fit and alignment in terms of design and working style is becoming increasingly prominent in what candidates are seeking.

Whilst many job seekers are aware of the need to upskill in the latest technology, Hays encourages candidates to ensure they put this into practice.

This includes areas such as digital design to fabrication, augmented reality and virtual reality as well as scripting and preparing for software that makes recommendations.

When interviewing, Hays says candidates need to demonstrate an appetite to learn quickly and to accept change.

Skills in Demand

According to Hays, skills in demand include:

  • Architects, especially with BIM/REVIT skills for work on residential dwellings
  • Revit technicians with demonstrated skills in previous roles
  • Building engineers with BIM/REVIT experience
  • Mid-level interior designers with Revit skills and varies sector experience as well as experienced interior designers (especially for small firms) and project managers
  • Statutory and strategic planners for public and private sector work in Melbourne following the release of Plan Melbourne 2050 with changes to the planning scheme.
  • Land use planning and environmental planning expertise in large consultancies for work on infrastructure projects.