The transition for architects and designers to a new firm can be a daunting task, so companies should be thinking of ways to make the transition smoother. One of the most important factors that younger architects look for at a firm is if there is a mentor for them to follow and model themselves after. By connecting the candidate with a possible mentor early on they are more likely to choose your company over another. Try to provide more than one mentor, and ideally, mentors that are at different stages of their careers. In doing so, you will provide possible candidates with a professional network and guidance, both which are worth more than cash.
By providing a professional standard to reach for, also known as “best practices” in business terms, the possible candidate will have a high level of professionalism and leadership style that can be emulated and recreated to strengthen the company culture. Providing learning opportunities with others is a key to success, as it will save time and effort by being proactive. For more information on how to manage and set up mentorships take a look at this great Forbes article.
Depending on the size of your architecture firm, it is also important to highlight how involved the possible candidate will be in the various processes. Whether it be design development or construction documentation, if the firm is able to promise hands-on work the candidate is more likely to accept this opportunity. This is a key advantage that smaller firms have in comparison to the big corporate firms. Many younger architects are looking for the chance to shine and show off what they have to offer.
The more a candidate feels like they are part of a family the better off you are as a hiring firm. If they feel valued by your firm, they feel like they will have room to grow and move up in the firm. This opportunity for advancement is a huge selling point that should be highlighted by the hiring firm. When they view the company investing their time and resources in them, they are more likely to accept a lower paying offer.
Try to understand the motivation behind each candidate’s career choices. Why did they become an architect? Are they idealistic? Do they focus on helping others? How do their motivations align with your company goals and reason for being?
All of these questions will help you better understand how each candidate fits in your company culture and mission. Many architects are seeking to impact social and cultural change. Thus, they may be more willing to sacrifice pay for an active role in impacting change. Make sure you also do your own research on the candidate, so you know how to shape your message and communication with them.
We want to leave you with a Harvard Business Review study that focuses on how companies are making mistakes in the hiring processes nowadays.