Managing the cost of good BIM talent
BIM salaries are going to rise but your costs don’t have to.
Based on our Q4 BIM Salary Guide Report, BIM salaries have stayed relatively constant for the last year because we have reached a temporary ‘market equilibrium’.
Having gone through a period of high demand and low supply, the recent slowdown in new projects combined with a slow increase in BIM capable talent. means both sides of the supply and demand see-saw are equally balanced.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out what happens when demand starts heating up again. Unless the supply of relevant BIM talent increases, salaries will inevitably rise.
Why will demand for BIM talent increase?
- Frozen projects are thawing;
- UK Govt. is investing more into UK Construction;
- Investors are more confident in the UK economy;
- More projects are coming through the pipeline than we have seen for a couple of years;
- Most companies have been running very lean for the last year and have no ‘spare’ BIM talent;
- Clients are getting more enlightened and want to see more commitment to BIM;
- Note: We are going to see more demand outside London than we have for a long time.
This means there is going to be much more demand overall in the UK with a lot of existing talent in London relocating to home towns.
Although more BIM Graduates and Apprentices are coming into the supply chain, there will not be enough to meet demand and, because so many companies are so lean, the demand will be for competent experience at least, not novice level.
So, demand will exceed supply.
Initially this will be for new projects where there is a budget for BIM intelligence. BIM Managers and BIM Coordinators will be in demand, but budgets/prices agreed in 2018/2019 will not be enough to attract the experience expected. Demand will therefore, again, be for on-the-way-up, ‘advanced beginner’ and ‘competent’ level BIM Coordinators and competent BIM Managers.
And their salaries will increase due to the lack of supply!
The market equilibrium will be changing and particularly where demand is highest.
Supply is at its lowest outside London. Salaries will rise more in the north of England.
It happens! You cannot prevent some companies paying over the average to attract candidates and, if the rise in demand continues, these hikes will continue until we see parity between supply and demand and a new market equilibrium is created. I don’t see this happening for at least a couple of years.
- An ostrich approach;
- Anticipate and plan for the rising cost of recruiting and retaining good BIM talent. Get the people you need, when you need them and avoid the rush to find cheap people who will quickly leave anyway;
- Anticipate and reduce the need for ‘proficient’ or even ‘competent’ experience. Be experts at training up exciting ‘Novices’ and ‘Advanced Beginners’. Save money and attract exciting digital natives. Yes, some will move on to your competition but at a much higher cost (so you have a competitive advantage) and, if you are experts at training up you should have a good supply of new recruits ready and willing;
- Outsource your BIM capabilities and manage costs via that supplier;
- Improve retention. Don’t lose good people because they can get more money elsewhere. In the long run it will cost you more to replace them! Read about how to retain good people here.
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