From Architecture to the Dark Side?

Posted by Dominic Quigley on 14-Jun-2018 13:41:48

In Insider, Architecture

Originally posted by Dominic Quigley for LinkedIn. 

In 2016 I left my job as an Architect in Sydney to move to Melbourne, and not by design, found myself starting a new career in Architectural Recruitment, a decision which a former Senior Architect colleague described as ‘a move to the dark side’. This blog is to share my experiences so far and find out if it really is so dark on the other side...

When I arrived in Sydney in 2014 I met an architect friend from university and she recommended the recruitment consultant who had helped her get a job, so I got in touch. The recruiter was great and helped me get a job with a good practice, and more importantly with a great bunch of people. The consultant took the time to meet me, listened to what I wanted and what kind of company would suit me – before going out and finding exactly what I was looking for.

When I moved to Melbourne, I became aware that Design & Construct were seeking an Architect to recruit within the architectural industry, which I thought was interesting, so I approached them to inquire about the role, interested to see if I could add any value to this position. After a good in-depth initial phone call, my interview with Design and Construct was long, my now manager Martin Preece was great, he wanted to know all about me and why I was interested in the role, he then told me what was involved in the job and what was expected of me, after several follow up calls I was offered the job. Martin took the time to get to know me but also to make sure I was right for Design and Construct.

Having met, and spoken to, a lot of clients and candidates during my time with Design and Construct I realise not everyone’s experiences have been as good. Complaints I regularly hear are:

  • Consultants are too pushy (from prospective clients or candidates)
  • They send me candidates not suitable for what we do (from clients)
  • They send me jobs I’m not interested in (from candidates)

It’s a catch 22, understandably. Often, candidates or clients say they don’t have time to talk or to meet with a recruitment consultant, which then means consultants can’t get a full understanding of the company, role or candidate. However, consultants who do their job well will have met or talked to a range of companies, they will know their sectors, culture and what they can offer, they will also have spoken to and taken the time to meet candidates to best understand them.

What I would advise is to get to know the consultant, ask them who their clients are and who they have met, and if you like the companies meet them in person to see what they are like. It may lead to a new job quickly or it may just be the start of a positive long-term professional relationship which could help you, a colleague, or friend with their career. Think of a recruitment consultant as any construction consultant, structural, hydraulic etc, someone who knows their profession well, has a deep network and you can go to for advice or help regarding your career.    

So, in conclusion, I would say it’s not so dark on the dark side, like any profession you have good and bad, but from my own perspective at Design and Construct I work with a great bunch of people who take the time to make sure the right people get the right jobs for them and our clients get the best people for them. There are a lot more things I have learned during my time in recruitment but that’s for the next blog, to be continued!

Of course, you might think this is all nonsense? I’m interested to hear your thoughts, so comment below, or get in touch with me on 0434 879 088.