Zweig Group Survey Finds Architecture & Engineering Firms Not Budgeting for Recruitment

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Zweig Group in Fayetteville — a full service non-contingency recruiting firm — released its 2017 Recruitment & Retention Survey of Architecture, Engineering, Planning and Environmental Consulting Firms annual survey on April 26. The results of the survey showed the average architecture and engineering (A/E) firm is spending high figures on new hires while turnover rates remain average.

The combination of figures found in the Zweig Survey is an indication that A/E firms may not be properly budgeting for recruitment. Hiring in the A/E industry takes on average between 30 and 60 days, and firms spend on average $4,454 on each new hire. Further information from the survey shows the average 200-person A/E Firm is spending approximately $200,000 on hiring annually — and this figure excludes bonuses and salaries — and are not budgeting for this expenditure at all. According to the survey, only 30 percent of firms have a human resources/recruiting budget.

Additionally, 65 percent of industry firms have in-house recruitment staff, with 25 percent reporting that their hiring needs are beyond the capacity of their staff. Though there is clear overspending and lack of budgeting in the area of hiring and recruitment, the survey also indicated that since most firms rely mainly on word of mouth and referrals as their greatest source for new hires, they are not spending significantly on the search phase of hiring.

Randy Wilburn, director of executive search and chief recruiting strategist at Zweig Group, said in a statement that firms can look at their hiring needs, turnover rates and growth projections and use that information to help determine how much to budget for recruiting. “For instance, if a company currently has 200 people and an average turnover rate of 8 to 10 percent (industry average), it can expect to lose 16 to 20 people each year,” said Zweig in a recent statement. “If that firm wants to grow by 15 percent annually, it will need to hire 30 people, plus make up for the 16 to 20 [people] that will likely be lost through attrition. This equates to a total of 46 to 50 people the firm needs to hire over a 12-month period.”

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