I could be wrong, but when I see job postings for a REVIT Architect I seriously wonder what is wrong with our industry. Why would the owners of Architectural Practices become so fixated on whether an Architect can use a particular software or not?

Why do I have a problem with this, you may ask? The main reason why I consider this to be a misguided approach to recruitment is because a business should always be seeking out the most talented Architect, not someone that claims they are a good user of a particular type of software.

Now let’s approach this from a few different angles and hopefully come to a clear conclusion.

I went to a management breakfast recently and the topic of discussion was recruitment. The message I took away from this event was that you can’t change people’s attitude but you can teach people new skills. So the focus of a recruiting director should be on finding a person that has a great attitude, is naturally talented and has a strong desire to learn. This recruitment method is something that I have seen happen over the years at Fulton Trotter Architects and I really have learnt to appreciate the skills that Paul Trotter has in finding good people.

Now taking a second approach and that is conflict of investment in people and the discussion between a CFO and a CTO:

"What happens if we train them and they leave?"

"What happens if we don’t train them and they stay?"

If the approach of a business is driven by an expected high turnover of staff, then talent really isn’t the main focus, rather it is on having someone that can just come in, hit the ground running and do work immediately. This method may work for some practices but in my belief this is more costly due to the constant turnover of staff and training then becomes a waste.

But taking the Fulton Trotter Architects’ approach where the average length of employment is nearing 10 years, you need talented Architects that may require training which in the scheme of things is not a huge outlay as you don’t have to train people all of the time. So this side of the argument really is a cultural thing and getting it right might be hard for some businesses, but in my opinion this is a better approach.

And finally, just because someone says they can use your BIM Authoring Software it doesn’t mean that they know how to use it the way that you use it! I personally have found over the years that it is easier to convert a previous REVIT user to our ArchiCAD processes than it is to change an ArchiCAD user’s ways. Think of it like this, take a Professional Cyclist, their bike is set up to the millimetre. If I were to adjust their Road Bike by say 5mm then their performance would be completely off. But put this Professional Cyclist on a Mountain Bike and they will automatically adapt, as they are fully aware of the changes that they need to make to ride the different bike.

So think before placing your next advertisement and the focus on your recruitment requirements, focus on talent and capability of an Architect, that will give you a better return than having a short-term focus on software capability.

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