Where Are The Next Generation Leaders?

PSMJ Resources, Inc.
Posted on: 03/18/19
Written by: PSMJ Resources, Inc.

AWARDS_PAGERecruiting top talent and finding architecture and engineering firms' next generation leaders continues to be a recurring topic of discussion. Among the key issues facing architecture and engineering firms today: Generational forces present a challenge to effective ownership/leadership transitions. 

Over the next decade or so, we can expect a 15 percent decline in 35 to 44-year-olds, while at the same time, the population of firm principals is rapidly shrinking.

True too, the psychological contract is changing. Today’s employees (called Generation X and Millennials) haven’t the loyalty that their veteran grandparents had. They value opportunity, and seek it elsewhere if that’s where it is.

Finally, our industry is facing a shortage of new recruits. A survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) found that 85 percent of young people between 8 and 17 weren’t interested in engineering as a career, and their parents weren’t encouraging it. On top of that, a Georgetown/Rutgers study found that the “top quintile SAT/ACT and GPA performers appear to have been dropping out of the [science/engineering] pipeline … [a decline that] seems to have come on quite suddenly in the mid-to-late 1990s.”

The solution is in careful recruitment, starting at the college level, and careful cultivation of in-house employees.

Where to find those recruits?  Here are some resources you can tap for new people:

  • Referrals from existing employees

  • Former employees

  • College placement offices

  • Online job boards (e.g., LinkedIn)

  • Advertising in national and local publications

  • Co-op programs

  • Referrals from past employees

  • Contingency fee employment agencies

  • Retainer-type executive search firms

  • Outplacement companies

  • Referrals from suppliers

  • Referrals from friends and relatives

  • Promotion from within your firm


Where did you find your most recent star talent?  Let us know!

For the best advice available for growing—your people, your leaders, and your business—in this global economy, checkout PSMJ's complimentary ebook  Finding, Recruiting, and Keeping the Best. 

Download Now!


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