Compensation and Recruiting in Today's A/E/C Labor Market

Detailed Course Agenda

Day 1 – Compensation

  1. Compensation Strategies. There are three commonly used compensation strategies:  (1) pay market salaries and market bonuses, (2) pay below market salaries and above market bonuses, and (3) pay above market salaries and below market bonuses.  You’ll learn the pros and cons of each and which one is right for your firm.  And you learn how to handle situations where current employees are demanding higher salaries.

  2. Compensating Non-exempt (Hourly) Staff. You learn where to find the most comprehensive and current resources for the categories of non-exempt staff most often found in A/E firms (CADD operators, surveyors, word processors, marketing coordinators, etc.).

  3. Compensating Professional (Non-management) Staff. You learn the four factors that affect salaries of design and technical professionals.  You then use PSMJ’s proprietary Staff Salary Equity Benchmarking Tool to create a series of graphs that will assure your professional staff is paid equitably, both internally and in relation to the overall A/E marketplace.

  4. Compensating Management Staff. You learn the four factors that affect salaries of managers in A/E firms.  You then use PSMJ’s proprietary Management Compensation Benchmarking Tool to create a series of graphs that will assure that all your managers are paid equitably, both internally and in relation to the overall A/E marketplace.

  5. Determining Bonuses. You learn how to divide your cash profits into three categories:  (1) retained earnings, (2) equity bonuses and (3) performance bonuses.  You then learn how to compute the amount that goes into each of the three “buckets.”  Finally, you learn how to create a performance bonus program that drives your employees to achieve your firm’s strategic goals – and avoids collateral damage caused by employees trying to “game” the system.

  6. Adjusting Salaries for Different Metropolitan Areas. You learn why regional databases and Consumer Price Index are poor ways to adjust salaries for different metro areas. And you find out about a little-known government database that provides actual salary data for different categories of your employee in over 300 metro areas in the U.S.

  7. Non-cash Incentive Programs. Studies have shown that non-cash compensation can be even more effective than cash.  You learn how to structure such programs as immediate rewards, as well as for long-term incentive programs.

Day 2 – Recruiting

  1. Developing a Proactive Recruiting Strategy. Most A/E firms recruit reactively – they wait until they need people, then they start looking for them. During this session, you learn how to recruit proactively, taking an average of 2 to 3 months off your normal recruiting cycle time.

  2. The Most Successful Sourcing Tactics. Over the past 15 years, PSMJ has conducted multiple surveys of A/E industry leaders to determine which sourcing tactics are most effective in finding top-notch talent.  You learn how these have changed over the years and what are the most effective methods today.

  3. Recruiting the Best New Grads. You learn why it pays to get the cream of the crop – even if you have to pay a bit more. And you learn how to identify them early so you get them before your competitors even hear about them.

  4. Turbocharging Your Recruiting Networking. According to PSMJ’s latest survey, the most effective method of recruiting experience staff is through good old fashioned networking. You learn how to structure an employee referral bonus plan that puts your networking efforts on steroids!

  5. Using Headhunters Effectively. Professional recruiters (aka headhunters) have a pretty bad reputation.  But, used effectively, they can become an essential element in your firm’s recruiting strategy. In this session, you find out who are the best headhunters in the A/E industry and how to take maximum benefit of what they have to offer.

  6. “Stealing” Employees from Your Competitors. Many A/E firms shy away from actively recruiting from their competitors. We discuss the ethical and business issues related to this subject and provide guidance on when you should and shouldn’t use this recruiting tactic.

  7. Recruiting Millennials. The Millennial generation is now the largest cohort in the workforce.  You learn how the most successful A/E firms appeal to this generation in ways that make the top performers want to come to work for them.

  8. Testing to Determine the Suitability of Project Manager Candidates. One of the most sought after positions is that of Project Manager. In this session, we provide you with PSMJ’s exclusive tools to determine if candidates have both the aptitude and knowledge to be successful as project managers in your firm.

  9. Turning the Interview Process Upside Down. You learn why you shouldn’t invite candidates in for a personal interview until you are 90% sure you’ll make them an offer. And you learn the 4 critical screening steps that allow you to implement this strategy, while helping you avoid a lot of wasted time interviewing the wrong candidates.

  10. Getting Candidates to Accept Your Offer. It doesn’t help to identify great candidates if they don’t accept your offer. You learn 5 tried and true ways that the most successful A/E firms use to achieve a 90% success rate in getting candidates to accept their offers.

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