O P I N I O N
Get ready for a big boom
Firm owners need to be thinking about and planning for the huge wave of business that’s coming just around the corner.
S ome of us older people who have been in this business for more than four decades remember when architecture and engineering wasn’t so lucrative. Heck, I’m so old, the first company I worked for and became an owner of in the early ‘80s had a major internal debate about whether or not it was morally right to charge more for our highly in-demand asbestos abatement consultants than the 2.6 multiplier we got for structural engineering services! Can you imagine that happening today? I cannot.
In any case, if I owned an A/E firm today I would be thinking about and planning for the huge boom I can see coming just around the corner. Not only is there tremendous pent-up demand for residential healthcare and warehouse/distribution facilities of all kinds, there is also all manner of roadway, bridge, water treatment and distribution, alternative energy, and other infrastructure projects that are badly needed. We are likely to have a huge, more than $3 trillion infrastructure bill get through Congress in the near term. That, along with pent-up demand in so many vertical-construction categories is going to be throwing gasoline on a fire that is already burning, and create unprecedented demand for A/E services and opportunities for those owning and working in these companies.
In light of the super-boom that I can see headed our way, here is what I would be doing: 1) Tune up your recruitment, hiring, and on-boarding processes so you can be ready to quickly staff up. You will not be able to capitalize on the coming boom if you aren’t ready to hire the people you are going to need. It’s already a really tight market in terms of supply of talent and it is about to get much worse. Is it realistic to keep recruiting on an ad hoc basis as you most likely have done for years? Or is it time to appoint someone in-house to manage your processes firm-wide and commit to devoting some real money to recruitment? 2) Figure out what you are going to do to help keep the people that you have on your team right now,
See MARK ZWEIG, page 10
THE ZWEIG LETTER APRIL 5, 2021, ISSUE 1386
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