How BIM is transforming the construction industry

Construction, like almost every other industry, is going through a period of digital transformation. Building information modelling (BIM) technology has shaken up the sector, with the value of the industry expecting to approach $8 billion by 2020 (according to Markets and Markets).

Over the past 3 years, we've seen a rapidly escalating demand for skilled BIM candidates as the building services market transitions from AutoCAD's 2D software to new generation 3D models with the Revit platform. The 3D modelling capability of Revit enables building services consultancies to work with the architects, structural team and all the various building disciplines in a single model, as opposed to each different department working on their own designs and plans. It's a lot more time-efficient and innovative, and meets the needs of where the sector is going.

There are plenty of opportunities but a shortage of appropriately skilled candidates - at least for the time being. Addressing the skills shortage that has risen alongside the increased uptake of BIM presents difficulties both for candidates and the building services consultancies that need them. Meeting the Australian standards requires candidates to have around three-to-five years of Australian project experience. While many candidates have decades of experience in design, drafting and modelling with AutoCAD's 2D software, this is not relevant to roles requiring 3D experience. Hence, this makes hiring candidates with 3D experience more challenging as they tend to be younger and less experienced than their predecessors.

What the future holds – Cloud-based working

Despite a skills shortage now, there should be a much stronger complement of trained and experienced BIM managers in the next couple of years. We're at the back-end of the transition into the market, with 80 per cent of tier 1 and tier 2 consultancies already fully invested in Revit practices. Given time, the challenges in hiring experienced BIM staff will ease, but for now the opportunities for those few skilled candidates are immense. While BIM adoption is rapidly increasing, the next phases of the technology are just on the horizon. 4D and 5D BIM introduce time and cost management into the equation, further improving the efficiency of the tools with an even more holistic modelling process.

As the technology matures and demands become more advanced, the consultancies and employees within need to ensure that they are able to deliver such an intelligent piece of work. The second transformation of the BIM space is moving more towards cloud-based working. This piece of software will enable more efficient coordination and a more intelligent form of information modelling which will allow changes to be made seamlessly, resulting in accelerating the process to meet client requirements.

Finding the best candidates

It's all very well to speculate that skill shortages in the building services sector will ease in a few years, but that doesn't help organisations with more immediate needs. Finding the skilled candidates who jumped on the BIM bandwagon early enough to have accrued several years of experience can be challenging. By networking both here in Australia and overseas, our recruiters at Progressive GE are able to identify shortlists of prospective candidates who can not only focus on the individual tasks they are working on, but think in terms of the finished product.

Given the project-based nature of the building services sector, the majority of consultancies are operating on a contract basis - a system that's lucrative for in-demand candidates. Contracts have the advantage of attracting candidates by offering greater flexibility and monetary rewards. It has also allowed organisations to secure skilled candidates at short notice, this has proven to be beneficial to adhere to project demands.

Sourcing candidates involves a large number of variables, but the team at Progressive GE can help - give Andrew Emmerton a call today on +61 02 9285 1000 or visit our linkedin page for more information.