Revit, the popular BIM software program, is one of the most in-demand technical skills for engineers– and also one of the most challenging skills to find in today’s shallow talent pool. Finding a candidate with AutoCAD experience is easy. Finding a candidate with Revit proficiency, an MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) background, and at least 5 to 7 years of professional experience, however, can be so tough we call these candidates our “needles in the haystack.” Ask for a new hire with Revit proficiency and you may have better luck buying a winning lottery ticket.
What is Revit and why is it such a difficult skill to find?
Revit is a building information modeling (BIM) software program used by architects, structural engineers, MEP engineers, designers and contractors. Revit lets users generate BIM deliverables and enables cross-discipline collaboration– everyone has their own “design lane” for visualizing HVAC, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and other building essentials. Multiple project contributors can access centrally shared models, streamlining coordination and reducing the need for rework.
Given Revit’s popularity, you may be surprised to learn that design and engineering programs did not always teach this software. In the four years following the 2008 recession, design and engineering programs also had fewer graduates because there were fewer job opportunities. While new graduates are now receiving Revit training, most graduates with 5 to 7 years of experience did not. If an engineer with 5 to 7 years of experience is familiar with Revit, they likely learned it on the job.
What are my options if I can’t find engineers with Revit?
It’s natural to want to find that “perfect hire”– someone who ticks every item on your job candidate wish list. Unfortunately, since few professionals with 5 to 7 years of work experience also have a Revit background and MEP expertise, it can be difficult to find prospective hires who meets all these qualifications. As a recruiter, I’ve also found that the professionals who have learned Revit through on-the-job training are very loyal to their current employers. They appreciate that their companies invested in their professional growth and are reluctant to jump ship, even for a more lucrative offer.
I advise companies struggling to find job candidates with Revit skills to take a step back and consider the bigger picture. Do you have candidates who have the desired level of experience? From your interviews, do these candidates seem to be an excellent cultural fit with your company? If you can answer “yes” to both of these questions, consider teaching your prospective hire Revit as part of their on-the-job training. You’ll not only gain an experienced professional, but you’ll also build employee goodwill.
Research shows investing in employee development will pay dividends for years to come. Professional development is the “secret sauce” that boosts employee engagement and job satisfaction and keeps your best and brightest at the forefront of industry trends.
No candidate with Revit skills? No problem. On-the-job Revit training may ultimately land you a more loyal and engaged employee. That’s a win-win for both your business and your new hire.
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