Build it and they will come 

November 1, 2017

Beth Brierley-Jones is chair of the North East Women in Property Committee and managing director of Brierley J Recruitment, which specialises in the property and construction sectors. Here, she shares her thoughts on why she believes brand-building is key to securing the very best staff

Building your company’s brand and reputation is like designing and constructing property. The brief may be to create a building that is functional, comfortable, safe and reliable, but to make it stand out from its neighbours, it often requires creative thinking and additional investment.

Allocating more time and resource to a development can make the difference in producing a more attractive building that excites and stimulates its visitors and occupants, and adds value to its community. Likewise, focussing additional investment on corporate brand-building can bring equivalent results to a business.

As a recruiter for the built environment, I’ve seen many reputable, reliable businesses that expect to attract skilled staff based solely on the strength of their brand name. What these steadfast brands often overlook, however, is the importance of making themselves different enough to stand out from a crowd of other employers. What exactly makes that business attractive to potential employees?

A lot can be said for being a trusted, reliable company – especially in this ever-fragile economy, but when so many firms are vying to secure that special, first-class graduate engineer, or the much sought-after star design manager looking for a new challenge, it demands a different approach. We all know about the construction skills shortage and how competitive the recruitment market is when seeking out talented staff. At Brierley J Recruitment, one of our fundamental aims is to help employers to recognise their own uniqueness, and identify the company values that will make them appealing to a potential employee.

I am a firm believer in practicing what I preach. I have worked to build a strong brand identity for Brierley J Recruitment as a consultancy that enjoys long-established relationships across the North East construction market and is based on going the extra step towards understanding the DNA of our clients. Investing in these values has also helped me to attract some talented staff into the business.

Since launching in 2014, Brierley J has grown into a team of four. Each of us has our own specialist knowledge that’s focussed on a specific area of the built environment. This helps us to fully understand and respond effectively to our clients’ and candidates’ requirements. Priyanka Chawla is our engineering and surveying champion, Philip Ireland looks after construction contractors and Jeremy Bridge provides resourcing support. As managing director, I oversee the running of the business and specialise in recruitment of architecture, project management, town planning and health and safety professionals.

Our team is committed to working closely with the region’s property and construction companies to understand their brand culture and values. As part of our service to clients, we highlight their strengths as an employer. In a candidate-driven recruitment market, it’s important that we do this – it helps communicate the right message about a business and presents them as the employer of choice.

We get to know our candidates too. Our screening process ensures that they have the relevant skills and experience, as well as the approach and values to match our employers. We pride ourselves on helping place candidates in the stimulating environments they aspire to work in – with supportive employers and organisations that will nurture their ambitions.

As an employer in the built environment, ask yourself: what are you doing to make your company stand out to candidates? Are you creating an exciting, stimulating business to work for, with outstanding brand values?

If you do invest in building that reputation, the talented candidates will come to you.

Architect’s growth plan delivered in partnership 

When a growing national architectural practice planned to expand into Newcastle, Brierley J Recruitment was the consultancy of choice to support them with their growth strategy.

GSS Architecture had four existing UK studios and Beth and her team at Brierley J were tasked with finding the best candidates to fulfil the key roles which were critical to the success of the new studio.

Commenting on the support he received, GSS partner Jonathan Hunter, who is responsible for the practice’s northern region, says: “From the outset, Beth took the time to get to know our organisation and to really understand our aims, objectives and company ethos. This meant she was able to specifically match potential candidates with our architectural practice. As a result, we now have a robust

architectural team in our Newcastle office, headed up by a skilled, experienced Associate Partner who will be a key part of our practice for many years to come.”

Being a North East based businesswoman with a network of influential regional contacts, Beth was also well-placed to share her knowledge about the Newcastle area with GSS.

Jonathan adds: “Beth’s support did not simply stop at recruiting. She supported us with her local knowledge and connections to advise on suitable office premises. In this way, our relationship with Brierley J Recruitment resembles more of a partnership, founded on trust and a common understanding of our goals and aspirations.”

GSS opened their new studio in Hoults Yard business village in Newcastle, earlier this year.

Brierley J Recruitment