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Average Tenure in Facades
How long someone will stay after being offered a position is a question that always comes up in the mind of the individual taking the risk and offering the position
In a perfect world, the perfect employee would stay forever, growing and providing value to the company and the company would in turn offer them their perfect package.
But this isn’t a perfect world, and sometimes things don’t work out, which is why
people look for new jobs.
For this reason, using the Jobsocks platform, I investigated the average tenure expected of an individual in the facades sector, focusing on Site Managers, Project Managers, Contracts Managers, Quantity Surveyors, and Designers.
For this article, I excluded any contract work from the statistics, focusing exclusively on permanent employment, which was gathered from over 200 facades professionals from the Jobsocks platform.
These numbers do not reflect how long an individual has been at a certain position overall but rather focus on the length of time they hold a position at a company. This means that someone who may have been a Designer for 8 years could be put down as three separate instances making up those 8 years.
Finally, for clarity, the term tenure should be defined. In this case, it means how long a position has been held by a particular individual.
In the facades sector, the average length of stay across all jobs is 2.9 years. The breakdown for each position is as follows:
- Site Managers – 2.6 years
- Project Managers – 3.3 Years
- Contracts Managers – 3.7 Years
- Quantity Surveyor – 2.3 Years
- Designers – 2.5 Years
These numbers show that the more senior the position, the longer the average tenure, with just over a year’s difference in the average tenure of a Site Manager and a Contracts Manager.
Of course, this doesn’t tell the full story. Several individuals would have started at a lower position and been promoted up, for example from a Project Manager to a Contracts Manager, meaning their stay at the company is longer than indicated by the above statistics.
It should also be noted that there are plenty of individuals who have extended stays with singular employers despite these numbers. These people are simply averaged out by those who have had shorter stays.
These numbers must be put into context to have real value though. In the US the average tenure according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics is 4.1 years as of January 2020, while in the UK the number is a little harder to gauge, but a 2017 CIPD report suggests that the average tenure is 8.6 years, while research by life insurance firm LV= suggests an average closer to 5 years.
This too must be looked at with a critical eye though. One reason for this may be due to people entering careers that they do not intend to shop around in, mainly those in the public sector. The private sector would have a much lower average time of employment. The same CIPD report states that the average tenure for those aged under 25 is 1.7. This could be due to several reasons, ranging from a more ambitious and progress-oriented mindset to a decrease in loyalty to employers as a result of changing attitudes.
While it is difficult to draw concrete conclusions from something like this it shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing that construction and facades generally boast lower tenure than the national average.
This is because of the nature of construction itself. When a project finishes and a contractor picks up to begin work on another site the location may change drastically, meaning someone willing to work for one company may not be able to comfortably do so, meaning they must look elsewhere. This is not an issue for a teacher or office worker that always goes to the same place of work.
What this does show is that as an individual gets more seniority and climbs the ladder they display more loyalty to a single employer, as shown by the rise in tenure from Site Manager to Contracts Manager.
Quantity Surveyors and Designers are a slightly different story. The roles can be seen as more rapidly changing, as well as generally having a higher barrier to entry. Because of this, these positions are highly sought after which means that they have the luxury of choice that a Site Manager may not. This all leads to shorter stays on average.
What does this mean for employers in construction?
Simply, it means that individuals with longer stays at any one place are more of a rarity than in other sectors. It also means that there may be a lot of overlap between who has worked with whom, especially in a niche such as facades.
What this doesn’t mean is that these employees are guaranteed to leave. Many of them want stability, the opportunity for growth, and loyalty. It’s just difficult.