By Lyn Drummond

Stephen Noble

29 March Sustainability knowledge particularly in research and development is far more important for senior people in the building services industry than five years ago according to an Australian recruitment company.

Simon Black, consultant at Australia Wide Personnel Engineering, Manufacturing and Technical Recruiters, said this criteria was particularly crucial for airconditioning manufacturers. They were challenged by state and federal government demands for improved efficiency of machines and competing against international companies with the resources and green star ratings.

Australian companies would have to lift their game to compete, particularly as Australia’s state governments had the leading efficiency requirements in the world. “They need to look at research and development innovation by buying licensed technologies,” Mr Black said.

He cited the case of a 29-storey building which had five chillers to keep the whole building cool Monday to Friday.  One chiller made by an overseas manufacturer cooled a small area needed at the weekend.  “These variable power, highly efficient products made on a user need basis may be expensive initially but long term the benefit are great for saving energy”.

Australian engineers rate “work which requires imagination” as the most important factor when considering a new job, according to a survey by the recruitment firm.

Interestingly, salary and benefits ranked as the fourth most important factor for engineers when considering a new job, behind “challenge of the role” and “work environment”.

Stephen Noble, managing director of Australia Wide said: “in this talent-short environment, if employers want to attract and retain engineers, they should be incorporating creative elements into their roles where possible. Employers who can demonstrate that they’re pushing the boundaries of engineering are the ones which will attract the best talent. Don’t stifle their imagination – let them ask why, give them challenges and give them latitude to run with projects.

“By and large, engineers are inquisitive – we hear over and over in our interviews that when growing up, a lot of engineers spent time pulling stuff apart so they could figure out how it worked. And then they’d want to modify them to make them work better. I think it’s natural that engineers would also crave this creativity,” he said.