The dramatic economic rise reported last quarter by landscape architecture firms appears to have slowed down during the second quarter of 2015, according to the latest American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Business Quarterly survey. Many firm contacts indicated a rise in billable hours on the survey, with a slight decrease in inquiries for new work. Despite holding steady, a growing number of firms say they plan on putting the brakes on hiring for the third quarter.
Some 86.67 percent of firms reported stable to significantly higher billable hours during the second quarter of this year, a jump from the 82.02 percent from the previous quarter. The majority of respondents (84.51 percent) noted stable to significantly higher inquiries for new work, a slight dip from the 85.34 in the first quarter.
Year to year, 85.22 percent reported stable to significantly higher billable hours, a jump from the 81.32 percent reported during the second quarter of 2014. Year to year, 84.91 percent said inquiries for new work were stable to significantly higher, a slight drop from the 85.15 percent reported for the second quarter last year.
Of firms with two or more employees, 48.10 percent said they planned to hire during the third quarter of 2015, a fall from the previous quarter (61.54 percent). Some 56.41 percent of firms with five to nine employees will be hiring landscape architects, both experienced and entry-level.
The survey also asked questions about recruiting and the role of social media in hiring. Among firms with two or more employees, the top strategic recruiting approaches include employee referrals (66.84 percent), internships (55.10 percent), job postings on the firm’s website (53.06 percent), and job search websites (45.41 percent).
Only 17.22 percent of firms with two or more employees said that they prefer job candidates with a strong social media presence. LinkedIn (3.51 mean score) was ranked as the top social media network for recruiting by firms with two or more employees, followed by Facebook (3.17 mean score), blogs (2.59 mean score) and Twitter (2.19 mean score).
About a third (33.97 percent) of responding firms with two or more employees say that their website is optimized for mobile phones, and that this type of website helps with recruiting. A tiny number of firms with two or more employees (10.19 percent) say they search for job candidates on social media using specific keywords to look for specific hard skills. View Report.