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The BAS Job Market as of May 1, 2020

The good news is that there are still plenty of open BAS jobs. But it does mean there are fewer jobs to choose from.
Skip Freeman

Skip Freeman,
 Senior Technical Recruiter,
BASI Solutions, Inc.
Skip.Freeman@BASIsolutions.com

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I speak with hiring managers and candidates every day. Naturally, everyone is a little nervous, some more than others. There are the companies that have taken a hit and those that are growing during the pandemic.

My goal is to keep a pulse on the BAS/HVAC Controls job market for you so you can adapt and pivot as necessary. This information is for both employers and employees.

None of us have a crystal ball, but there are a few things we can say for certain:

  1. Technical skills need to be upgraded
  2. Contract staffing, which hasn’t been an area of high demand within the BAS sector, will see growth.
  3. BAS professionals must pivot and start viewing their careers through the lens of entrepreneurs

(1)    Technical skills need to be upgraded:

Going forward, many buildings will be upgraded. For example, we know that not all buildings are set up for remote access. That must change. Additionally, there is the need for increased networking, updated and additional sensing, data analytics, and increased necessity for the Building Automation provider to work more closely with the customer’s IT department.

Bottom line --> not all BAS professionals can engage with IT departments effectively. And as new standards are put in place by ASHRAE and the government coupled with new products developed by the OEMs for the post Covid-19 crisis world, training will be an ongoing necessity.

As can be seen from the chart below, the number of open BAS jobs posted on the internet has fallen weekly since March 21, 2020. We have gone from 21,670 listed open jobs to 12,437 (week ending 04.25.20), a decrease of 43%.

Open BAS Jobs have fallen 43% from March 21, 2020, to April 25, 2020
 BAS Jobs

The good news is that there are still plenty of open BAS jobs. But it does mean there are fewer jobs to choose from. Employers can start becoming choosier on whom they hire.

As an employee…(some illustrations)

then you must put a self-development training plan in place to upgrade your technical skills in order not just to survive, but to thrive in your post-Covid-19 career.

(2)    Contract staffing, which hasn’t been an area of high demand within the BAS sector, will see growth.

Once the current wave of budgeted construction projects nears completion, we don’t yet know what is next. Not to be negative, but recognizing it is better to be prepared, take a look at the April CCI.

The Construction Confidence Index (CCI) for April indicates that

Projects will still need to get done along the way, but since full-time staffing levels may be quite uncertain, one of the best ways to handle this is to use Contract Staffing.

And an increasing number of BAS professionals have indicated to us they will consider this as an option.

Contract staffing is not something I have seen considered much in Building Automation. However, the time for this to be a solution has come. It provides an immediate solution to a staffing need without incurring the long term commitment of hiring someone full time.

(3)    BAS professionals must pivot and start viewing their careers through the lens of entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs:

Bottom line --> the successful BAS professional of the future will have an entrepreneurial mindset.

The successful BAS professional of the future always has a plan B.

I ran a 1-question survey from April 7 – 27 in the BAS groups on LinkedIn and Facebook.

The majority of the responses occurred on these 3 main days (142 of the 181 responses)

Part of the goal over this 20-day period was to see if there was any significant trend in the direction of the answers during the shelter-in-place guidelines.

April 7: 31% of the respondents indicated downsized, furloughed, or uncertain

April 17: 21% of the respondents indicated downsized, furloughed, or uncertain

April 27: 16% of the respondents indicated downsized or furloughed. No one chose uncertain.

Control Solutions, Inc While it isn’t a scientific survey, it provides useful information for both employers and employees.

First, I believe this shows us that at least during this first phase of the pandemic, most of the downsizing/furloughing has occurred.

Secondly, it is a positive sign that no one in the survey is now responding as uncertain. This possibly suggests management has made their decisions and also is communicating well.

Third, with 66% being “certain” of their jobs and 11% being owners or officers (i.e., 77% of the 180 people), the talent pool for good people is still tight within BAS.

Fourth, I have spoken to several who have been laid off, furloughed, or uncertain. Among those are some terrific people. Unlike in times past, please do not let the fact that someone has been downsized/furloughed color your perception of whether they are good people or not.

Fifth, even if you are “certain” of your employment, have a plan B. We do not yet know what the dramatic drop in the CCI (discussed above) holds in store for us.

Survey of April 7 – 27 asking BAS Professionals of the Certainty of their Employment
  BAS Survey



Skip Freeman is a Senior Technical Recruiter (Headhunter) at Building Automation & Smart Industry Solutions (BASI Solutions.)

As a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BSME, Skip served 10-years in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before serving in Field Sales & Leadership roles in specialty chemicals, water treatment, HVAC, and industrial equipment.

Today, as a recruiter with BASI Solutions, Skip focuses on helping companies hire the best & helping the best get hired in:

Connect with Skip and follow us at BASI Solutions to stay up-to-date on the latest jobs, career advice, and insight into employment and talent within the world of Building Automation.

Skip can be reached at Skip.Freeman@BASIsolutions.com and 706-986-0833(text or call).

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