President of The Smith Consulting Group – A member of the Sanford Rose Associates® network of offices, Juli Smith, Featured in Engineering News-Record, Industry Compensation Challenges Grow as Contractors Boost Salaries in a ‘War for Talent’

By: Jim Parsons

Plano, TX 10/17/2019

Officially, Dan Ryan’s job is to find quality executive talent for clients in construction and other industries. Unofficially, the Franklin, Tenn.-based consultant calls himself a “unicorn hunter”—constantly on the lookout for individuals who have the “whole package” of technical, business and leadership skills.

While long prized in the construction industry, such unicorns are enjoying the benefits of their relative scarcity as never before, thanks to the sustained strength of the nation’s overall construction market. “Not only are people knocking on your door,” Ryan says, “your current employer wants to lock you in.”

Compensation for design and engineering professionals is no different. Juli Smith, a Jackson, Mich., search consultant who specializes in civil engineering and architecture, says that if a firm is trying to land a $2-million job, “paying a project manager an extra $30,000 is worth it, compared with [the person] walking away.”

Read more: