Getting The Right Person For The Job
Hiring a professional setting out engineer needn’t be a headache. Whilst they hold a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience, and as such are often in high demand, knowing what you are looking for will ensure that you get the right person for the job rather than just picking the first available engineering surveyor that is available.
Many setting out surveyors are self employed contractors, so it is perfectly acceptable and advantageous to be able to pick and choose which contractor to use, one job at a time. But there are considerations that must be made in order to balance both convenience for yourself, and also the safety of colleagues and the project being worked on.
What Should I Look For?
As well as relevant experience in surveying and laying out, anyone being hired for the task will need other supplementary skills. CAD (computer aided design) is one such skill that is practically impossible to live without in this field of work. The days of working to sketches are over; in today’s modern times, any setting out or surveying work is generally planned out far in advance using CAD, thanks to its perfectly accurate mathematical abilities and ability to actively assist with the task at hand.
Certification with health and safety, trade and membership legislation in the area of operation is also key. There is no greater inconvenience than finding out your hired gun does not conform to legal requirements and having the project stalled or shut down. Worse still, hiring an unqualified engineer and having an accident on site can leave the hirer and company open to civil or even criminal proceedings. Any qualifiations that the contractor lays claim to must of course be corroborated before a contract of employment is commenced.
It is with this in mind that professional indemnity insurance must be considered. Employees will generally be covered under a corporate policy, but with self employed and casual contractors, any reputable engineers should have a standalone policy as standard.
Where Can I Hire Such A Person?
There are specialist agencies who deal solely with surveyors and related contractors. Any general temping agency will not have an in depth knowledge of the industry in the same way that a specialist agency will; additionally, these agencies will be able to offer staff who consistently meet targets and successfully complete project (in effect, a ‘preferred contractor’ list.) It is also possible to hire contractors directly, either through word of mouth or by re-hiring contractors who have previously worked on projects with success. CV and résumé websites such as Reed, Linkedin and Hays will also have a wealth of contractors with relevant experience posted, as well as qualifications and testimonials from other employers.
It may sound like a daunting task; such contractors will generally need to be booked quite far in advance and are often able to ‘cherry pick’ contracts and projects due to there being more demand than availability. However, the process for finding and hiring them is much the same as if you were hiring any general contractor or member of staff, except with a few more qualifications and legislation issues to consider. Take a common sense approach and hiring the right person for the job will come easily and naturally.