Posts filed under ‘Interviewing’

Working From Home: The Kiss of Death for a Civil Engineer?

Is telecommuting limiting to the civil engineering professional?

A couple of weeks ago a consulting civil engineering client of mine offered an opportunity to an extremely talented candidate that would have allowed him to work from home for his first 6-8 months in order to accommodate some special circumstances.   The candidate ended up delaying the acceptance of the offer until the first quarter of next year as his situation would be fully resolved (hopefully the opportunity will still be available).  The details of the circumstances are neither here nor there, but at the end of the day this candidate determined that as flattered as he was that they would make special accommodations for him, he would not feel comfortable in a work-from-home situation as he would be “out of the mix.”   He is a team player and not having immediate access to his team, and the “perception” that he would not be giving 110% because of his physical absence he saw as a detriment.

Interestingly enough, I recently read an article on the Harvard Business Review website titled, Why Remote Workers Are More (Yes, More) Engaged, by Scott Edinger.

According to the article, remote employees were more engaged because:

1.  Proximity Breeds Complacency – that is, leaders who work in the same building, let alone the same floor, regularly fail to interact face-to-face with their employees, preferring rather to communicate via email.

2.  Absence Makes People Try Harder to Connect – that is, leaders are more deliberate in their communication with those off-site employees.

3.  Leaders of Virtual Teams Make a Better Use of Tools – that is, leaders are forced to use video-conferencing, instant messaging, and even the telephone, just to name a few; an advantage that their peers may not necessarily take advantage of by having everyone working in the office.

4.  Leaders of Far-Flung Teams Maximize the Time their Teams Spend Together – that is, since the time the team actually spends together on location is limited, when they do get together the level of focused attention is higher than it might be otherwise.

I do not necessarily doubt the findings and opinions of this article, but my question is, was the candidate in the experience that I alluded to at the beginning of this blog right in his decision?  Since we are dealing with a Civil Engineering consulting firm and considering that the candidate would be a full-time permanent employee with the title of Sr. Civil Engineer who is looking to continuously advance up the corporate ladder, I would say that, in as much as I was disappointed in the fact that he declined the offer,  he was probably correct.  And here is why:

1.  Knowing the determination and intelligence of the candidate, he could have successfully handled the situation.  But he felt that, especially with a new employer, he did not want to be perceived as a slacker.  Even though he would have given 110%, his absence from the office could easily be mis-construed.

2.  Part of his motivation for exploring a new opportunity was because in his current role, he lacked mentorship.  Working from home for at least six months would limit the mentoring opportunities available to him.

3.  Working from home for a large civil engineering consulting firm as a project engineer often makes it difficult to grab people, share ideas, ask questions, and bounce concepts off of peers and managers “on the fly.”

4.  Out of sight, out of mind.  Enough said.

Unless you are a regional or national business development executive who is jet-setting all week, or a technical engineer who is completely satisfied with maintaining a long-term technical engineering role with no real advancement, you are better off  working at the office as opposed to remotely from home.

Does your firm allow for work-at-home opportunities on a regular basis?  Have you been part of a positive work-from-home experience?  Have you seen people fail in work-at-home situations with their employers?   I look forward to hearing you share your thoughts and experiences on this topic as a civil engineer.

Finally, if you are on LinkedIn, please click on the following link to take our following “one-click” poll on this topic:

http://linkd.in/OUO66f

Authored by:


Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc
Managing Partner, CivilEngineeringCentral.com
View Matt’s profile & connect with him on LinkedIn

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

August 30, 2012 at 10:04 am 10 comments

Losing Great Recruits to the Competition? Here is Why… (Part 2 in a Series)


Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc
Managing Partner, CivilEngineeringCentral.com
View Matt’s profile & connect with him on LinkedIn

Today’s blog is the second in a series of entries that will help those executives in the AEC community understand why they might be losing out to the competition when competing for great candidates and top talent.  Having recruited civil engineering and architectural professionals for over 15 years I have witnessed some fantastic interviewing and hiring processes…and I have witnessed some miserable ones as well.  Most processes fall in the middle of that spectrum, so by understanding what you may NOT be doing and making some subtle (or not so subtle, depending how poor your process really may be) changes may help you reel in a higher percentage of those good or great candidates that may have joined the competition in the building down the street or the floor below!

The first blog in this series discussed the concept of “rolling out the red carpet.” 

Today’s Topic:

MOMENTUM

Not maintaining momentum can KILL your chances of hiring that top prospect.  The pace of the interview process in a moment of time is crucial.  I’m not talking about having an offer sent to a candidate’s blackberry after the first interview before they even leave the building, but by keeping a steady pace of the process from initial inquiry to offer is so important.  I cannot stress this enough.

Momentum is important for multiple reasons:

A. It keeps you focused on the candidate and your thoughts and memory of the interview fresh.

B. It keeps the candidate excited and interested.

C. It shows the candidate that you are indeed excited in the prospect of brining them on board.  Extensive delays from interview-to-interview with the same candidate is often perceived by the candidate that the client is undecided or not real thrilled about them, and every day that fades to black without contact or scheduling of an interview or feedback takes a little bit more wind out the sails.

D. Delays in follow-up interviews or reference checks allows for an opening for another firm to shimmy their way on to the candidate’s radar screen.  If you are taking your good ‘ol time and the other firm understands the concept of momentum, they can make up considerable ground and by the time you finally lay out an offer on the table the other company will be doing the same; this of course decreases the likelihood of acceptance of your offer.

E. It allows you to move on to other candidates that you were interested in more swiftly in the event of a turndown.  Let’s say you put all your efforts into candidate A, but you were aware of candidate B as well but chose not to interview them until your learned the fate of candidate A.  If you are dragging your feet and candidate A ends up turning down your offer, candidate B may already be off the market.  Ideally, you should be interviewing multiple candidates at the same time if possible.  The “all your eggs in one basket theory” is not a good idea here.

So How Do You Keep Momentum Going When Everyone is So Busy?

A.  Have access to everyone’s calendar and plan the next meeting at the end of the previous meeting (assuming there is a fit).

B.  If you need a day to talk amongst the team that interviewed the candidate, that is okay.  But don’t wait longer than 24 hours.  If the feedback is positive and you want to move forward, then find 6 available options for the next meeting to present to the candidate (3 days/times during business hours, 3 evenings/times for after hours meeting).  This will eliminate the constant back-and-forth that would normally occur suggesting one date and time at a time.

C.  For employment law reasons, companies are required to track applicants; have the candidate complete the employment application prior to the first interview. This way that part is done and over with.  Sometimes these applications are a hassle, and candidates keep delaying this task, so taking care of this sooner than later is recommended.  This also gives them a deadline to meet.

D.  Your day is likely filled with meetings, site visits, lunch meetings, etc…so task your in house Recruiter (if you have one), your Human Resources Professional, or your Administrative Assistant with following up with the candidate.  Of course if you are using a search consultant, this would be part of their duty in servicing you as their client.

E.  The same resources mentioned above in “D” should immediately begin checking references as soon as the candidate has provided them.  References can take some time, but if you have someone who is easily accessible to stop what they are doing to take / make that call and write up the appropriate report you will keep the momentum.

F.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this:  consider hiring an executive search consultant who specializes in the professional skill set that you are looking to hire.  Recruiters are notorious for understanding and keeping the momentum and they will be able to handle all of the above.

G.  Should you and your team be excited about the candidate, and should their references check out, be immediately prepared to formulate an EXCITING offer letter, and be sure to include a decision deadline.

How does your company keep momentum going with candidates?  Or, as a candidate, what are your experiences you have had where a company was pursuing you and they did a great job with keeping momentum?  Or, also as a candidate, did an organization lose out on you because they failed to keep the momentum going? Please share your stories!

Next topic in this series: FAILURE TO CONTINUOUSLY CLOSE

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

July 10, 2012 at 10:08 am Leave a comment

Bridging the Talent Gap: How Good Firms Get Great People

By Kerry Harding
President and Chief Recruiting Officer, The Talent Bank, Inc.

What if I were to stand on the street in front of The White House and ask 100 people passing by two questions: “Can you name a famous engineer?” and “Can you name a famous basketball player.” Somebody did this once. On the engineer side, 3 people offered John Roebling, designer of the Brooklyn Bridge. He was the top vote getter. Of those same 100 people, 87 said, without any hesitation whatsoever, to the second question, “Michael Jordan.” I pondered a third question:
 Why aren’t there more superstars in engineering firms?

Unlike professional sports, no system exists to identify and track top design talent.
 For 2011, a simple Internet search revealed that UCLA’s Gerrit Cole was Major League Baseball’s top draft pick; Auburn’s Cam Newton was the National Football League’s top draft pick; and Duke’s Kyrie Irving the top pick for the National Basketball Association. Stats like these are available back to the early 1950s. Yet, who were the top ten engineering firm graduates in the country last year? Five years ago? Ten years ago? Where did they start their careers? Where are they now? Compiling this information would take hundreds of hours— even if privacy laws even made it possible. What does the professional sports world have that the engineering professions could implement to institutionalize this type of knowledge? Several things:

The Scout. Each year, roughly 85,000+ engineering graduates enter the profession. In their respective schools, professors deem a handful of people as “the rising stars.” Some are easily identifiable, winning student chapter awards or national student design competitions, making the Dean’s List, or winning top academic and leadership honors at graduation. No regional or national repository exists for those involved in engineering firm recruiting to tap into to annually review emerging young talent’s credentials. In pro sports, this is the Scout’s function who travels from city to city, watching people in action, talking with their coaches, etc. The opportunity exists to begin building a database of “ones to watch.”

The Draft. In the sports world, a formal process exists for bringing top talent together with top firms in an objective, organized way. The benefit is that everyone involved knows all the candidates at the outset to compare credentials. Yet, no such process exists to link engineering firms with the national engineering talent pool that emerges at graduation. True, some schools have established job bank programs to allow their own students and alumni to interact, yet most fall woefully short of the potential that exists or simply serve the immediate region.

The Rookie. Once a student makes the transformation from campus to company, their progress gets lost in the academic system. Professional society awards are one way that that young talented people, early in their career, remain visible. However, since a qualifying criteria is to be “under 40” that provides a window of nearly two decades of career growth and makes the assumption that all new grads have equal interests, skills and opportunities.

The Farm Team. Successful sports franchises’ system ensures a consistent supply of talent. Young talent is identified and sent to smaller, regional entities to ensure they acquire the skills necessary to compete in the upper echelons. For some, playing at this level will be as far as they progress, while others will clearly emerge as ready for the majors. In engineering firms, this manifests itself in several ways—the market sector studio, the discipline team or the branch office. Providing young professionals the chance to rotate through a variety of roles and project types will reveal where the person’s true passion and best fit lies.
Sports teams know that their people need to identify where they function best and then refine the specific skills to excel at those. Too often, in design firms, a person best suited to for actual project work gets promoted into project management or principal-level positions. Being a good center doesn’t mean someone will be a good quarterback. An ace engineer may not excel at managing people or projects.

The Major Leagues. Within any given sport, the top performers deliver results in spite of who wins their respective national championships. This is equally true with engineering firms. While there are large firms whose fortunes ebb and flow like the tide, there are others who experience steady growth and consistently maintain adequate backlog and profitability along with brand integrity. These firms are always recruiting strategic hires not just for the next year but for the next generation–that elusive but essential combination of talent and cultural fit.

The Dream Team. Through time and planning, any design firm can assemble or acquire a Dream Team for a particular market sector—where all of the positions are covered by people considered among the best in their profession in areas such as aviation, transit facilities, stadiums, toll roads and rail. Sometimes, dream teams aren’t built—they’re acquired. In other cases, through assembling a cadre of talented generalists, a firm assembles its own dream team for a specific geographic area. If you want to begin building your own Dream Team, there are several key things to begin doing right now.

Offer career opportunities, not jobs. Most jobs advertised on the major jobboards describe skills, duties and responsibilities–not exciting career challenges. This precludes the best from even applying. Define top performance for every job in a clear statement of what the person must do to be successful. By clarifying performance expectations you’ll attract top candidates and more accurately assess their competency. Use this profile to manage, reward and motivate your new team.

Figure out who you need to hire over the six months and the next five years. The hiring process needs to be forward-looking, providing time to find the best candidates available, and not lower your standards to succumb to business pressures to get someone “yesterday.”

Go after those who are looking for a better job, not those who need a job. Everyone knows that the best people are usually not found on job boards, which represented only about 10% of all hires last year. You’ll find better candidates through a formalized employee-referral program and an established relationship with a knowledgeable recruiter whose job it is to know who in the marketplace is discretely looking for that next rung on the ladder. Use a multipronged method to upgrade your sourcing programs to target the best.

Formalize a complete recruiting process, including practical training. Research shows that for most line managers, the typical interview is only 7% more accurate than flipping a coin. If everyone who plays a role in the hiring process from the receptionist to the president haven’t been thoroughly trained, you’ll wind up with similar results. Top candidates view a new job as a strategic decision based on growth opportunities and chemistry. They need more information than just compensation, benefits and job duties to make a decision—they want an inspiring interview.

Tie compensation to value to the firm, not salary structures. In the sports world, when pro teams want to attract super-athletes, their managers don’t say “Well, everybody else with X-year’s experience makes Y thousand dollars a year, so, as much as we like you, that’s as high as we go! They know that unique talent merits unique compensation. Most engineering firm managers still approach recruiting like they’re haggling with a car dealer…”How low will they go?” Recruiters across the country routinely share their frustration that deals frequently unravel over a salary difference of $10,000-$15,000—especially where there’s a dramatic difference in the cost of living. In one case, a firm lost the top candidate to a competitor because it refused to cover the candidate’s airfare for the interview. In another, the deal breaker was simply an extra week’s vacation.

In hot markets where the number of credible individual experts in the country can be counted on two hands, the difference between closing and blowing the deal can be the fee for just one small job. Design firms need to identify the top talent in their target or geographic markets, and then craft creative compensation programs that effectively combine salary with incentives. A prominent firm recently lost a nationally-renown market sector leader because it implemented firm-wide financial austerity measures with no raises, no bonuses and a 10% across-the-board pay cut for all principals, even though the studio of the person in question had posted record earnings for the period in question. Why? Another firm, already in the top five but vying for the top slot, saw an opportunity and seized it. Design firm success hinges on the synergy of individual talent with market opportunities. Attracting superstars and supporting them with a strong bench in sales, technology and operations will ensure that, when it comes to winning work, your firm will always get to the playoffs and may even win the championship.

About the Author: A former executive with the nation’s top A/E firms, accomplished author and agent of design firm change, Kerry Harding serves as President and Chief Recruiting Officer of The Talent Bank, Inc. an executive recruiting and management consulting firm founded in 1984, specializing exclusively in strategic recruiting of design professionals. He can be reached at kerry.harding@talentbankinc.com

May 31, 2012 at 4:26 pm 4 comments

Choosing Between Civil Engineering Job Offers


By Carol A. Metzner
President, The Metzner Group, LLC and
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com
  View Carol’s profile & connect with her on LinkedIn

Spring has sprung and there appears to be a sense of energy within the civil engineering job market. As a civil engineering recruiter, my phone is ringing from companies looking to hire, and from experienced civil engineers ready to make a job change. Fortunate candidates are finding themselves with multiple offers and career choices. The question is no longer “Should I leave my employer?” but rather “Which offer do I choose?”

Here are some suggestions to help guide you when choosing between job offers:

  • TRUST INSTINCTS

If you are a strong analytical thinker, you are more likely to focus on the facts. That comes next. First, how did you feel when you left each interview? Do you remember? Just because one job may appear better on paper, that doesn’t mean it is the best job for you. Consider other factors such as environment, future colleagues, personality of supervisor, company culture. What does your instinct tell you? In which job will you feel the most enjoyment? Did you meet any potential colleagues? Did they appear stressed or friendly? Did you feel a good chemistry or good “vibe” when you walked in the company door?

  • Think Analytically
Now go back to making traditional comparative lists. Detail the facts of the offers: company reputation, supervisor personality,  job description, title, salary, benefits, location, potential for advancement, work hours expected, billable hours expected, back log of work in the division/office/company, commute, travel, clients, potential ownership- just to name a few.  Then divide them into your pros and cons of each. What does your analysis tell you?
Finally, as discussed in previous blogs, making a job change is an emotional situation. It is easy to get caught up in the rush of excitement as well as the stress of receiving  job offers. Focusing on facts is important but do not underestimate or dismiss your instincts. Making the wrong choice is not the end of the world but taking steps to minimize that makes your life easier! Feel AND think before you make your final decision.


civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

April 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm 1 comment

New Year- Time To Get A New Job?


By Carol A. Metzner
President, The Metzner Group, LLC and
Managing Partner, A/E/P Central, LLC home of CivilEngineeringCentral.com
  View Carol’s profile & connect with her on LinkedIn

Every new year many of us assess our job. As an architecture and civil engineering executive recruiter, I find January to be a very busy month! New year resolutions abound. Candidates tell me that they will not spend another year working for a company or supervisor that doesn’t appreciate them…at a job that is no longer challenging or exciting. They won’t continue to go to work each day to be surrounded by people they don’t respect. It is time for them to be energized.

What questions should you ask yourself to determine if it is time to explore a new opportunity?

-COMPANY
Is my current company growing, shrinking or staying the same size? Do the company leaders communicate with all employees about the “health” of the firm? Do they communicate about their strategy for growth for the company? Are my values the same as the firm’s? Do I respect the company leaders? How is the company viewed in the industry?

-SUPERVISOR
Does my supervisor have and exhibit the qualities I respect in a manager? Am I learning from him/her? Does my supervisor keep me motivated on projects and informed about my career path? Do I feel comfortable asking for help or discussing situations?

-COLLEAGUES
Do I have established relationships with others in the company? Do I look forward to working with these people or do I dread walking through the office or visiting the lunch room? Are my team members collaborative or self-serving? Are they supportive or challenging?

-WORK/PROJECTS
Am I able to work on projects that are challenging and diverse?  Do I like the work that is presented to me? Do I have an opportunity to learn and try new skills? Do I have autonomy to do my work? Do I have the ability to contribute to the overall success of the firm?

-SALARY/BENEFITS
Do I receive a competitive base salary? Did my company change their benefit plan so I pay more for less?  Am I receiving incentive bonuses for exceptional work?

There are many other questions to ask when deciding to make a job move. It is important to make an informed decision. Changing jobs is often more emotional than logical. Before wasting your time, a recruiter’s time, your current employer’s and potential future employer’s time– do your homework and evaluate your situation.

One thing is for sure: If you “can’t take this.. not another day” at your current job, then start exploring your options!

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

January 4, 2012 at 2:30 pm 2 comments

Steve Jobs and Civil Engineering – That’s Right. I Went There.


Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc
Managing Partner, CivilEngineeringCentral.com
View Matt’s profile & connect with him on LinkedIn

No need to get into a lengthy diatribe as to who Steve Jobs is and all that he has accomplished.  You all know who he  is and I would have carpel tunnel syndrome by the end of this entry if I tried to explain all things Steve Jobs.  Two questions for you though about Steve Jobs:

  • Do you know where he started?
  • Do you know where he ended?

Back to that in a moment.  Over the years I have conducted numerous C-Level or Senior Vice President/National Business Line Leader searches for consulting engineering firms where I have been tasked to seek and find a key leader for national or global practices that are made up of hundreds or thousands of civil engineering and architectural professionals.  Deep down amongst the two or three page detailed job description there is bullet point indicating that a Professional Engineering or Architecture license is required.  Not preferred. Not recommended. Required.

Different companies have different roles, different titles, and different philosophies on hiring.  The philosophy that a senior executive must have a professional registration sometimes leaves me scratching my head.  I am talking about executive leaders who develop winning strategies, who develop revolving 5-year business plans, who glad hand, who often accept public speaking invitations, who are responsible for leading the pursuit of projects, or who are responsible for meeting financial goals of the company.  My question is this: “Is a professional registration really necessary at this level?”

I know many unlicensed professionals in the architecture and engineering community who are operationally responsible for hundreds or thousands of employees and who know how to effectively turn a profit.  I also know many unlicensed professionals in the architecture and engineering industries who are responsible for driving millions and millions of dollars worth of revenue through the door.  I also know many companies who have needs for people like these but who turn a blind eye to these candidates because they do not have a couple of initials following their last name.   Is this an old school mentality?  Is this a company worried about perception more than actual results?

This takes me back to Steve Jobs; No degree…college drop out…yet an innovative pioneer who is a good listener and who was capable of delivering what people want- even delivering what people want before they know they want it.  Not that companies should make a habit of hiring college drop-outs, not by any stretch of the imagination;  but, denying your company the opportunity to hire, or at the very least consider a change agent or someone who can help guide the ship to its selected destination because they do not have a license, seems shortsighted.

If someone can provide innovative concepts to clients, productive and profitable business models, has strong connections and a track record of success;  if they are a good listener, and if  through the collaborative efforts of the skilled and licensed management team beneath them they could even deliver a concept to a client that they may have not thought of otherwise; if they are able to drive top line revenues and help your firm climb to heights that you may not otherwise reach,  then is a professional license at that level even relevant?

What is your philosophy? Have you hired your firm’s Steve Jobs? Or maybe have you seen the Steve Jobs of your industry join the competition only because you shuffled his credentials aside because he or she was not licensed?

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

October 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm 7 comments

Negotiating the Non-Sense in your Non-Compete


Matt Barcus
President, Precision Executive Search, Inc
Managing Partner, CivilEngineeringCentral.com
View Matt’s profile & connect with him on LinkedIn

Finally, after months of suffering under a new regime as a result of a reorganization, or after months of being laid off due to a Reduction-In-Force, or after months of pounding your head on the proverbial “glass ceiling,” you have uncovered the perfect opportunity for the next step in your civil engineering career.  After going through three or four rounds of interviews and conducting your own due diligence you find a company that is a good fit professionally, technically, culturally; and the path to your professional goal is crystal clear, assuming of course that you live up to your end of the bargain.  But you are confident in your ability and there is no question in your mind that you’ve got what it takes to climb your way to the top.  The offer comes through, the money is right, the benefits are on target, the performance metrics, though challenging, are attainable, and everything is on the “up-and-up.”  And then you get to the non-compete/non-solicit/non-disclosure employment agreement.  These agreements are no longer just limited to C-Level Executives or Partners, but now they are surfacing for Vice Presidents, Division Managers, and even Project Managers.

Suddenly some of that wind has been taken out of your sail.

Terminology and phrasing limiting you to go to work for ANY competitor within a 100 mile radius of any existing office, or limiting you from contacting any clients or prospective clients (prospective clients, well,  that’s pretty much ANYONE), all while applying to not only to the company you are looking to join, but it all carries over in the event of an acquisition, which would further limit your geography, especially if acquired by a big civil engineering consulting firm with offices throughout the United States.  Oh, and by the way, there is nothing indicating that you would be protected from any of this even in the event that you are laid off, your office shuts down, or if you were given the ultimatum to relocate.  Sounds a little one sided, right?  If left un-negotiated, you would have to switch careers altogether should you separate from the firm.

Putting into effect a non-compete for company executives or partners makes sense.  After all, if they don’t have an ownership stake, they do at least have access to company financials and the intellectual property that has brought the company much success.  They will also have access to clients that they might not have otherwise with other companies.  I am personally not convinced that Non-Compete Agreements are necessary for Project Managers and others who do not have an executive role or who do not have “skin in the game,”  but this is a trending policy in the civil engineering consulting industry.

Whatever the case may be, more often than not there are some areas that you should consider negotiating before accepting “as is” if you are not fully comfortable (please keep in mind I am not an attorney nor do I pretend to be – only in my own home when negotiating with my wife and kids):

-> If you are a company executive or partner, you may want negotiate some sort of severance package to help protect you and your family should you separate from the company as it will buy time for you to secure a new position within the other constraints of the agreement.

->If your non-compete contains geographic restrictions, make sure you would still have the ability to work for a “client” or client side company.  In other words, make sure it is limited solely to competitors, not clients.

->Make sure that the agreement applies only to the company you are working for at the commencement of your employment, not any future acquisitions.  For example – if your employer has 5 or 6 offices, but then is acquired by a national consulting civil engineering firm with offices in every major city across the United States, your options become extremely limited should you not negotiate this ahead of time.

->The non-solicitation of clients is an understandable clause – but if the agreement includes not only existing clients, but potential clients, then again you are limiting your options should you separate as pretty much everyone is a potential client.  Try negotiating to only existing clients or those potential clients that have been proposed to over the past 12, 18, or 24 month period.

->Make sure that the non-compete portion of the agreement is null and void in the event of a lay off, a closing of the office, or an ultimatum to relocate with the company.

I am not an attorney, and neither are you.

No matter how dire your current work situation is, you should always go through a non-compete/non-soliticitation/non-disclosure agreement with a fine tooth comb, or even better, shell out some cash to have an attorney review the document – your wallet may become a little light, but that decision could easily save you thousands of dollars in the end… and much stress as well. You may even find that your non-compete agreement will not hold up in a court of law in your state.

Every agreement is different, and these are just a few thoughts based upon my experience in placing civil engineering professionals with consulting engineering firms.  Any further advice you can give to the civil engineering community on this topic would be greatly appreciated!

civil engineering jobs :: civil engineering resumes :: civil engineering blog :: civil engineering discussion

June 23, 2011 at 10:32 am 5 comments

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