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How to deal with capacity overload – a joined-up approach to project resourcing


Shore Group Co-Founder, Lewis Yorke-Johnson on the challenges faced by the construction industry to deliver the data centre development pipeline

Resourcing the UK data centre construction pipeline With the proliferation of AI, cloud computing and big data, the demand for new data centres in the UK is at an all-time high. However, despite the critical need for additional capacity, the shortage of skilled construction professionals in this specialised field continues to cause bottlenecks and delay projects. 

It’s a difficult balancing act of managing project budgets with the pressures of meeting completion deadlines. The demand for experienced data centre construction professionals in the UK is unprecedented and rising. To meet this demand, companies need to adopt a strategic and forward-thinking approach to project resourcing and recruitment. This requires a blend of traditional recruitment methods and innovative solutions tailored to the specific requirements of the data centre construction pipeline.

  1. Recruit from centres of excellence

Leveraging talent from international project management and engineering hotspots provides a fresh pool of skilled professionals to meet the growing demand for experienced professionals. By tapping into these talent hubs, companies can access a diverse range of proven skill sets and perspectives to enhance their project teams.

Developers would love to nurture the next generation of project talent; however the urgent development pipeline means identifying experienced professionals from overseas markets is an essential strategy. We’ve placed numerous engineers and project managers from Ireland on to UK data centre projects. They’re highly skilled and hit the ground running, making a huge difference to delivery.

  1. Decision-making speed

In the fast-paced world of data centre development, delayed decision-making can translate to missed recruitment opportunities and delayed projects. Ironically, in a sector where speed is paramount, traditional, slow recruitment processes still dominate. Streamlined application and recruitment decisions standout, making a huge difference to candidate acceptance rates.

  1. Showcasing new head office developments

Top talent is attracted to organisations that prioritise employee wellbeing and invest in cutting-edge facilities. Even though most construction roles will be based on site, candidates still place a huge weight on iconic, state-of-the-art head offices and wider company investments.

Creating the right impression with candidates at the first interview makes a huge difference. Top tier contractors use their flagship offices to showcase their financial strength and progressive company cultures. This can be a powerful differentiator in recruitment which is why we see a clear trend of investment from contractors at the moment.

  1. Hyperlocal remuneration mapping

Understanding the local market dynamics and calibrating compensation packages accordingly can help companies remain competitive in the recruitment landscape. The clustered locations of data centres can lead to resource shortages and localised inflated pay rates. Regular benchmarking and remuneration reviews are vital recruitment and retention tools.

  1. Career mapping and development planning

With data centre construction pipelines running into multiple years, providing clear pathways for career advancement is essential to attract skilled professionals. The most effective project resourcing campaigns sell multi-year, multi-project opportunities to candidates, backed by mentorship programs, training opportunities, and skills developments.

The booming demand for data centre construction professionals in the UK necessitates a strategic and innovative approach to project resourcing. Contractors need to sell a bigger dream than just a single project for the best candidates. Showcasing case studies of career progression within a business across multiple projects are powerful asset to support decision-making.