Attracting, recruiting and then training the very best of the year’s building surveying graduates and conversion students is central to our business plan and we believe we have a great deal to offer – superb training, excellent career prospects and a market-beating remuneration package.
If you like what you read and you’re either in the final year of an RICS accredited undergraduate building surveying degree or a non-cognate graduate undertaking a postgraduate conversion course in building surveying, we’d love to hear from you.
What will I be doing?
Firstly, three things you will certainly not be doing are endless photocopying, making the tea and sitting at the CAD machine all day; it does nothing for your APC and certainly won’t stretch you! Being a graduate with Malcolm Hollis has never been that way.
The fact that our APC pass rate is so good is testament to the range and, importantly, the depth of experience every graduate gets with us. This is largely down to how Malcolm Hollis is structured. Whilst each graduate surveyor has one overall manager to oversee them, on a day-to-day level graduates work simultaneously on a number of instructions under different managers, all specialists in their own particular areas. So, in any one day, you might be out on a building survey, costing up a dilapidations schedule, drawing up a measured survey and advising on a party wall matter. This not only gives variety, but also gives you the best possible training along the way.
Your progress and spread of work will be overseen by your allotted APC Supervisor and where a need is identified for more work in a particular area they will ensure that this is addressed and everything’s kept on track.
We see giving graduates increasing responsibility and autonomy as developmentally very important. When and how fast is largely driven by the individual graduate and we’re always very careful to monitor how jobs and people are progressing.
In other organisations graduates are often ‘seen and not heard’. Indeed, in multi-disciplinary firms you may never talk to the client as many of the instructions are passed on from agency departments. We are building surveying specialists and have no agency department so there’s no ‘middle man’ and clients come direct to us. Consequently, maintaining and developing client contact is central to the way that we do business, especially as a very substantial part of our work is repeat business. Once you’ve found your feet with us and are gaining confidence in your work you may well be the client’s principal contact.
Training and getting chartered
We know that you’ll want to get chartered as soon as possible and we take our responsibility to give you the training and experience that you need very seriously.
On the job training
The best way to learn is by experience – and, because many of our senior surveyors are recognised experts in their fields, it’s hard to imagine a better place to learn.
There is certainly never, ever a need for a secondment to another firm. Quite the contrary in fact, as several of our pre-MRICS surveyors have joined us from other firms because they felt their training and experience wasn’t up to scratch.
Seminars and external events
More conventionally we also run weekly internal seminars and graduates also have access to the many external events on offer, such as those held by the CPD foundation.
The training that our graduates receive means that most are ready to go for the APC in around 2-3 years – although we won’t put anyone forward who we don’t think is ready. And we do have a pretty good idea about that as we have fourteen APC assessors in-house.
Of course, we can say all we like, but what really matters is our APC pass rate, which is well above the national average.
You can find out more about Malcolm Hollis, our history, office locations, the range of work that we do and the clients that we work for elsewhere on this site. Here we concentrate on questions specifically related to graduates.
When should I apply?
You should apply in the final year of your BSc or MSc building surveying degree. We will be holding interviews in both December 2016 and January 2017. Please apply by 18 November 2016 for interviews in December and by 31 December 2016 for interviews in January.
How do I apply?
Applications for our 2017 graduate programme will open on 1 September 2016. Please submit a detailed CV and covering letter, stating your preferred office location using our online application form.
I don’t have a building surveying qualification, can I still apply?
If you’ve not completed or are not in the final year of a RICS-accredited building surveying qualification then we regret that we can’t consider your application. For non-cognate degree holders there are a now a number of one-year postgraduate conversion courses. For a list of under/postgraduate RICS-accredited building surveying courses visit www.rics.org
Do you accept applications from graduates doing a postgraduate conversion course in building surveying?
Yes! Over the past few years about half of our graduates have come from postgraduate courses – and they’re doing very well!
Aside from qualifications what else are you looking for?
Commercial awareness, excellent communication skills and an eagerness to learn quickly are essential qualities for a career as a building surveyor with Malcolm Hollis but your potential is the most important attribute.
Some form of work experience, whether that’s paid or voluntary, is definitely advantageous and if it is property-related all the better. Life experience is important too – so if you’ve done something interesting or have a particular interest do let us know, it’ll make you stand out from the crowd.
What type of work does Malcolm Hollis do?
We do everything that you’d expect building surveyors to do – from access audits to service charges, contract administration to rights of light, building surveys, dilapidations and party wall work. There’s never any problem getting the range and quality of experience that you’ll need for your APC. We have an extensive client list across a range of business sectors including SEGRO, Columbia Threadneedle, Carillion, McDonalds, Land Securities, Telereal Trillium, Next and The Portman Estate.
How many graduates do you take on each year?
This varies but there will usually be openings in each of our offices. Let us know if you have a location preference in your application.
What does the interview involve?
Don’t worry; the process isn’t onerous or overly demanding. We are primarily interested in getting to know more about you and you finding out more about us. It’s likely to be a straightforward and relaxed chat with one of the partners and one other. You may be required to give a short presentation and we might throw in the odd technical question or two but we really just want to see how you think.
We base our decision on just one visit to Malcolm Hollis which may involve meeting several people and aim to let you know the outcome in one week.
Do you take on students for year out or summer placements?
We do have some placement positions which vary in location from year to year however our main focus is on recruiting Graduates. We prefer to concentrate on providing the highest quality training for our permanent members of staff.
How many trainees stay after qualification?
Inevitably some trainees do leave Malcolm Hollis. However, we never want people to leave due to a lack of opportunity. Those that have left generally have other reasons to leave the firm such as emigrating abroad or moving client side. The fact that the working environment is so friendly and relaxed and that the work is varied and challenging, coupled with excellent opportunities to progress mean that staff retention is very good.
What is your attitude towards mature applicants?
Malcolm Hollis is an equal opportunities employer and we often recruit mature applicants particularly those who have previous experience in the industry.
When do graduates usually start?
Some graduates choose to start immediately after their course has finished, others prefer to join us after taking the summer off – we can be flexible to suit your needs. Whenever you join us you’ll be invited to come along to our annual summer training day (not, incidentally, a day of lectures but a fun day – perhaps driving a tank, clay pigeon shooting, sailing) so you can start to get to know everybody.
How soon after starting will I be contributing/getting involved in building surveying?
You will spend the first week or so after joining the firm getting to know our systems and receiving basic induction training. After that you will get involved in surveying straight away. This could be anything from putting together a schedule of dilapidations to attending site meetings for a building contract instruction. You will be guided through all of this by a more experienced surveyor.
How long does it take, typically, to get qualified?
Most of our graduates are ready to sit the APC in around two to three years. If you’ve already started your APC diary then it may take slightly less time.
How do you make sure I get enough of the right experience to pass my APC?
One of our Associates has overall responsibility for APC training and will monitor your learning and experience – we take your training very seriously. Additionally, you will have regular meetings with your APC counsellor and supervisor to ensure that you get the experience and training that you need.
Do you have a good APC pass-rate?
We have an excellent APC record with our pass rate being double the national average. Your progress will be closely monitored and no one is put forward to sit the APC until we think you’re ready. We have fourteen APC assessors in-house so we can put you through your paces in a mock interview to make sure that you are as well prepared as you can be.
Do you pay RICS and APC fees?
In short, yes. All RICS and APC fees are paid for by Malcolm Hollis.
Do you fund further study after the APC?
Many of our surveyors choose to study for further qualifications once they’re qualified. Provided it serves a business objective and/or it provides good personal development we will consider either part or fully funding the course.
Are there any social or sporting activities?
We have an active social club and a range of activities are arranged throughout the year including trips to comedy clubs, sporting events as well as charity events etc. There are also other ad hoc activities taking place in all offices including running at lunchtime, 5 a side football, climbing, softball and of course a few beers in the pub after work.
What are the prospects for promotion?
We offer excellent prospects for promotion. There are numerous surveyors who came to Malcolm Hollis as graduates who are now in senior positions within the firm. There are no fixed time limits for reaching associate or partner level, we promote on ability rather than age.
Where can I find out more?
Although we’ve tried hard to answer the types of questions that we commonly get asked at interviews we’re very happy to answer your specific queries. If you have an unanswered question please contact firstname.lastname@example.org