The Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS) is launching a series of videos to attract and recruit students at colleges and high schools, as well as to raise awareness within the construction industry about the role and skill set of quantity surveyors.
"The videos are only about a minute long, because we wanted to make them catchy, fresh and basically short enough so someone doesn’t get bored and cancel," said Matt Weber, marketing and public relations director of the CIQS.
"What we wanted to communicate to the viewer was, it is not just one avenue you are going down. There is a lot of variety and that’s what makes up the profession we love."
The CIQS hired a marketing firm called Parcel to produce two one-minute videos to help people understand what a quantity surveyor does and to spread the word.
The videos, launched last month, are part of a national rebranding strategy with a two- pronged approach.
The first prong is geared towards students and explains the benefits of becoming a quantity surveyor. And, the second prong is aimed at construction industry professionals to educate them about the role of a quantity surveyor.
"The biggest thing we have come up against and it always comes back to us is: what is a quantity surveyor?" said Weber, who is also the vice president and general manager of Concosts Group.
"People don’t understand what it means. They don’t understand the term. They don’t understand what we do. So, that’s what we really wanted to do and the first step was to educate."
Quantity surveyors measure the value of a construction investment from design concept to the completion of construction.
They are cost consultants who have working knowledge of all the professions and trades that work in construction and they bring them all together.
"For the students, we want to intrigue and interest them," said Weber. "Quantity surveying ties all the professions together. We are saying they are part architect, part engineer, part lawyer, part accountant. Obviously, we are not any one of those, but the fact we tie them all in together gives you a lot of variety."
One of the goals of the strategy is to engage students at a grass roots level, by launching the videos at education and career fairs in western Canada.
"The career fairs will get the word out to the students," said Weber.
"We will be going to colleges and post-secondary institutions and playing the video for groups of 100 to 200 building technology or engineering students. It’s a quick sort of ‘wow.’"
To educate industry professionals, the CIQS will be using LinkedIn and will also share the videos with colleagues.
"Our main source for getting the word out to our industry is through our membership," said Weber.
"They are going to send it around to their clients."
The videos will also be shown during presentations for professional groups like bankers, architects and government officials.
"We want to reach out to the rest of the construction industry and government officials to say this is what we do and this is why you need us," said Weber.
"We have heard the stories of cost escalation getting out of control. People just need to know there is a group or profession that can help them."
The videos are available for viewing on the CIQS website at www.ciqs.org.
They can also be found on YouTube and Vimeo