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Recruitment and Careers

This section of the DKAD website is for:

  1. Those seeking employement at DKAD
  2. Students planning future career options
  3. Those currently engaged in a recruitment process with us.

Our practice is built on a culture of technical excellence and innovation. As such, any prospective employee must be capable of not only creating architecture of exceptional quality, but engaging with our clients, our systems and our colleagues in keeping with our high professional standards.

To this end, we must rigorously test and assess any new entrants to the practice. It has been our experience that academic standards vary widely among different schools of architecture, and many applicants augment their portfolio with group work, or work they simply did not create. Therefore a degree or portfolio is simply not sufficient to verify their abilities and true credentials.

DKAD is a Meritocracy- Talented Architects Working Responsibly, Aided by High Technology

We provide a clear road map for what you need to know and how you need to conduct your professional life in order to work here. We have abundant opportunities for people who meet these very high standards are delighted to work with anyone who can honestly demonstrate them. If you can do the job, you deserve to be here.

Thoroughgoing Rigor in Professional Practice

However, thoroughgoing excellence is essential to us, from the rigor of record keeping through our online practice database, to the integrity of BIM model drafting, and the quality of client communications. Our systems determine our cost base for producing work and honoring our agreements with clients. Essentially, we use automated systems to streamline our many legal obligations and the maintenance of a healthy client relationship; and this use of technology and process allows us to put more time into client service and design.

This is a core value of our practice, which has taken many years to develop. If staff fail to engage with it fully, the cost of project management rises, liability increases, and our income is reduced, adversely impacting our ability to pay competitive wages.

We simply cannot function if any staff member, regardless of their role, compromises or takes shortcuts on design quality or engagement with our professional processes:

  • BIM drafting standards
  • Use of online forms for recording work on client files
  • Use of online systems for communications

Design is Our Lifeblood- Outstanding Designers are Preferred

Our practice produces excellent design solutions for projects at any budget level. As a general rule, we will work on any project as long as our required fees are paid. Some of our best work happens on buildings which lack expensive finishes or award winning details. This because the client, and their needs always come first, even before our own portolio or our standing as designers among other architects. That ethos of putting the client first guarantees us a base of dedicated clients. While our completed often projects look ordinary our design process is as exhaustive and as meaningful as any practice in the world. Our work is intended to fully explore the clients brief, and to deliver optimal value and usability for every square meter of every client’s new space.

As such, core design abilities form part of the skills assessment procedure.

In our experience, the most notable universities do not always produce the best potential staff, and life experience and character are vitally important attributes in our working culture. We have seen many applicants with stunning design portfolios fail to complete basic construction details in keeping with the building regulations, and students with very average university grades thrive in the real world environment of design practice, producing stunning work at lightening speed.

Therefore we have developed a route for all applicants to demonstrate their actual abilities, directly  to us, if they so wish.

Skills Tests

To this end, we have developed a skills testing system. This part of our website will allow you to access a range of proprietary resources created to guide you in attaining the standards required to practice at the required level.

  • Lists of required skills
  • Testing organisations, institutions and accreditation bodies we find trustworthy
  • Samples of our work, as actual examples of the required standards in our everyday practice
  • General advice on career development in architectural practice
  • Description of our working culture
  • Information on our all important internal processes and procedures, which are as important to our business as our design output.

We provide this in the interest of fairness, and we encourage applicants to self-assess their portfolio and training profile and to continually develop themselves, so that if they do not currently meet the required standards, they can plan their continuing professional development with a specific goal in mind.

Phases of Assessment

  1. Contact by applicant
  2. DKAD provides access to our recruitment resources
  3. Applicant provides initial assessment information
  4. DKAD reviews this, and if satisfactory, invites the applicant to participate in a skills test.
  5. Should the required standard be demonstrated in the skills test, the applicant will be called for interview.
  6. Successful applicants will be hired for a trial period
  7. During that trial period, the skills assessment process will continue for a specified period, in the region of 1-2 months, which will vary from person to person, and depending on the range and stages of work they will be engaged in the current flow of ongoing projects.
  8. During the trial period, the new employee must complete a specified range of tasks satisfactorily in a commercial and professional context.
  9. At the end of the trial period, an additional interview will be conducted to assess broad suitability and fit with DKAD, before a full time permanent contract will be considered.

Verification and Assessment

Ultimately, we used a phased approach  to minimize the time needed to identify potential staff from the pool of applicants who approach us for work. We expect applicants to invest time and energy in this process as a show of commitment, good faith, and true enthusiasm for working in this practice.

Unsuccessful Candidates

If you have been invited to complete the skills test, we will provide feedback, should your application prove unsuccessful.