Our client is a long-established construction firm based in California. With over 50 years of experience in full-service general contracting, the company specialises in multifamily, academic, civic and commercial construction. They have a broad portfolio of successful developments across California, from apartment blocks and veterans’ communities to stadiums and shopping centres.

Their team had had a poor experience with a previous recruiter, who had delivered a sub-par shortlist of CVs which resulted in an unsuccessful placement. As such, they were keen to partner with a construction industry expert with integrity as well as expertise.



When we first spoke with the client, they were struggling with a lack of capacity in their estimating team. Estimators play a crucial role in construction, working with project owners and contractors to gauge the scope and cost of a project. However, today their role is more significant than ever, given the rising cost of materials and labor and the supply chain issues facing the construction industry.

In this climate, a great estimator can save their firm millions of dollars by avoiding massive overspending. They require substantial experience and a deep understanding of the interrelated factors affecting the industry. As such, their skills are incredibly hard to come by, particularly if you are limited by location.

Our client was finding their current estimating team extremely overstretched and in need of leadership. They were therefore looking for a senior professional who would not just lead on project estimating but also build and develop a team to increase the firm’s capacity in this function in the long term.

Their requirements were not insubstantial. As well as being a talented individual with experience in the right locations and types of projects, the candidate would need to live within commutable distance to attend their Sacramento offices full-time. Longevity was also important to the client; an individual who was committed to the firm and its success in the long term.

In short, they were looking for – what we recruiters call – a purple unicorn; the elusive perfect candidate.



This project sounded like a real challenge. Further to the overall construction talent shortage, operating within a limited location – considering the huge number of estimating positions which are now hybrid or remote – could have been near-impossible.

However, at the time we had been working for several months with one of our estimator contacts to find a new opportunity for him in the California region. He had been in his position for over 15 years and internal changes were prompting him to look for a new, more senior but still stable position. We were sure he’d be a great fit, with experience in multifamily construction, as well as management. He’d certainly demonstrated company loyalty and felt a good cultural fit with our client.

The team were blown away by his resume and promptly set up an interview conversation involving all the relevant stakeholders. We assume it well because they offered him the job the very next day.

We then supported both parties through contract negotiations to ensure a smooth transition and onboarding.



This project was a dream as a talent partner; to match a great candidate with the perfect opportunity. After working with this individual for a while to find the right role and company, it was a pleasure to support him in the next step of his career.

Similarly, providing our client with such a capable and passionate candidate will be transformative in empowering their estimating team. His expertise will ensure effective project planning and risk management, and his leadership will be influential in the development of the firm’s capabilities and project successes.

The client is delighted with the outcome, as well as the speed and ease of the process, we achieved the seemingly impossible task of finding them their purple unicorn candidate. We are now working with them on another estimating vacancy.



Looking for construction talent and executive search services? Why not book a consultation with one of our specialist recruitment consultants to discover how you too, can secure world-class talent at speed.

In the meantime, feel free to download our specialist talent acquisition case study to share with your internal talent team.