Name - Tina Hancock
Role - Managing Quantity Surveyor
Team - North & Scotland
Based - Dewsbury, West Yorkshire
I kickstarted my career during the recession which was of course hugely challenging for a lot of people, with quantity surveyors working at smaller firms particularly suffering. Whilst a lot of building projects and works were paused with a restart date looking highly unlikely, work and maintenance on our roads couldn’t just be paused the same way, which made Tarmac a highly attractive employer amongst an extremely tight labour market. Even now, regardless of what’s been going on in the economy, I’ve always felt safe and secure here due to the size of the business and diverse nature of work Tarmac is involved with.
My first role with Tarmac came ten years ago as an assistant quantity surveyor. I progressed to quantity surveyor, then senior quantity surveyor and now managing quantity surveyor. I’ve always been really well supported and feel really proud to have progressed to where I am now. I’ve gradually been given more projects, more responsibilities and more budget to manage and I also now run our admin and estimating department, so I’ve got a lot on my plate!
My role is very cyclical, with a month-to-month focus on collating and analysing all my costs from the previous month and then weekly forecasting on what’s to come. There’s lots of cost checking WIP (work in progress), balancing, forecasting and allowing for the uncontrollable factors that may significant effect what’s being forecasted. We’re always looking at why money has been earned or lost and how we can improve our ways of working.
There are a few reasons I really enjoy my job and working at Tarmac – I feel very empowered to manage my own work and like the general autonomy that comes with that. Quantity surveyors aren’t just given a small area of work to focus on in the background on a project, there’s lots of collaborating with others – both within the department and other teams – to problem-solve and find the best ways to add value. I’ve got a great manager who’s really supportive and there’s a strong, joined-up team culture. We have a brilliant work-life balance, which isn’t always something you’ll come across as a quantity surveyor. Yes, sometimes we’re on site early and can be off late as it’s just the nature of the job, but in general the business is very good at facilitating a healthy work-life balance.
The other key thing for me that keeps me happy at Tarmac is the security and longevity the organisation offers. I know that many quantity surveyors who work at smaller building firms might have a bit of a nervousness month-to-month as to whether the work will dry up for them due to the economy or company performance. Due to the size of Tarmac and how the quantity surveying department is set up from a contract perspective, I’ve got that job security. We have a variety of contracts that are being renewed alongside others being added – these can range from five or six to ten to twelve years. It’s rare you’ll get that security and flexibility elsewhere in our profession and I’d say that makes us particularly appealing to those wanting to explore a career break to have children.