Finding BIM Unicorns – Traits to Look for in Outstanding 3D Modelers

We like to talk about unicorns. Not the four-legged, horned mythical beast, but that difficult-to-find individual with exceptional skills in digital workflows.  We've discussed these unicorns previously and examined the traits that make them so desirable. But how do you go about finding one of those rare birds? We have three ideas about where to look for them and how to draw them out.

Do a gamer survey

Do a quick survey. Ask your best BIM staff members who is a gamer. I think you'll find that most are gamers. Online gaming is becoming increasingly popular – not just for spectators but for those playing too. "Professional gamer" is now a legitimate title, and even companies like Facebook are recognizing the value of having a pro-gamer on staff. Gamers click fast, and that speed is becoming increasingly important as we move ever further into new ways of working digitally. Gamification is quickly becoming relevant in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) space, and looks to become even more popular as virtual reality technology improves and becomes more commonplace.

Find the techies

Qualified people can be found in traditional firms; just look for the most technical. Tech-savvy individuals often get put into support roles, and these overhead positions make it easier to hire talented individuals. For smaller companies, a dedicated BIM manager may not be an affordable option, but an experienced tech professional working with an outside BIM consultant can achieve the same results without the hefty price tag.

Offer relocation

While relocating individuals isn't cheap, it's cheaper than paying for a head hunter.We've noted the career challenges BIM and VDC professionals face and how to address them. Recognizing these challenges can help find qualified people who may have hit a proverbial road block in their current position. Offering them the professional mobility they're looking for can be the right nudge to convince them to move to your area.

As the AEC sector continues to become more technical, firms have to become more creative in how they find the most qualified people. Sometimes the best option is to look beyond the AEC space for workers with tech knowledge who can easily be integrated into BIM practices. You may just find your unicorn.


As you may have noticed, we've been doing a lot of writing about the impact of computational BIM, generative design, and the future of how we work. One thing we haven't done is turn some of this thinking into more rigorous analysis. But now we're ready to do that! 

If you work for a general contractor, subcontractor, or design firm and want to collaborate on whitepapers that quantify how computational methods of working will change our industry, reach out to us and let’s talk about what we can do. We're open to collaborations worldwide and have lots of ways of measuring performance indicators to gain insight into change in our industry. Contact Brett Young at

Tags: Business of BIM

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