Construction talent is in short supply these days, a fact well known among industry leaders and employers.
While the demand for construction services across the board is rapidly amplifying, more than 80 percent of construction firms report having significant issues finding the talent they need to support company growth, according to a recent survey.
This poses a curious dilemma for those professionals looking to tap into the benefits that taking on more projects will bring. Naturally, taking advantage of the current boom is good for business, but doing so isn’t possible without finding the labor necessary to turn those projects into reality.
While the difficulty finding and retaining qualified candidates in the construction industry is certainly causing justified frustration, there are many workable strategies out there that will help construction firms acquire the top talent they need to support their future goals, even in the midst of the ongoing labor shortage.
If you’re personally having issues hiring the right people to support your construction business and need some guidance, the following tips should help you get headed in the right direction:
Don’t leave interested job seekers hanging: When you’re trying to recruit in a tight-candidate market, it’s important to keep in mind that your competitors are working with the same labor limitations that you are. Chances are an active job seeker who applies to your company will also apply to other firms at the same time.
You don’t want to miss the opportunity to fill an important position because you waited too long to make a decision. While it’s important to never hastily offer the job to someone who isn’t a good fit for your company, taking your time when getting back to a candidate who meets all of the important requirements isn’t a good idea either.
Look at your current hiring strategy, and consider if any areas are bottlenecking the process. Try to streamline all of the steps so that the process is accessible and straightforward to potential hires, and make sure you communicate thoroughly with those who you interview on when they can expect an answer.
Ensure your pay offerings and benefits correlate with competitors: When determining what kind of salary and benefits package to offer, it’s important to keep tabs on what competing firms are proposing for comparable positions. Pay and benefits have always been and always will be powerful factors that job seekers use to consider whether a job offer is worth accepting. If your starting salary is comparably low and your benefits are not in line with what other firms are offering, it’s easy to see why a candidate would be inspired to go with another company.
Of course, what you are able to offer will depend on your firm’s unique budget, but taking a few minutes to look over job posts advertising for similar positions will help give you an idea of what the going rate should be. If you discover you currently meet or exceed what other firms are offering, you’ll know you’re in good shape.
Stand out on the web and in your company culture: When talent is a scarce resource and multiple firms are vying for the attention of the same narrow candidate pool, it’s crucial that your business stands out in some way.
When posting job advertisements, try to word them in a manner that makes them engaging and noticeable, especially in the title. Job seekers who are actively searching for employment opportunities are often seeing countless posts that match their queries.
If your listing blends in with the majority of the others, fewer job seekers will take notice of your posting. Read through other listings for the same position you’re recruiting for, and try to create a job description that’s compelling enough to stand out while still being informative.
The same sentiment applies to your website. If a candidate does consider applying to your firm, one of the first things they’ll do is check out your website.
In addition to being aesthetically appealing and easy to navigate, it’s important that your website offers a solid glimpse into what your company culture looks like. What makes your company unique, and why would someone want to work there? What values does your company stand behind? What kind of working environment exists in your company?
Consider non-traditional hiring methods: When the traditional hiring process isn’t working, you may want to step outside of the box and consider alternative solutions.
Apprenticeships, paid internships, mentorship programs, employee referral programs, and open interviews are just a few ways that you can expand your reach to potential hires. The more flexible and expansive your recruitment strategy is, the more likely you are to reach qualified individuals who would otherwise not be an option.
If you don’t have the time, patience, or know-how to fully dedicate yourself to a thorough hiring process, or if you’re having consistent issues filling the roles you need to grow your business, it can be advantageous to find a construction search firm who can do the heavy lifting for you.
If you do decide to use hiring professionals, make sure the recruiters you choose specialize in the construction industry. They’ll already have an in-depth understanding of the industry, which will allow them to efficiently market and recruit the positions you’re hiring for. Additionally, search firms generally already have qualified candidates they can reach out to on file, meaning your positions will get filled in a far more expedited manner.
The construction labor shortage is a thorn in an otherwise flourishing industry. While long-term solutions need to be developed to address the ongoing problem, committing to developing and streamlining your own hiring process, as well as knowing when to reach out to the right hiring professionals, should help you take advantage of the current growth and better fulfill your hiring needs today.
About the author:
Lauren Brookes is a Colorado writer who focuses on modern construction recruitment and career topics. She contributes content to various career and construction publications, including the construction search firm, S.R. Clarke & Associates, LLC.
Modern Contractor Solutions, January 2019
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern Contractor Solutions magazine.