How to Hire a Construction Estimator in a Competitive Market


Has your business been affected by what many call “the great resignation”? It seems like every industry has been hit hard.

As a result, you might be struggling to fill open positions in your company, especially for highly specialized jobs like a construction estimator. Without a good construction estimator, it’s going to be tough to plan your projects, keep them on budget and stay profitable.

We feel your pain and we want to help. In this 5-minute read, we’ll show you…

Let’s start with a quick overview of today’s talent-driven job market.

Today’s Talent Driven Job Market

With more job openings than people to fill them, today’s job market is skewed in favor of the talent that’s looking for work.

In the past, talented candidates had to put so much effort into perfecting their resume and then sending it to as many companies as possible. They knew that recruiters would take just a few seconds to review a resume and then decide whether or not they wanted to consider the person for a job.

Companies just didn’t need to worry as much about filling key positions as soon as possible. They knew that if you weren’t a perfect fit, before long, they’d have 20 other applicants to consider.

Now it’s the complete opposite. The power is now in the hands of the talent.

HR and recruiters need to jump on any job application as soon as possible and if interested, contact the prospect right away. Remember, you’re in fierce competition with the five or ten other companies who are trying to attract the same talent.

That means you need a well-planned approach for finding, attracting and hiring the right candidates.

How can you do that? Keep going in the next section to get 5 pro tips.

construction estimate illustration

How to Hire a Construction Estimator During this Time

1. Stretch Your Timeline

If you’re in the process of hiring a construction estimator, it’s important to take your time and not rush the decision.

While it may be tempting to hire the first candidate that you interview, you need to remember that this is a critical role on your construction team. The estimator plays a key role in ensuring that your projects stay on budget, so it’s important to take the time to find someone who is a good fit for your team.

So in order to find the right estimator, be prepared to interview several candidates and stretch out your hiring timeline. It may take longer than you originally planned to find the right hire, but it will be worth it in the end.

2. Boost Your Perfected Job Ads

Look for ways to boost your hiring success by perfecting your job ads. Remember, your job ad is like the first handshake with a potential hire so be sure to make a good first impression.

One of the best ways is by creating a very specific job ad. Remember, the construction industry is a broad field, and there are a lot of different specialties within it, even for construction estimators.

So by being specific about the industry you work in, the role you’re looking to fill, and your company, you give applicants a better sense of whether they’re a good fit for the position so they can self-select out if they’re not. That saves you loads of time and energy in the long run.

3. Offer Pay Accordingly

It’s no secret that money is a major factor when it comes to job satisfaction. In fact, a recent study found that 63% of workers who quit their job did so because of low pay.

And with the war for talent becoming increasingly heated, it’s more important than ever for businesses to offer competitive salaries in order to attract and retain the best employees.

So check your numbers and see if you can offer a more competitive salary. Remember that while you may have to pay a skilled construction estimator a higher salary, they are a key part of your business that helps you stay profitable. The investment is worth it.

4. Offer Hybrid or Flexible Work Schedules

In the post-pandemic world, hybrid work schedules and remote work options are the norms. Gone are the days of a strict 9-5 desk job.

Today employees value the ability to tailor their workday to their personal needs, whether that means starting early to avoid rush hour traffic or working some days from home to take care of their kids.

By offering these types of options, you can send the message that you value your employees’ time and well-being. As a result, you’re more likely to attract high-quality candidates who are looking for a flexible working arrangement.

5. Vet Your Current Workforce

If you’re struggling to find the right estimator for your company, why not consider promoting someone who is already on your team?

There are several nice benefits to doing this:

  • You already have a good idea of the candidate’s qualifications. After all, you’ve been working with them for a while, so you know their strengths and weaknesses.
  • The hiring process is a lot easier since you won’t have to spend as much time reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates. The time you would’ve spent in the hiring process, you can spend training your new estimator.
  • Promoting from within helps boost morale among your employees. They’ll see that there are opportunities for advancement within the company, which can encourage them to work harder and stay with the organization for longer.

How to Set them Up for Success

Whether you plan on hiring an estimator from within your company or are looking for an outside recruit, here are two ways you can set them up for success.

Train Extensively

No two construction companies are exactly alike — each uses different software, workflows, suppliers and production rates. That means even if you hire an experienced estimator, they will still need training specific to your company.

Plan on offering a certain amount of training and mention this to potential hires. This helps them to see that you want them to succeed and are willing to invest time and resources to make that happen.

But it’s also important to be flexible and ready to adapt your training to your specific hire. You can do that right from the hiring process.

  • Ask them about their skills, past experience, what estimating programs they’re comfortable with and any specialties they might have.
  • Ask them what type of training they feel they need to be successful at your company.

Investing in the training of your new estimator is an essential part of ensuring their success and the success of your construction projects. With the right training, they’ll be able to provide accurate estimates that save you time and money. So don’t skimp on training – it’s an essential investment in the success of your business.

Use Construction Estimating Software

If you’re already working with easy-to-use design and cost estimating software, the onboarding process will be even more successful.

The gold standard for residential construction and remodeling companies is the Cedreo and CostCertified combination. This combination is designed to be powerful enough for experienced builders yet intuitive enough that new users can start designing and estimating in a matter of hours.

With Cedreo home design software you can:

  • Design an entire home in as little as two hours
  • Impress clients with lifelike 3D renderings of proposed projects
  • Streamline team collaboration with cloud-based software

*Cedreo has a free version you can try today to see how well it’ll work for your company. Sign up here.

Then add the CostCertified estimating integration and the two work together seamlessly.

  • Get accurate estimates without having to manually input material lists
  • Create multiple options so you can adapt estimates based on clients’ needs
  • Easily offer product upgrades so you can increase profits
  • Cloud-based software adapts to flexible work schedules

With an easy-to-use design and estimating platform like Cedreo + CostCertified, your new estimators can hit the ground running so your business doesn’t miss a beat.

Screenshot CostCertified

The Bottom Line

Hiring a good construction estimator can be a tough task in today’s job market. It’s important to find a talented estimator. But take too long to find one and you risk losing valuable time and money.

So why not skip the hassle and follow the tips in this article?

  • Set a reasonable hiring timeline
  • Create specific job ads
  • Offer competitive salaries
  • Offer flexible work schedules
  • Look for candidates in your current workforce

Then once you find the right hire, do everything you can to set them up for success.

  • Invest time in training
  • Use construction design & estimating software like Cedreo with the CostCertified integration

With Cedreo’s free version you’ve got nothing to lose. Sign up today and see how it can streamline your design and estimating workflow.

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