Covid-19. The great resignation. The desire for remote jobs. Combine all of this and what do you get?
A massive shortage of construction workers.
According to one report, the construction industry needs 2.2 million new hires in the next 3 years to keep up with demand. That means construction companies like yours are going to be competing for the best hires.
It’s time to improve your construction recruiting strategies!
In this article, we’ll give you pro tips and tricks that’ll help you leverage the best recruitment strategies for construction companies to find the talent you need.
Top Recruitment Strategies for Construction Companies
We’re going to break down construction recruitment strategies into 4 areas:
- Your brand
- Finding potential qualified employees
- The interview
Let’s start with your brand.
When most construction companies need to fill positions, the first thing they think is “Where can we find potential hires?” But really, you should first take a look at your brand to see what impression you’re giving to potential employees.
When they see your job posting and look up your company, do they see…
- An outdated company that looks like all the other companies vying for their attention?
- Or do they see a modern, progressive company that cares about its employees and the community?
Want to make the best first impression with your brand? Then consider these 8 points.
Think…what are our priorities as a company?
- Are profit and production put above all else (including employee safety and satisfaction)?
- Or do you focus more on worker safety, quality work, and employee retention?
For example, let’s say you want to make worker safety a greater priority. In addition to implementing safety measures on the job site, showcase on your website and in recruitment materials how your focus on safety helps you care for your employees.
Adopt a Worker-First Mindset
Construction jobs are notoriously hard. You’ve got manual labor done in rough conditions and sometimes even outside in bad weather. When there’s a shortage of jobs, construction workers have to accept those rough conditions in order to have a job.
But now with the current job market, the tables have turned. Employers have to put a greater focus on workers’ mental health in order to attract and retain employees.
One of the best ways to do that is by creating a flexible work program.
- Offer a variety of shift schedules and part-time options
- Encourage shift sharing
- Consider implementing a compressed 4-day workweek
- Offer appropriate positions the option of working remotely when needed
Remember, your company is only as good as your employees. Adopt a worker-first mindset and it’ll be easier to recruit new hires (and not to mention your productivity and employee retention will also increase).
Use Technology to Reach a Larger Audience
Don’t rely on the newspaper classifieds or a website that looks like it’s straight out of 1997. Show that your company’s brand has moved into the 21st century by leveraging technologies like social media and online content to reach younger construction workers.
You can also look for ways to use modern technologies on your projects — like drones, 3D design and renderings, and the latest software solutions.
Remember that many of your new hires will be millennials. They aren’t intimidated by computers (unlike many construction workers from previous generations). In fact, when they see that your company is up-to-date with the newest technologies, they’re more likely to want to work with you.
Build Career Paths
Top talent is usually ambitious — they’re looking for a career, not just a job. But sadly in the past, construction was just viewed as a job you could work until you found something better.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Show talented hires that if they work with you they will have a career and not just a job. To do that, outline a career path. Showcase a variety of goals that a new hire could work to achieve within your company.
And most importantly, show potential hires how you as a company will help them reach those goals with…
- A clear growth path
- Training and Education
- Tuition reimbursement
- Mentoring opportunities
Avoid Losing Current Workforce
Save yourself a ton of hassle by not losing the workers you have. If you don’t keep your current employees, you’ll lose time and money…
- Trying to find new ones
- Training new employees
- Dealing with delayed projects
So take a look at your current employee retention rate. Is there room for improvement?
Implementing the best construction recruitment strategies won’t help you much if you keep losing employees. It’s kind of like trying to fill a leaking bucket without first fixing the leak.
So how do you find “the leak”? How do you figure out why employees are leaving?
Why not ask your employees? Ask…
- What they don’t like about their current job
- Why they would consider switching to another company
- What suggestions do they have to make their current job more enjoyable
Once you improve your employee retention rate, be sure to highlight that in your recruiting materials. A good retention rate shows your company is a great place to work.
Offer Signing Bonuses
When planning your construction recruiting strategies, consider offering a signing bonus to help you stay competitive. Plus, offering a signing bonus shows you are truly interested in a potential hire.
A signing bonus also helps incentivize people to switch to your company. To make the switch an employee might’ve had to forfeit other benefits or even a slightly larger salary. A nice signing bonus helps make up the difference.
Expand Benefits Packages
Benefits are important to employees. In fact, according to one report 60% of employees say that benefits are very important to their job satisfaction. So even if you don’t have the budget to offer higher salaries or a big signing bonus, look for ways to expand other benefits you offer.
Consider improving specific benefits such as…
- The amount of paid time off
- Health benefits
- 401K or similar plans
- Wellness programs
- Child care
Build a Careers Page
Take a good honest look at your company’s career page.
- Is it just a simple mission statement with a bland and uninspiring list of a few generic values?
- Is it filled with a bunch of stock photos?
- Would you feel inspired to work for the company if you were a new hire?
It’s probably time to revamp your career page to attract the kind of talent you need. Here are a few ideas.
Include real photos of real employees in action. Just like most people can spot a fake smile, most can also spot a generic stock photo.
What message are you giving potential hires when they can’t find a genuine picture of one of your happy employees?
So make sure it’s clear that the photos you include on the career page aren’t generic stock photos. A good way to do that is to include branded shirts or uniforms in the pictures.
Add genuine testimonials. Include statements from real employees that allow them to express how they feel about your company’s work environment.
Remember…anyone can claim to be the best place to work. But if real employees say it, potential recruits will see it as being much more credible.
Write a mission statement that’s not an average mission statement. Most mission statements are diluted, generic, and abstract. Yours doesn’t have to be.
- Keep it simple
- Be specific about what you do
- Include something about your culture
- Show what sets you apart from other construction companies
Ok, so by now you’ve learned some construction recruitment tactics to help get potential hires excited about working with your company.
But how are you going to find the right talent? Get some tips and tricks in the next section.
Source the Best Qualified Employees
So you’ve established your company brand as a great place to work. Now it’s time to get the word out there. Here are 5 tips that can help you find qualified recruits for your construction business.
- Job Boards
Job boards are one of the first places companies turn to attract new hires. With job boards like Indeed and Monster, you can reach millions of job hunters.
You should also consider construction-specific job boards like ConstructionJobs and iHireConstruction. You’ll get fewer but more targeted leads.
- Recruitment Firms
If you’re struggling to find the right candidates on regular job boards, consider working with a construction recruitment agency. They work to match employers with qualified candidates.
Usually, the agency maintains a database of skilled professionals. If they can’t fill the position with candidates they have on file, they’ll advertise the role, sift through potential candidates and help schedule interviews.
Working with a recruitment firm costs more than a simple job board posting, but in the long run, it saves you a lot of time and hassle.
- Word of Mouth/Referrals
Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth referrals.
There’s a saying in sales that your happiest customers are your best salespeople. That’s because they love talking about your product/service and without thinking, promote it to others.
The same is true with your employees. Your happiest employees can be your best recruiters.
Here are some ideas to help turn your current employees into a recruiting machine:
- Share your hiring plans. Tell your team what kind of candidates you’re looking for.
- Incentivize them with rewards. Consider rewarding employees if they refer someone who is hired for a position.
- Encourage employees to share job openings on their social feeds.
- Train employees to spot talent.
- And most important…keep your current employees happy.
Use job fairs or career days to engage with students at local schools or universities and open their eyes to the possibilities of working in the construction field.
This is a great opportunity to showcase your brand (remember the 1st section?) and highlight opportunities for growth, training, working with modern technology, and enjoying a long-term career.
- Follow Up with Prospects
Don’t expect to hear back from potential candidates after just one phone call or email. More than ever you have to work to cultivate warm leads.
So if you don’t hear back from a prospect after a few days, shoot them an email or send them a message to check in and see if they had any questions or concerns. Show genuine interest without spamming them and you’re more likely to catch their interest.
At this point in your construction recruitment process you’ve adjusted your brand image, found a bunch of potential candidates and now you’re ready for some interviews.
- Keep it Simple
Interviews don’t have to be complicated. In fact, the more simple and more straightforward they are the better it is for you and your candidates.
So start to clearly explain what candidates should expect throughout the interview process.
Then do everything you can to help candidates feel at ease. The last thing you want is for them to be so stressed out during the interview that you don’t really get to understand them as a person.
And keep the questions simple, but not too simple. Try to avoid yes or no questions and instead ask open ended questions.
“Would you say that you are a team player?”
“What challenges have you faced when working on a team in the past?”
Simple, open-ended questions like that give the candidate the opportunity to express themselves, and you the opportunity to learn more about them.
- Be Transparent
A confusing hiring process is likely to send potential candidates running for other companies. So right from the start, make sure recruits know exactly what they’re getting into.
- Make sure they understand the different steps of the hiring process
- Give them an idea of when they’ll hear back from you
- Send a message to confirm when a candidate has passed a specific step and to let them know what’s coming next.
- Ask for Feedback
One of the best ways to know how to improve your interview process is by asking for feedback.
Recently hired employees: Check with new employees to see what they thought about the hiring process.
- How did their interview go?
- How did they feel before, during, and after?
- Were the recruiters easy to communicate with?
- Were they ever confused during the hiring process?
- Do they have any suggestions on how to improve it?
Employees you didn’t hire: Even if you didn’t end up hiring someone, you can still gain valuable info from them. Try to follow up and ask about how the interview went and if they have any suggestions for improvement.
You might be thinking…but isn’t training offered after someone is hired? How does it fit into my recruitment plans?
Well, by offering training you achieve several important objectives.
- Improve employee satisfaction and retention rates
- Increase productivity and reduce mistakes
- Provide incentives for potential candidates
- Promote employee advancement within the company
And let’s just be clear, “training” does not mean sticking a new hire on a crew and telling them to watch and learn.
Here are a few ideas for providing better training:
- Offer specific training within the first few weeks.
- Make sure ongoing training is structured and organized.
- Check what free training resources tools and design software companies offer.
- Offer incentives for pursuing courses and certifications from sources outside the company.
- Leverage modern technology like video content and web conferences to train more people faster.
- Add regular time into people’s schedules specifically for training.
Once you’ve got some organized training programs in place, be sure to showcase them in your recruiting materials. It shows potential hires that you care about your employees and want to help them be successful.
Construction recruiting can be a challenging process. But by following the tips in this article you can skip a lot of the hassle and find the talent you need faster than ever.
However, getting new employees up to speed can be a challenge, especially if they’re working in the project planning stages. But if you use home design software like Cedreo, your new employees can hit the ground running.
Its intuitive toolset is easy for anyone to learn, even if they have no previous design experience. That’s right…no complicated training and no need to look for hires with CAD experience.