It’s no secret that the skills shortage continues to impact the construction industry. If you’re struggling to fill open positions at your company, here are several strategies that can boost the results of your construction recruitment efforts.
Where to Look
Where you find construction talent significantly impacts the quality of your recruits. Try implementing these proven construction recruitment tips.
Posting open positions in the local newspaper narrows your pool of potential applicants to locals who know the area—a benefit if you don’t have the funds to support a relocation package or want someone who knows their way around the area. Hiring construction employees online, by contrast, allows you to extend your reach enormously to across the state or even nationwide. Niche job boards are particularly useful, narrowing your audience to include only job seekers in your industry.
It also pays to tell your current employees about the open position and offer a small incentive for them to send you referrals. In fact, 70% of HR professionals name employee referrals as the best way to find new hires.
Passive and Active Job Seekers
Another way to widen your pool of potential hires is to consider passive as well as active job seekers. Passive job seekers tend to be currently employed but open to new opportunities. They may have their resumes uploaded to searchable resume databases. While these candidates may require greater incentive to join your company, 80% of employers agree that they are often better hires.
Don’t Stop Looking
Finally, the best way to stock your company with talented employees is to always be looking for new potential hires. A recurring advertisement on an online job board or even just a small notice on your website can catch a highly talented job seeker’s eye and lead them to apply.
Make Your Company Appealing
Once you’ve decided how you’ll target and find construction talent, the next step is to reel them in. The highest-performing candidates will be able to pick from several possible employers. Make sure yours is at the top of their list by addressing these three topics in job postings and interviews.
The first impression you make on job candidates will likely come from your company culture. Include something about the work environment and organization values in your job posting. Does your company have a particularly strong commitment to onsite safety? Do you encourage collaboration or push for a more competitive atmosphere? Also consider promoting your culture across the corporate social media pages—many job seekers are researching their potential employers online to inform their opinions of the company.
Another great benefit that can draw in top talent is incentives for above-average employee performance. For example, a manager with a record of outperforming expectations is likely to be interested in a program that offers a bonus for projects that finish 20%+ under budget. The incentive doesn’t have to be monetary, either; maybe your employee of the month gets a prominent parking space or the opportunity to leave early one day.
Advancement and continued training opportunities not only appeal to highly motivated candidates, but will also benefit you in the long run. By preparing your lower-level employees to fill upper-level positions, you ensure that those positions will never have to stand open for long. These employees are already well adjusted and have been trained to perform their tasks in the manner that best suits how your organization functions.
Know What You’re Getting
The traditional process of hiring construction employees can be long and costly. Finding candidates who fit in comfortably with your company is just as important as filling the open position. Try these methods to find and acquire long-lasting hires.
Internships and Co-Ops
The key to a great hire is often more about ensuring that the person doesn’t just look good on paper. Leverage internships and co-ops to “test-drive” students about to enter the workforce. This way, you can uncover emerging talent and offer job opportunities to the high performers before they start seriously looking elsewhere.
Checking candidate references gives you an added layer of security. It allows you to validate the information you gathered during the application and interview processes. You may also discover significant new information by hearing another perspective on the prospective employee’s accomplishments, skills, and work ethic.
If you have records of a previous job applicant who didn’t quite make the cut, but who you believe would fit well in a current open position, you may be able to reduce how long the position is vacant. Plus, you should already know if they will be a good fit for your organization. Use the contact information provided on their application materials and see if they would still be open to working for your company. Remind them that you had a strong interest for them before, and while you weren’t able to hire them for the other position, you have a new opening that you hope they consider applying to.
Find Also: 10 Construction Jobs With High Demand
Construction recruitment is not easy, particularly in today’s job market. With the right strategies, however, you can attract and retain top-notch talent. Targeting the right audience through niche job boards, local advertisements, and employee referrals is a good way to narrow your candidate pool to quality applicants, while considering passive as well as active job seekers widens your scope. Then, convince top candidates to choose your company over other potential employers by promoting your company culture and incentive programs.
Hiring construction employees is about more than simply finding candidates, however. You also have to ensure you identify talent that will fulfill your company’s specific needs. This may be accomplished by checking references, as mentioned above, as well as by running a working interview or reviewing applicants’ professional portfolios (depending on the position).
If you’re struggling to determine ways to find or appeal to top talent, your current employees may be a great resource. Ask them how they (and their friends) have searched for jobs in the past, or ask them to list their three most favorite things about your company. You don’t have to guess what makes someone want to work for you—just ask the people who know!
About the Author: Erin Coursey is a Staff Writer for iHireConstruction, an industry-specific job board specializing in construction/skilled trades jobs and hiring.