Labor shortage and high workforce turnover are some of the top challenges that construction companies have faced recent years. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, around 81% of contractors say that they are having a difficult time filling positions.
These workforce challenges have a huge impact on project costs and completion times. Having an inadequate number of construction workers means projects take longer than anticipated and incur higher costs than expected. With the disruptions in the global supply chain and the rise of material costs, these expenses can be fatal to a contractor’s cash flow. Contractors have had to adjust by having higher prices in bids and contracts.
For these reasons, it is crucial that construction business owners pay particular attention to the hiring process. Here are some tips on how to hire top construction talent.
The process of hiring construction talent starts with the creation of a job posting. This is your first chance to attract talented construction employees; make an impression with the job description. A good job posting needs to be search-friendly with the right keywords that potential hires use in their search. At the same time, it should be engaging to the candidates that you are trying to reach. Finally, it should have a clear call-to-action about the next steps that the candidates need to take after reading the job posting.
The key elements your job posting should have include the following:
On job boards, the title is the first thing that candidates will see and arguably the most important job posting element. If your title is not interesting enough, the potential hire will simply scroll down to check other listings. When you write a job posting title, include the name of the position as well as a few things that will make the job attractive to candidates. For instance, you can write “Pipefitter – Competitive Pay, Training Opportunities, Excellent Benefits”
Like any job ad, construction job postings need to include detailed job responsibilities so candidates have a clear idea of what the role entails. Most construction roles are highly specialized so you need to specify these early on. Make sure that your list of responsibilities highlights the day-to-day activities that the successful candidate will be exposed to so they can decide if the job is the right fit for them.
Because of the wide range of construction roles,, qualifications also vary from certifications to college degrees. So in this section, you need to specify the educational attainment, training experience, and certifications required by the role. Don’t forget to add some soft skills, such as communication adeptness and problem solving, that you want a candidate to possess for a successful hire.
The construction environment is constantly changing with new techniques and innovations discovered. Construction employees will want to learn new skills to advance their career growth. If you offer training opportunities, make sure to mention it in your job posting.
Of course, you want to feature the role’s base salary as well as the benefits that come with it. Construction work is stressful and physically taxing so construction job candidates usually look for jobs with good health benefits. Aside from that, you will want to describe your company culture, especially the work-life balance they can expect while on the job.
Creating a good job posting ad doesn’t mean it will automatically attract top construction talent. You still have to post it on job boards to reach out to potential hires. Job boards like Indeed, Monster, and even Craigslist can do the job of reaching a large pool of candidates.
Having access to this pool, however, does not automatically translate to a large number of relevant applications. You need to target your job posting at better candidates by posting on niche job boards. Some of the best construction job boards include Construction Jobs, ConstructionJobForce, and Roadtechs. For finance and management roles, you may consider posting on the boards maintained by the Construction Financial Management Association and the Construction Management Association of America.
Do take note that access to some of these options is for a fee, so you may have to allocate a portion of your budget to your job ads.
Because of the labor shortage, the construction industry is competitive when it comes to the acquisition of construction talent. A fresh construction talent will likely be interested in a company that can provide them with opportunities for career growth. If you don’t have one, you are severely limiting yourself in terms of the quality of talent you can get.
For this reason, it is important that construction companies invest heavily in their workforce and create a clear career path for the advancement of employees within their organizations. One of the best ways to do so is to create a formal mentorship program.
Beyond attracting potential hires, a good mentorship program has several benefits to construction businesses. For instance, it is a good way for your veteran workers to share skills and tricks of the trade to your new employees. The mentors themselves will stay engaged while on the job and, at the same time, get some fresh perspective from their trainees. Finally, having a good relationship among mentors and mentees will translate to a work environment rooted in trust, something that is highly important in a dangerous job environment such as construction.
As the construction labor shortage continues, construction business owners need to be creative with their means in hiring construction talent. From the initial contact with potential candidates, the way they present the working environment, down to the monetary and non-monetary benefits, every business aspect is crucial to attracting fresh graduates. Show your willingness to invest in your employees and you will be able to weather the labor crisis and stay competitive.
About the Author:
Patrick Hogan is the CEO of Handle.com, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers secure their lien rights and get paid faster by automating the collection process for unpaid construction invoices.