construction recruiting

Recruiting in the Throes of Construction’s Busy Season

Drive-thru:

  • Your employer brand tells candidates a story about what it’s like to work for your company. Make sure it is a true reflection of what it’s like once candidates come on board.
  • Keep a talent bench, so you don’t have to recruit from scratch mid-season.
  • If a skill gap is an issue, try training methods before searching for a replacement.

Construction season may not be the same for every crew, but one thing is true no matter the region or company size: It’s sure to be busy. Superintendents and project managers aren’t psychic, so they can’t always predict what will happen during the busy season. Some crews may find themselves short-staffed at the height of the busiest times of year without much time or support to bring on additional crew members.

While it’s certainly not ideal to have to put on your hiring hat at the same time you’re wearing every other hat in your arsenal, there are proactive strategies that businesses can incorporate to attract and hire good workers even at peak season.

Build your Employer Brand

What comes to mind when you think of the Carhartt brand? Most would agree that Carhartt has a reputation of being rugged, outdoorsy, and built to last. The way they communicate their product benefits to customers has helped Carhartt build the4 reputation over the years.

Your employer brand is pretty similar. It describes your reputation as an employer and the value proposition your business brings to employees.

What are the benefits of working at your organization? Why do current employees enjoy working for you? Can candidates gain an understanding of your company culture through your online presence? These are all questions you should ask yourself to determine whether your employer brand is competitive enough to attract the best talent.

Building a strong employer brand can be done at any time. It is certainly helpful when the busy season hits as possible candidates in your area will already be familiar with your company.

Just make sure the story you’re telling is true. It doesn’t do anyone any good to promote workplace qualities that aren’t true and the truth will come out as as soon as new hires come on board.

Consider a few ways to build your employer brand:

  • Publicize every single benefit you offer to employees on your career page, in your job description, and during the interview process. You never know what might cause a candidate to choose your position over another offer.
  • Showcase your company culture online. Post photos and videos of your employees, workspaces, break room, job sites and special events on your website and social media pages.
  • Consider a community partnership. According to a Fortune study, 66 percent of employees between the ages of 18 and 34 were more likely to want to work for a company that gives back. Consider partnering with a local charity to show younger employees and candidates that your company cares about the community.

Create a Talent Bench

Many hiring managers spend the weeks and months leading up to their first big project preparing to bring on additional employees. While conducting phone screens and interviews, hiring managers should save records of each candidate’s interview notes and skill sets. This way, they’ll be able to determine if the candidate meets the requirements of the position they applied for, but also to assess if they’re right for any potential opening in the future.

Even if you don’t end up extending an offer to a candidate, it’s a good practice to build and maintain a talent bench to fall back on, should the need for additional staff arise. Keeping these notes in a centralized storage system, like an e-filing system, makes it easier for managers to recall candidate qualities from past interviews. Rather than starting the recruiting process again from scratch, hiring managers will already have a pool of interested candidates to call.

Mobile Recruiting

One study found that 82 percent of hourly workers now search for jobs on a mobile device or smartphone. Since most construction jobs are considered hourly positions, it’s important to ensure your mobile recruiting strategy is on point to reach the biggest pool of candidates.

Using job boards and social media for recruiting purposes can help alleviate recruiting worries mid-season, especially since hiring managers can access these platforms anywhere from their own mobile devices. In the world of instant feedback, it’s especially important to respond to job inquiries as quickly as possible, before another company has a chance to set up an interview.

Training

Training is an essential component of any job, especially construction positions. If your new framer isn’t quite cut out for the job, consider training as an option before letting them go. By choosing this route, companies can save up to $4,000 on recruiting costs per employee.

Put the employee on a team with a skilled framer who can show them the ropes and offer additional online training courses. You could also consider whether they are a fit for another type of position within your company, even if they weren’t originally hired for it. Working to close the skill gap instead of finding a replacement can save time and money when everything is going at a fever pitch.

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