Finding qualified construction employees is becoming increasingly difficult. The 2020 Construction Outlook Survey by the Associated General Contractors of America found that 81% of construction firms are struggling to fill hourly and salaried craft positions. What’s more, 72% of the firms surveyed said they expected labor shortage to be their biggest challenge the remainder of the year.
Now that summer is here and construction projects are picking up, many hiring managers are under intense pressure to find talent … fast. While you might be tempted to hire the first able-bodied individual who applies, it isn’t always the best plan of attack. To find candidates who will make your business better, it’s important to do your due diligence. There are tweaks you can make throughout the hiring process to improve your chances of finding the ideal team member(s).
1.) Be clear in your job postings. When you’re in a rush, it’s easy to post a hiring notice and leave it at that. But to recruit the best people for the job, you need to clearly state what the position entails, including the hours, pay, required experience and opportunities for growth. If you’re struggling to come up with a thorough description, check out these handy templates from Workable.
2.) Post the position in multiple places. Posting job openings on your company website is a no-brainer, but it’s important to extend your reach beyond that. Sites like CareerBuilder, Monster, LinkedIn and Indeed cost very little, making it easy to reach a larger audience. Remember that not everyone who works in the industry has easy access to an internet connection, computer or smartphone. As a result, it’s a good idea to use “old-fashioned” recruiting methods, too. Post job openings at your local library, community center or a transportation hub like bus or light-rail stations.
3.) Ask for (and follow up with) references. Certain skilled jobs, like welding, plumbing and carpentry, require special licenses and certification. A candidate may claim to have this experience, but it’s risky to just take their word for it. Before extending a job offer, always ask for and follow up with references. Previous employers can provide insight into an applicant’s skill set and work ethic, which is invaluable if you’re trying to keep turnover low.
4.) Recruit throughout the year. Many business owners make the mistake of recruiting at the last minute. You can reduce quite a bit of stress and anxiety by casting lines throughout the year. Even if you don’t have an opening at the moment, it’s a good idea to keep your eyes open. If you haven’t already, consider participating in an internship or apprentice program. You can share your knowledge with young professionals and ultimately recruit those who display potential.