The construction industry is booming. According to the American Institutes of Architects’ Consensus Forecast, non-residential construction is expected to grow 4.6% in 2022. On the residential side, the Oxford Economics and Construct Connect Forecast predicts 9% growth in the residential sector. And one thing is certain, where there is growth, there will always be challenges in meeting the demand for workers. The Home Builders Institute is currently reporting that the number of open construction sector jobs is averaging between 300,000 to 400,000 each month. Furthermore, their Construction Labor Market Report suggests that the construction industry will need more than 61,000 new hires each month to keep up with both industry growth and the loss of workers through attrition and turnover. According to HBI CEO Ed Brady, “From 2022 through 2024, this total represents a need for an additional 2.2 million new hires for construction, and that’s a staggering number.”
With numbers like those in mind, it’s clear that recruitment tactics for the construction industry have never been more critical. To face this challenge, construction companies will need to change recruitment plans and improve techniques to retain valuable crew already in the field. In a sector that is often slow to change, it’s time to learn to build a better recruitment strategy for the construction industry.
Diversify Candidate Sourcing
A recent study conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics for the quarterly USG Corporation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index revealed a clear lack of consistent recruitment strategies in the industry. During the study, contractors were asked to select all the ways they use to recruit people. More than half of the respondents failed to select any of the provided options, not even placing traditional advertisements. This indicates that there is room for improvement. Gone are the days of the “post and pray” recruitment strategy and candidate sourcing will need to be diversified. Adding in the use of job boards, social media campaigns, and targeting campaigns to under-represented populations in the industry such as women will help to widen candidate pools and increase your workforce numbers faster.
In our Hourly Candidate Viewpoints webinar, we covered the findings of a recent study we did where we found that 63% of candidates use job boards as their top choice when it comes to job hunting. To improve your sourcing job board placement will be a key factor in the coming years.
In the survey mentioned above, we found that social media was the number two choice for job seekers. With more than 3.96 billion users worldwide, chances are the candidates you seek are logging in regularly. When you partner with Work4 for your social job sharing needs, we provide you with targeted audiences and bring you the highly qualified leads you need with the skill sets that are in demand for your crew.
One LinkedIn study revealed that 92% of consumers trust their peers over brands when they consider purchasing. The same opinion holds true in recruitment. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer employee voice is trusted three times more than corporate messaging when it comes to gauging what it’s like to work for a company. Furthermore, studies show that employees gained through referral are more likely to remain with your company longer and therefore have less chance of early turnover.
Keep your current employees up to date about your vacancies and make it easy for them to share openings on their personal social media accounts. Work4 has a tool created specifically for this purpose. Combine it with a referral bonus program and you can harness the power of employee voice for your organization.
Giving presentations at your local high schools and trade schools is a sure way to spread the word about your company. Offer summer jobs, internships, or apprenticeships to engage students and give them a general sense of the construction industry. Even if you don’t hire them, you’ll be the first company they consider when their job search begins.
Streamline Your Application Process
We live in a time where people now more than ever have instant access to the world at large. Customers have grown accustomed to one-click ordering, the job market is the same as any other marketplace. According to one LinkedIn study, 60% of job seekers will abandon an application if it is too long or too complex. Take the time to analyze your hiring process. Do all that you can to eliminate frictions, break down bottlenecks and make it easier for someone to apply to join your team at the click of a button.
Modern candidates live their lives on the go, if your application process can’t be done easily from a cell phone, you may be missing out on top talent. From websites to job boards and applications ensure that you are putting the focus on being mobile-friendly. A report from HR Dive showed that roughly 61% of job applications sent in 2020 were done by use of a mobile device. As we continue into the digital future, this trend will only increase.
Automate Sourcing and Nurturing
In a candidate-driven market, the key to recruiting success is often being faster than the competition in reaching out to candidate leads. According to some of our top clients, the best results are achieved when follow-up occurs within eight minutes of initial contact. To achieve this, consider adding a messaging campaign to your recruiting strategy. This emerging technology can be set for automation through SMS text, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Email, and more. A strong messaging campaign can move to the head of the competition pack while reducing hands-on recruiting time as well as the cost of hire and time to hire.
Remodel Your Interview Process
Now that you’ve sourced your high-quality prospects it’s time for the big day, the interviews. But interviews poorly handled can reduce your chances of securing top talent or even the right talent. Bad hires can cost companies as much as 30% of the hire’s annual salary so you’ll want to focus on getting it right.
Keep it Simple
First things first, always give the candidate the courtesy of starting your interview on time. Take time to introduce yourself and your company. An evidence-based recruiting process is a preferred method by leading construction companies. To achieve this, avoid yes/no questions. Instead, ask open-ended “what,” “why,” and “how” questions to keep the conversation going.
Keep it Level
Transparency in the hiring process goes a long way towards securing your position as a top choice for candidates. Keep them informed of every step they will encounter on the way to being hired, give them realistic timelines and stick to them. This is also the time to educate prospective hires on the benefits of working for your company vs a competitor and any unique perks you may offer.
Follow Up or Be Forgotten
Earlier, in this article, we mentioned that a whopping 75% of candidates never hear back from a company they interview with. Taking the time to follow up with every candidate can help you to build a consistent talent pipeline to keep at your disposal. After all, you surely won’t hire every applicant you interview. But you never know when a position that is right for them may open up. But, an effective follow-up strategy for these candidates goes a long way toward maintaining their interest in future opportunities that may arise. Studies show that rejected talent is 4x more likely to consider a future opportunity with your brand when you offer them constructive feedback.
Improve Retention Efforts
It costs less money to keep talent than it does to replace them, especially in such a tight labor market. Make sure not to skip retention efforts when putting together your recruiting blueprint.
Invest in On-going Training
When you make the effort to provide ongoing training it allows your employees to recognize that the company is committed to making them successful. Continuous training also shows commitment to a safe workplace. Additionally if done right, you can use this training to cross-train your employees to handle multiple specialties giving you more flexibility on each build.
Place a Focus on Building Careers
One of the number one reasons employees leave jobs is due to a feeling of stagnation within their careers. Place a focus on promoting from within whenever possible and show top performers that they can have a career within your organization that advances with them.
More Than Just the Benjamins
The modern candidate is looking for more than just a paycheck. More and more people are emphasizing work-life balance and seeking jobs that can provide them with it. In a candidate-driven competitive market, you’ll need to look at your total compensation package and consider including things beyond a paycheck. This can include flex schedules if possible, benefits/bonuses, perks such as passes to local businesses, and more. Whether your company is local or national, construction firms need to focus on the job satisfaction of their employees to retain top talent.
A Solid Blueprint for Recruiting
If you’re ready to build a better recruitment strategy for your construction business, contact us today! We offer unique and customizable recruitment marketing packages that can help you increase your qualified leads as well as decrease both your time to fill and your cost per hire.
From social media marketing and job sharing to message recruiting and nurturing campaigns, we can help to give you a solid recruiting foundation. Click below to schedule a meeting with one of our professionals.
On the Road to Better Hires
Fleets can’t afford to let their rigs sit idle. If you are ready to create a strong, successful truck driver recruiting strategy, Work4 is here to help. We are the leader in driver recruitment marketing. Let us work with you to create a winning road map for your fleet!