Recruiting Challenges in the Construction Industry

Whether your construction company is large or small, you have likely experienced the challenges caused by the shortage of skilled construction workers. When construction job sites aren't properly staffed, construction companies may find themselves missing project deadlines, skipping proper safety procedures and losing overworked employees. Investing in workforce management solutions can help construction companies perform their best.

Finding the Right Candidates 

Finding the right candidate is no easy task, especially in the construction industry. Recruiting requires evaluating what skills and qualifications are necessary for the position, developing an accurate job description, advertising to the right candidates, and sorting through applicant resumes. The process can become very daunting very quickly, even before the interview stage begins. However, with the right tools, it doesn't have to be.

Discovering the right applicant tracking system can make all the difference in your recruitment process. An ATS enables you to not only organize your recruiting tactics across multiple channels, but also to help reduce risks and stay compliant.

Discovering the right applicant tracking system can make all the difference in your recruitment process.

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Automating these manual processes allows recruiting and hiring managers to spend more time with top candidates and less time with paperwork. And the end result? A centralized process for attracting high-potential employees who will help you complete your projects, reach your goals and grow your business.

How to Recruit in the Converging Market

Recruiting skilled workers for complex projects adds another dimension to the challenge of attracting the most qualified candidates. Candidates with both engineering and construction expertise are out there, it's just a matter of finding them. Here are a few ways to streamline the recruiting process in the converging market of engineering and construction:

  • Streamline the Process: Using an applicant tracking system that can track and group applicants based on their skills and qualifications can streamline and significant expedite the hiring process.
  • Hire for Core Competencies: Focus not only on the current skills of the candidate, but look for high-potential employees who possess the desire to learn and grow. Search for these qualities with interview questions like, "How would you handle a situation when..." or "What would you do if..."
  • Expand Your Search: Go further than you normally would; attend career fairs, create apprenticeship programs and find ways to boost brand recognition, like sponsoring a local sporting or charity event.
  • Join a Professional Organization: Becoming a member of a construction-specific professional organization can help you learn what recruiting practices are working for others in the construction industry. Such organizations can also help raise awareness of construction-specific events in your area that you can attend for recruiting and brand awareness.

Learn How to Close the Skills Gap

The skills gap in the construction industry has hindered growth of the industry over the past few years. There are many open positions due to retirements and industry growth and not enough skilled workers to fill these openings, which has slowed efficiency and caused safety issues for many construction organizations. While the skills gap can seem vast and wide, there are many things that can be done to close it.

  • Invest in Youth: With the rising cost of four-year degrees, many high school students are seeking alternative career paths in the skilled trades. By investing in apprenticeship programs, visiting school career fairs or hosting student tours of your jobsite, younger workers will take more interest in opportunities with your company.
  • Provide Opportunities for Lifelong Learners: Learning doesn't end on graduation day, especially on a construction site. Provide opportunities to attend seminars or training management tool that will help employees in their role. Investing in training not only promotes safety and increasing skill sets, but employees will also be more engaged in your company's mission and culture.
  • Cross Mentor to Address Gaps in Expertise: Mentorship programs help organizations, as seasoned employees can pass valuable knowledge they've learned throughout their career onto newer employees. Try to match a new hire to a mentor within their first few days on the job to establish a trusted connection right away.
  • Embrace Diversity: The construction industry is dynamic and diverse. To keep up with competition and remain profitable, your work environment should be too. By recruiting through niche job boards, attracting women, those with disabilities, veterans and minority groups is easier than ever.

How to Properly Onboard and Train a New Employee

Onboarding employees is an exciting process that can become overwhelming when weighed down by the amount of time and paperwork it takes to get new hires onboarded properly. Manually filling out paperwork takes away from the valuable time that new hires could instead spend on training, learning about company culture, and meeting new coworkers.

Manually filling out paperwork takes away from valuable time that new hires could instead spend on training, learning about company culture, and meeting new coworkers.

Learn How to Streamline Your Paperwork

With a cloud-based employee onboarding software solution, your organization can automate and centralize all paperwork and necessary onboarding materials for your new employee and ensure they're completing the most up-to-date forms. Not only does this streamline the onboarding process to save your company time and boost productivity, but it allows your new employee to start their work even sooner.

Easily Meet Compliance Standards

Ensuring that all compliance standards are met can be quite a headache if you don't have the right system. Auditors from the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) look for violations like:

  • Inadequate records to defend applicant flow and interview practices
  • Discriminatory decision-making processes for hiring, promotions, terminations, etc.
  • Compensation disparities that can't be explained

Those violations can all be avoided by keeping detailed records of employee information. Ensure that your company doesn't violate an OFCCP regulation with a detailed look at your company from a second pair of eyes through an HR assessment.

Here's How to Address Worker Shortages

A shortage of workers has become a concern in the construction industry, especially as Baby Boomers continue to retire. Appealing to Millennials and Gen Z candidates by building a strong employer brand is extremely important, as they are the new generations entering the workforce with a wealth of knowledge in not only construction, but engineering and architecture. When hiring these new employees, don't just hire out of desperation, hire and seek out quality employees with a focus on retention. As we all know, the cost of a new employee is extremely high and you are far better off retaining an employee than having a rotating door of open positions.

How to Encourage Workplace Safety

Ensuring the health and safety of workers, especially in an industry like construction, which has a higher fatality rate than the national average, requires a strategic use of a safety outline in the workforce strategy. All organizations should not only prioritize safety education, but should make it a key component of overall organizational culture. Promoting safety as a key tenant of an organization makes the organization more appealing to prospective employees and creates a more positive environment for current employees, which will assist in retaining top talent.

Preventing injuries in the workforce is a priority in the construction industry and prior planing with efficient tools is key. Using tools that ensure efficient and accurate compliance, training and education make the onboarding and new-hire process more streamlined for everyone involved.

Building a Winning Workforce

Despite industry-wide workforce challenges, construction companies can rest assured that although it may be tough, recruiting, developing and retaining skilled construction workers is possible. With the right solution, your workforce processes can be automated, integrated and can help construction companies remain competitive in this growing market.