When you’re running a successful construction company and taking on new jobs, you always need more quality workers. The hiring process can be time-consuming, but you’ll save countless hours later if you find— and retain — the best candidates now.
Thankfully, construction is a booming business, and will be for years to come. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the next 10 years or so, jobs in the construction industry will grow 13 percent, which is faster than the average industry, and there will be a projected increase of 183,400 construction jobs.
If you want to find, hire, and retain the most talented workers in the construction field, take these steps.
Post on a job board
The internet may not have been a key part of the construction trade in the past, but new software and tools are transforming the industry and finding the best potential employees today requires going online. You can use a construction-only board, such as iHireConstruction, as well as general sites, like Indeed, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter. Here on BuiltWorlds, you can find quality candidates, too. Your job posting should include:
- A thorough description of the job and its requirements
- Shift hours
- Minimum job qualifications
- Salary information
- Benefits and perks
- Background on the company
- Instructions on how to apply
Offer a competitive salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average yearly salary for construction laborers and helpers is $32,230 per year, or $15.49 per hour.
Jeff Stokes, of ForConstructionPros.com and Next Level Contractor System, stressed how important it is to offer competitive pay — not just to attract good hires but to keep them long term. He said that if the owner of a smaller construction company is paying $4 per hour less than someone across town with a bigger business, he or she will risk losing employees. “Those workers have other places to go. So even if the small guy manages to hire quality people, they eventually will leave for greener pastures across town.”
Don’t forget job perks
Construction companies need to supply benefits to their employees because of the high turnover rate in the industry, according to David Rook of JP Griffin Group. The most desired benefits for smaller construction companies include a 401(k), paid cellphones, paid sick leave, a company vehicle, life insurance, and disability coverage.
Rook wrote that savvy construction businesses “understand the value of introducing voluntary benefits and supplemental insurance plans, ideally oriented toward health/medical coverage and/or income protection and peace of mind. This allows them to offer a more robust variety of benefit options, which satisfy employees at little to no direct cost to the company.”
Always check references
Checking references will help you get a feel for the potential hire’s job performance and protect yourself, your employees, and your equipment. Ask former employers about every candidate’s work ethic and why he or she left the job. If an applicant is constantly changing jobs in short periods of time, that could be a red flag. Talk with someone you know who has worked with the candidate in the past, if possible. He or she may provide a more unvarnished opinion than you’d get from a reference the candidate provided.
Provide proper tools and constant training
Construction workers always need training on how to handle equipment, safety procedures, and other job-related skills.
It’s also important to have the correct tools on hand. Experienced workers might see outdated tools or equipment and pass on the job, while even a new worker could get frustrated when there aren’t enough power drills to go around. Create an inventory of your tools. Replace any that don’t work properly, and consider filling in any gaps you notice. While adding the latest and greatest table saw isn’t guaranteed to bring in a slew of new workers, it shows you are committed to excellence and want your employees to have the best tools on the market.
In addition, be sure to train new employees on every tool in your arsenal. Training during the on-boarding stage is not enough. Brian Gallagher, vice president of O’Neal, told Monster that he develops most training programs for construction workers internally based on the company’s business processes, industry standards, safety, and best practices. He also provides external training through online learning classes, associations, and professional trainers. Ensuring your employees know how to use their tools properly prevents potential injuries and promotes a safe workplace.
Find the best workers now
Locating the top workers in any industry can be challenging because you’re up against a lot of competition — that’s especially true for construction workers. If you start with a thorough job description and offer employees great salaries, equipment, and experiences on the job, they’ll be more likely to remain with your company for years to come.
As a freelance writer, Kylie Ora Lobell specializes in content marketing, small business, tech, and legal articles. She also writes about jobsite productivity, management, and tools for The Home Depot.