If you've been in the construction industry for any time at all, you know how difficult finding, and retaining, quality employees can be.
You hire someone who claims to have just the skills you need, but quickly realize they don't have a clue.
Maybe you’re sure your newest hire will be an amazing fit — only to discover they're constantly at odds with the rest of your team.
Or, the dreadful “no show.” There’s always that one hire who barely shows up on time.
You’re looking for new ways to build your team, but you want to ensure you’re taking the right steps to find the best employee. Here are our top 10 tips for how to find the right construction workers.
Don’t miss our Bred to Build podcast episode that discusses how to find construction workers. We have a great conversation with Jeff Harvey, owner of Harvey Homes and Interiors.
Listen to the full podcast episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
Finding new employees can be a pain.
Here are 10 tips on how to better find the right workers.
If you're only looking for experienced, seasoned workers to add to your team, you might want to think again.
Hiring someone who has no previous experience in the construction industry but shows a serious interest in doing what it takes to learn the business, can be a great way to build your team.
Consider a young person who’s totally “green” but has a steady stream of questions about the construction trade.
Seizing the opportunity to shape, mold, and encourage them to find their groove in the construction field can be a rewarding undertaking — both for you and for them.
Taking advantage of everything social media has to offer is another excellent way to promote your business, while also being a great solution to the challenges of construction staffing.
Posting photos of your projects and information about your company on social media platforms like …
… is a solid way to drive traffic to your website — including potential hires.
Say you post on Instagram for a couple of days in a row that your team is hiring. Over the next few days, you may get inquiring messages.
Or maybe you get several messages saying things like, "Man, I wish I could work for a company like yours.” “I’d do just about anything to have a boss like you.”
Don’t be afraid to shoot back with, “Call me.”
The serious people that want to work will call.
Those phone calls can tell you a lot. In a few minutes, you'll be able to assess the individual’s construction skills, their level of confidence, and if they’re going to show up.
Maybe they're a perfect fit, maybe they're not, or maybe they're worth a chance. This leads us right into our next tip for how to find construction workers.
How many times have you brought “the perfect hire” on board, only to realize they didn't mesh with the rest of the crew?
Or what about the chance of passing someone by, when they could be exactly what you're looking for with a bit of training and encouragement?
Whether it's someone you think would be the perfect addition to your team, or someone you really aren't sure about — extending the invitation for potential hires to join your team for a day is a win-win.
Do they already have a full-time job during the week?
No problem. Invite them to work with you on a Saturday.
Or maybe they can schedule a "doctor appointment" to swing by your jobsite to meet you and the crew.
Be sure to stress that this isn't a “for sure” deal. They don’t want to burn any bridges with their current job before actually landing a new one.
Typically, around 20% of those you invite to hang out with the team for a day will take you up on it, and you may wind up finding your next full-time employee.
After you’ve spent some time with the potential new hires, one of the best ways you can help build the dream team is to get feedback
Talk to your crew to find out what they think.
Compare notes about their day on the job. What did you see? What did they notice? Is there potential in this new hire? What's the overall gut feeling?
The opinions of your current team members are highly valuable, so make hiring a group effort. If a new worker doesn't mesh well with them, you’re wasting your time, and it'll be miserable for everyone’s productivity in the long run.
A great construction staffing solution that many companies miss is partnering with local high schools and colleges.
Give a lecture in a business class. Enlighten students on what the construction industry truly looks like. Today, many young people are operating under the misconception that a career in construction only involves hard labor and low pay, with no room for advancement, which isn’t true.
Let them know about the:
By taking the time to partner with local schools, you may be providing exactly what's needed to encourage a student who's on the edge of a career choice to lean into the field of construction.
When you find interested students, invite them to come work a job with you for a day or two.
Depending on the individual’s age, and the extent of the project, they may not be able to use specific tools, but there may be many things they can do.
Offering a paid internship is another great way to find construction workers. A six to eight-week internship program may be just the boost someone needs to get started on a career in construction.
Those interested in the field may also be on the lookout for a summer job, and since summer is one of the busiest seasons for most construction businesses, consider offering a summer position. If the person is a good fit, offer them a long-term, maybe even part-time, position.
It seems like many companies operate under a hire ‘em/fire ‘em mentality.
In other words, if a hire doesn’t work out, you can just “let them go.” Another common occurrence today: companies ramp up on hiring workers to cover their busy season, only to let them go once the season is over.
As a business owner, you know that’s not your best bet. When you hire, plan on that individual joining the team for the long haul or your reputation will start to suffer. Even if they don’t choose to stay, they could end up working for you in the future as an employee or subcontractor.
Hire with the mindset of expanding your business — and giving someone an opportunity to better themselves — not just to fulfill an order.
Another great way to handle your construction staffing is to be on the lookout for new employees year-round.
If you wait until you get to the point where you are desperate for help, you'll wind up having to take any warm body that happens to be available. In the end, you may find yourself with a team of poorly qualified, unskilled laborers with lousy attitudes.
One way to implement continual hiring is to create an employee referral program that motivates your team to become part of the process of recruiting their own new coworkers.
Let them know the …
… you're looking for in your future employees, as well as what they'll receive for any referrals that lead to a hire.
Not only does this free you up to focus on other aspects of your business, but there's a high chance the people they select will mesh well with the team you've worked so hard to build.
Your own workforce is your most powerful recruitment tool. Incentivize them to help.
Next, let's talk about seasonal hiring, sometimes referred to as temporary hiring.
Consider hiring workers on a temporary contract. In other words, they will join your team for a specific amount of time — without any guarantee of staying on when the set time is up.
This can work especially well if you know you need to hire a certain number of people, but don't have the resources to support them full-time.
Say you need to add three members to your team. Kick off a three-month hiring campaign, making it clear that the job is only on contract for a specific amount of time. When the project is done, so is your temporary employee.
Once the three months are up, you're not obligated to ask them to stay, but you may discover you have found the perfect addition to your team.
When you get right down to it, without a great team, your company doesn’t amount to much.
While it seems like it’s the customers that feed the team, in reality, it's the team that feeds the customers.
The bottom line? If your team isn't on their “A-game,” you’re not putting out your best work.
That’s why building a quality culture is so vital.
How do you build a company culture that attracts and retains the best employees?
You do it by offering:
Another one of the top tips on how to find good construction workers is to simply ask around.
People know people who do good work.
Put the word out there, and ask everyone you know, including:
You get the idea.
… Hammr is an all-in-one platform that is purpose-built to help construction businesses save time and money on their back-office operations.
Schedule a demo with our team today to unlock your back-office superpowers.