Finding the right contractor employees for your construction business isn’t always as simple as putting an advertisement in the newspaper. In fact, about 70% of contractors find it difficult to find people with the right skills to fulfill their open job positions. A skilled labor shortage is nothing new, but as the number of skilled laborers decreases, construction companies may find it harder to find the right candidates. However, these tips can help you find construction employees through creative methods that may attract the best people for the job.
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1. Be Wage-Competitive
Before you search for candidates, you should find ways to stand out as an employer, or you’ll risk losing an excellent candidate to another company. It’s a good idea to research what the going hourly rate is for construction workers in your area and consider upping your employee wage. You may also offer incentives, like bonuses and overtime pay, for your employees’ efforts.
2. Provide Helpful Benefits and Advertise Them in Job Postings
Another way to stand out to potential employees is by offering a benefits package that entices them to consider your company. Things like paid vacation, sick time, health and dental insurance, and even tuition reimbursement can put you heads above the competition when job seekers search for the right company. Make your benefits clear in your job postings so prospective employees will not have to search to know what you offer.
3. Add an Optimized Careers Page to Your Website
If you don’t yet have a Careers page for your site, you could be missing out on one of the simplest ways for qualified candidates to learn more about your company and the jobs you offer. Your Careers page should list all open positions, some insightful information about your business, and even some fun information or testimonials from current employees. Up to 98% of visitors may leave your Careers page if they don’t have enough information to encourage them to apply.
4. Make the Process Easier for Prospective Employees
Your hiring process should be easy for prospective candidates. That’s not to say that just anyone should be able to apply. But, you can help qualified candidates simplify the process by being available. If necessary, extend your office hours in the morning and evening and have a dedicated phone line and customer service person dedicated to answering calls, emails, and live chats about your openings.
5. Use Staffing Services
Staffing services become a middleman between you and your workers to help find qualified candidates for your company without making you do most of the work. You can look for temporary employees and later hire them as full-time employees if you like their work. This type of staffing can also be beneficial for those who prefer to train entry-level personnel to work their way up through the company.
6. Start an Internship Program
An internship can work similarly to using staffing services in that it provides you with someone interested in construction work who is trainable. Additionally, interns have already chosen the construction industry as their career niche, and they want to learn the ropes. If the intern shows potential, then you may have a promising candidate for future job openings.
7. Get Your Company Name in Press Releases
The more people know about your business, the likelier they are to choose it if they’re in need of a job in your industry. Press releases are a good way to market your business for more sales, and they can also help market your business to potential job candidates. Consider sending out a press release that details your new benefits package or one that spreads the word about your team coming together to get a massive project done. Your press release should focus on things that a potential employee would love to learn about your company that would make them excited to get on board.
8. Partner with Colleges and Trade Schools
Ask your local colleges, trade schools, and even high schools if you can partner with them for job search opportunities. Many schools hold job fairs to help students choose the right career, and you may be able to get your company included in similar events. These student ages are perfect for finding those who may be interested in a construction career, but without any professional experience, and they could be your best option for a highly-trainable candidate.
9. Ask for Current Employee Referrals
Incentivize your current employees for bringing referrals for job candidates to your company. Your employees may know others in the field or looking to enter the field, who would love to join your construction business. You can create a prize for the employee who brings in the most qualified candidates, and you can give an additional bonus prize to the employee who refers a candidate who gets hired for your company.
10. Encourage Your Employees to Share the News
Another way to find construction employees using the employees you already have on your team is to ask them to share the news of your job opening with their followers, friends, and family on social media. Most employees will be willing to help in whatever way they can to bring skilled and qualified members to the team. Make it easy for them by creating an engaging Facebook post that they can click to share with their followers, or even send a company email with some premade social media graphics that they can download and post to their accounts.
11. Ask for Client Referrals
Your employees aren’t the only ones who can help find contractor employees for your company. Your customers can help, too! Leverage your current customers by letting them know you’re looking for skilled workers to fill out your team. Business clients can be particularly useful for spreading the news to their employees to let friends and family know about the job opening.
12. Scour LinkedIn
If you’re on LinkedIn, you can post a job opening, share your job opening, and recruit potential candidates through the system. If you don’t yet use LinkedIn, or haven’t spent time building your profile, now is an excellent opportunity to start. Make connections with others in the construction industry, add your employees, and connect with current and past clients. The more connections you have, the bigger your presence on LinkedIn and the easier it will be to find employees in the future.
13. Advertise Jobs in Location-Specific Facebook Groups
Search Facebook for job posting groups specific to your location. About 83% of job seekers use Facebook to find interesting jobs, and many job search Facebook groups remain active daily. Post your job and check on the responses at least once a day so you can answer questions quickly. If the group rules allow, repost your opening every couple of days, if necessary, to let more users see it.
14. Use a Facebook Group for Your Business
If you have a Facebook group for your business to help share your content and establish you and your company’s expertise, you should also use it to promote your job openings. Your group members are already interested in construction and your company, so it can be a good place to find potential candidates for your jobs.
15. Use Online Job Boards
Online job boards, like CareerBuilder and Indeed, offer a lot of helpful tools for those seeking employees. Indeed, for example, allows you to post a job for free, quickly and easily, and provides your job to those searching for construction jobs. You can even ask potential contractor employees questions that they’ll answer during the application process to help narrow your choices.
16. Hire with Craigslist
Craigslist is a good way to find construction employees locally if you live in an area where Craigslist job ads are attractive. Posting a job on Craigslist is free, and people can send you their resumes through a secure email system. You can screen candidates first based on their resume and cover letter, and then call the most qualified candidates.
17. Use Construction-Specific Job Search Sites
General job search sites reach a broad audience, but you may have better luck finding highly skilled candidates for your team through a job search site specific to the construction industry. Tradesmen International and ConstructionJobs.com are two sites that let you find general contractors as well as those with specific areas of expertise, like underground utility work or commercial construction.
18. Send a Shout-Out on Social Media
Be sure to use your social media channels to spread the word about your job openings. 81% of Americans have at least one social media account, so it’s easily one of the simplest ways to find construction employees without doing much work. Place a link to your job posting on your website’s Careers page along with a brief description of the job and a blurb that will entice people to apply, such as a short phrase mentioning your benefits package.
19. Keep in Contact with Previous Employees
Your former employees may consider coming back to your company if they left on a good note, but you won’t know unless you keep in contact with them. Every few months, make a quick phone call to former employees to let them know you have an opening and invite them to come back. Make them aware of any changes, such as a raise in your hourly wage or a better bonus structure, that could influence their decision.
20. Host a Hiring Event
Dedicate a day to hiring for your business through a fun recruitment event. Have your employees hand out flyers at local supermarkets and keep a few people at the office to answer phone calls and talk to prospective candidates in person. Offer applications and on-the-spot interviews to walk-ins.
21. Always Keep Applications Handy
If you filled your hiring quota, you should still keep applications on file for at least a year or so. You’ll make it easier on yourself when you need to hire again because you’ll already have several potential candidates to choose from without spending a lot of time marketing your new job openings.
22. Reach Out to Vets in Need
Veterans transitioning to the regular workforce can lend well to your team, especially if they’ve had previous construction experience in the military. Helmets to Hardhats is an organization that helps match veterans to the perfect construction job. You can list your company and job openings for free for veterans to find you.
23. Use Old School Methods
Go back to the basics of job searches with some old school recruiting ideas. Hang flyers in places where potential candidates may go, like your local Home Depot store. Or, put some business cards on bulletin boards in local shopping locations with bright, “We’re Hiring!” messages on the cards.
Conclusion: Start Getting the Employees You Need!
Finding construction employees for your construction company is simple if you know where to find the most qualified candidates and are willing to get creative. Your company should stand out in a way that entices people to hop on board your team. The best way to show that your company has character is by showing it through your job post. Make it catchy and let candidates know what they can expect when they work with you.