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By John Lack,
During my travels last year, I asked many customers, agents, and trade show attendees, “What is the biggest challenge you face in your business?” The most common answer was finding qualified, skilled employees.
Having the proper work force plays a critical role in a company's success. Now that we have entered a new year, many businesses are evaluating their workload and staffing. Listed below are several tips to keep in mind when recruiting employees for your construction business.
Maintain good relationships with your employees. Employees can be a great resource for spreading information about your company’s employment opportunities. They know how your company operates and may have some friends in the trades who would be a good fit.
Offer attractive benefits. People want to work for a reputable company that offers good benefits. In today's construction environment, well-seasoned, skilled craftsmen are few and far between and should be well compensated if you want to keep them. These experienced employees can help newer employees learn the tricks of the trade. It is important to remember that quality employees reflect positively on your company. Work to pursue a great image and work environment and ask yourself why someone would want to work for your company.
Clearly define the position or skill set needed. Does the carpenter need to be experienced in acoustical ceilings, steel studs, or concrete forming? Does the electrician need to have experience in residential, commercial, or control work? What computer skills and safety certifications are required? These are important questions you will want to nail down.
Don’t stop recruiting! When it comes to construction, there is no set hiring season. This can fluctuate depending on where you are located, how deep the frost is, and how wet the spring may be, but you are going to want your team in place when it’s time to work. Keep the names and contact information of any referrals for future needs. You may even want to start building relationships.
Consider an apprenticeship program. Some states have apprenticeship programs for contractors to recruit high school seniors. This can be a great opportunity for you as well as the student who gains on-the-job training and credit toward graduation.
Create the right job posting. Detailing the skills and qualities you are looking for in a job posting can help weed out unqualified applicants and attract workers who are comfortable and skilled in that type of work. Make sure you provide information about your company, what it primarily covers, and the area where work is performed.
The lack of skilled tradesmen in the industry today can make finding experienced employees more challenging, making the hiring process critical. In my experience, sometimes hiring younger employees with the right work ethic proved to be a worthwhile investment for my company.