Legacy Bowes Group Articles
Seven Ways to Attract Talent for Construction
The fight for talent in construction has never been more intense, but with the right information and approach, you can win the talent game every time.
Finding talent for construction has never been easy. Unlike other professions, construction professionals tend to avoid the online spotlight and are not as active on social media or recruiting sites. It makes sense if you think about it; construction is about the physical world, building and making things concrete – sometimes literally.
The past couple of years has seen tremendous change, and not just because of a virus. We are also at a moment of time when:
- Construction has been leaned on and will continue to be leaned on to stimulate our economy
- The next generation (GenZ) is entering the workforce with a new set of values
- Retirements are on the rise and coupled with less people entering the industry, we are facing a labour shortage
Simply put, we have a situation where there are more jobs than there are qualified people. And of those qualified people, the up-and-comers are vastly different in terms of their values and priorities.
"With the shortage of quality labour and the mass of retirements and resignations already starting, there are simply more jobs than there are qualified candidates."
What does this mean for construction talent?
Say hello to Generation Z: Born between 1995 and 2012, Generation Z is characterized by being driven by their values over compensation, they seek and want workplaces of diversity and inclusion, they want to be secure, but only if that involves a workplace of strong communication and transparency. They are the most ecologically- and environmentally-aware generation ever. And they are the most connected. Consider this, the first smartphone was made in 1992, three years before the first of the GenZs. So basically, GenZ kids were born with an iPhone in their hands.
It’s a buyer’s market: With the shortage of quality labour and the mass of retirements and resignations already starting, there are simply more jobs than there are qualified candidates. Candidates have more choices and are calling the shots. If you need someone with experience, expect to pay over and above your budget.
Uncertainty rules: Between COVID-19, lock-downs, massive inflation, political extremism, and more, we are seeing more uncertainty than ever before. This uncertainty is causing two major effects on recruiting:
- Candidates are hesitant to leave a secure position, even if its for a potentially better opportunity. That means recruiting for positions is taking longer than ever before.
- Companies are uncertain if they can fill a vacant position, so are willing to counter-offer even mediocre candidates because of fear they won’t be able to fill the chair. So even if you offer a candidate the job with more pay, there is a good chance their current employers come back with something over the top.
So what can you do? Read on for some strategies to attract and retain your new talent:
Seven ways to attract talent for construction
Build bench strength
Sometimes to win the game, you do it by not playing. A buyer’s market in construction means experienced candidates are demanding – and often getting – compensation packages far higher than ever before. If you can, promote from within and recruit people to backfill those more junior positions. They are easier to find and there is less competition.
Most candidates today aren’t looking for a lateral move, or a simple bump in pay, they want to know there is a chance to progress and grow in their role. If you start your recruiting process with a career plan, or at least options to grow, candidates will likely choose you over your competitors
Focus on Retention over Recruitment
Yes, I know, this is a blog about recruiting by a recruiter, but retention strategies are going to pay off by helping keep your employees and develop a better culture, which in turn will attract more talent. (See – it is actually about recruitment.)
Use technology to attract the next generation
Remember how I said GenZ was born with cellphones in hand? They are attracted to technology, so invest in tech and showcase it when recruiting. AI applications, drones, 3D mapping – if it gives you a competitive edge on the job, it’ll give you a competitive edge in recruiting.
More and more, candidates are looking to learn. Trade apprenticeships and working under a P.Eng are well established in the industry, but what about providing a work-mentor who can show them how to be a professional?
Use inclusive hiring practices
Diverse workplaces have less turnover, higher employee satisfaction rates, and are more innovative. Besides these obvious upsides, it’s also your best candidate pool. Case in point: Canada’s Indigenous population is the fastest growing in Canada and is more likely to choose construction as a career choice.
Have a plan and use professionals
Sometimes we have to react to a sudden departure, but if you have a plan for each position if and when that happens, you’ll be prepared. And don’t leave it to the side of your desk; if you don’t have the time, use a recruiter. Involve us in your plans and help us find you that perfect candidate.
Don’t leave it to the side of your desk; if you don’t have the time, use a recruiter. Involve us in your plans and help us find you that perfect candidate.
While it can be difficult to find the perfect hire, that doesn’t mean it is an impossible task. These seven tips can help you attract the right person for your vacant position.
If you’re looking for extra support with your recruitment efforts, Legacy Bowes can help find you the perfect hire through our recruitment services.