NPL Construction Co. is a nationally recognized leader in energy infrastructure construction, with 5,000+ highly trained employees working across the United States. Yet, when a new construction project with an on-site safety manager requirement came up in early 2020, the company found itself struggling to fill the position.
In a typical situation, NPL would use its standard process for sourcing environment, health and safety (EHS) consultants, starting with its internal team to source candidates, and then turning to a recruiting agency with the specs. But in this case, the original project scope didn’t call for a safety manager. By the time the requirement was added, there wasn’t sufficient time to vet and find the appropriate person. In addition, the project had very specific needs that exceeded those of the typical candidates NPL’s recruiting team specialized in finding.
YellowBirdUnlike many of its local projects, this project was remote, meaning the typical hiring model would have left the company with some long-term challenges. And because it called for senior-level experience, many of the typical candidates wouldn't have the level of knowledge necessary for the job.
NPL had to fill the role quickly to keep the project on schedule. “We needed a safety professional fast without having to do all of the searching, and most importantly the vetting process,” said Jake Marston, regional director of safety and quality, and a 17-year safety veteran. This meant NPL had to look outside of its traditional approach.
Safety Pros On-demand
NPL needed an EHS consultant who could effectively take over without the need for Marston to be on site for the duration of the project -- and one Marston felt he could trust without doing the recruiting on his own.
This led him to the bold step of contacting YellowBird, an online platform that matches companies with EHS professionals on-demand. The platform includes a network of over 400 professionals from across the country, each of whom goes through a four-step vetting process. YellowBird handles the vetting, matching, paying and insurance coverage, eliminating a lot of the stress associated with traditional hiring models.
The platform's premise is to enable users to find EHS professionals fast, then utilize that individual's services only for as long as required -- whether that's conducting a single on-site safety training course or managing safety on site for months at a time.
YellowBird“Sometimes the most painful part about running a construction or small subcontracting company is ‘how do I surge up?’ and then ‘how do I reduce when I need to?’” notes Michael Zalle, co-founder. With YellowBird, you can bring a qualified safety professional on board for a limited term and stop whenever their services are no longer needed.
Marston contacted YellowBird with a long list of requirements, and even included some skillsets he knew were hard to find. Not expecting much, he was pleasantly surprised when he was contacted just three days later with not one but two certified professionals that fit all of the safety requirements necessary. The project also required the vendor/consultant to have Avetta certification, which YellowBird completed before the job could start.
Not only did the candidates meet, and exceed, the project's requirements, the recruiting process was completely removed from Marston’s plate, allowing him to focus on his core role of making work environments safer for his employees. NPL also appreciated the reduction in administrative duties associated with the traditional hiring process.
“We enjoy the plug and play functionality of having a safety professional that we only really need to focus on their daily work assignments,” said Marston. “No hiring paperwork, payroll processing and other administrative functions that we would traditionally spend time doing.
“The two candidates they presented were exactly what we asked for,” he added. “It wasn’t the effort we normally expend sifting through a large volume of resumes ourselves.”
This meant substantial time savings for NPL and a project that could proceed on schedule.
Information for this article provided by YellowBird and edited and enhanced by Becky Schultz.