Listen in to this Digging Deeper podcast to hear Caroldean Ross's tips on how to win over top talent in today's job market.
The skilled labor pipeline is not as full as it once was, and in a tight job market construction firms are being challenged to compete for top talent. Caroldean Ross, director of construction at RETS Associates, talks about how construction companies can successfully recruit and retain top talent in a competitive job market.
RETS Associates is a real estate executive search firm, specializing in connecting companies with valuable talent to deliver long-term profitability. With a proprietary database of more than 50,000 experienced candidates, RETS helps global, national and regional real estate and construction companies strategically recruit and hire both permanent and interim employees.
Of course, if contractors have the means to work with a recruiting firm, that is a great option. However, not all contractors are able to go that route. Contractors looking to recruit and hire on their own may have to get more creative. The old avenues of newspapers ads are still there, but they might not be the most successful. Ross suggests using online methods such as social media (specifically LinkedIn), online job boards or more.
In addition to posting job openings, the Web and social media are great places to enhance your brand image and leave a lasting impression on job seekers. One of the best tips Ross offers is to have your current, happy employees post reviews of your company and their job on sites like Glassdoor, where many job seekers go to find more information about a company, job, salary expectations, etc.
These type of positive reviews can be the new "word of mouth," and a first-hand experience from an actual employee usually provides more credibility.
Another great way to bring in top talent is to offer incentives. Most people will think of monetary incentives, which are great but not the only option. "Construction companies that don't offer car allowance and auto allowance and reimbursement that way, they are struggling," Ross says. "I have personally witnessed top-tier talent leave companies because they are recruited away and wooed away with car allowance and covering that expense."
Other creative incentives that could draw candidates to your company are gym memberships, Friday lunches on the jobsite, company trips and more. Incentives don't have to cost a lot of money, but they do help the possible employee feel valued and provide an additional benefit to working for your company.
Recruiting is only have the battle for construction companies. Once you've landed that top-tier worker, you need to invest in keeping him or her at your company. Ensure there is a runway to growth in your company. Help your workers see where they can go as an employee of your company. Also, mentoring and training is essential.
"An employee that feels valued, and mentored, and part of a team is the best way to create loyalty. It's somebody who's going to want to stay and not be out there looking for what's better on the market because they have everything they need."
Additional resources on recruiting, hiring and retaining construction employees: