It's more competitive to find skilled workers than it ever has been before. The average age of skilled laborers is increasing and there are fewer incoming workers to refill that talent pool. How can you find construction employees at a time like this? You need to be able to expand your construction business's capabilities according to the jobs you secure and seasonal demand. What's the best way to do this in today's hiring environment?
1. Social Media Is King
Like it or dislike it, social media is crucial for doing business. Post job openings on Facebook and Twitter, linking to further information. Run advanced searches on LinkedIn. This is the way things get seen nowadays, and you need to take advantage of these platforms. Best of all, it doesn't take you long to post this information. It's not a deep time commitment, but it can turn up candidates you wouldn't have otherwise found.
2. Contact Unions and Trade Schools
Unions and trade schools have obvious interests in ensuring their members are employed. Ask them to share social media postings about job openings. While you're at it, let them know you're open to their suggestions.
3. Remember Your Temps
Chances are very good you've hired some very successful temporary skilled labor. Hopefully you kept their contact information. These are workers you've already seen on the job. They've essentially auditioned for you. You know how they work, if they show up on time, what their attitude is, how they communicate, what their pace is – that's more than you'll be able to tell from interviewing someone new. Keep hold of the information of your temp employees – those workers can always fill in again and may be open to a permanent assignment when you have one available.
4. Ask Your Employees
You likely have employees who have worked for a few different construction companies. They've kept in touch with former co-workers. You'd be surprised at the number of companies that never communicated a new job opening to their own employees. This overlooks one of your best resources. Now, take employee recommendations with a grain of salt. Someone isn't qualified simply because they're an employee's best friend, but you'll be able to tell the difference quickly by looking at their work history.
5. Employee Referral Incentives
Isn't this what we just covered? Not exactly. Employee referrals can be incentivized. This means that an employee who refers someone you end up hiring gets a bonus. Most of your employees would love the chance at a bonus. What's the difference between asking them vs. incentivizing them? You wouldn't necessarily extend yourself too much when someone asks you to do work for free. Maybe you'll mention a name if it comes to mind. If they attach a bonus to it, then you're reaching out to old trade school friends you haven't spoken to in years and encouraging them to apply.
If you don't hire from that pool, no bonus, so no money wasted. If you do, then you pay the bonus but you're ahead anyway because you found a high-quality candidate you already know can work with someone you trust.
6. Staffing Agencies
The big advantage with a staffing agency is that they do the full scope of work that a human resources (HR) department would do for you. They'll already have names and contact information for a number of applicants for a skilled position, and they'll be able to swiftly run a sweep for more. A staffing agency reviews and verifies work history, checks references, runs background checks, and conducts preliminary interviews to narrow down your candidate pool to the very best choices. That way you aren't wasting your time interviewing anyone but the absolute best fits.
Beyond this, they'll even take care of all the administrative tasks surrounding on-boarding a new hire. If all the tasks required to find skilled workers starts to make your head spin, contact a staffing agency. They'll do just about all these things for you and, unless you have a full-size HR department of your own, they'll do it more efficiently and provide you with more confidence that you're making the right hire.
7. Job Boards
One of the easiest ways to find construction employees is to have them find you. General job boards can be a little messy, but they offer the ability to post a number of positions easily. They usually incorporate categories and search tools that help potential candidates narrow down their choices.
Specialized job boards are often geared toward workers who are looking for skilled positions. Due to the very narrow range of job listings, these kinds of job boards won't see as much traffic. However, specialized job boards tend to bring in higher quality applicants with experience that's more tailored to your needs.
Start with the more specialized job boards when you're trying to find skilled workers. You can always post on the more general boards later, if you have time.
8. Job Fairs
Contact schools in your area to find out what job fairs they offer. Job fairs at trade schools can be very productive. After this, consider job fairs at local colleges. General job fairs can also be productive if you have the time, but you'll go through a lot of applicants who don't necessarily fit your needs.
You don't have to attend a job fair yourself. It can help, but capable and friendly employees who represent your business well can do it in your place. Just make sure they're knowledgeable about what you're hiring for and, of course, that they're compensated. Send your employee recruiters to the job fair with brochures, applications, business cards, job descriptions, and other pertinent information you want potential employees to have.
So long as you're on good terms with a former employee, it doesn't hurt to reach out to them. Let them know you have a position open – especially if the ex-employee is qualified to fill it. Even if they aren't, or they aren't interested, you can still ask them if they can think of any good candidates. Former employees will often have social circles in the industry. These circles may be different from yours, providing access to job candidates you wouldn't otherwise reach.
If you need to find skilled workers, contact Labor For Hire today. We can find construction employees for you, so you can focus on what you do best: running your business.