Hiring the right employees is a must on a construction site, and yet many businesses can struggle to do this consistently. What are the best approaches to ensure that, when you're looking for construction workers, you end up hiring the best candidates?
1. Check the References
You'd think this wouldn't need to be said. It should be obvious. Yet it's one of the first tasks in hiring that an employer will skip right over. The reference will just sing the candidate's praises, right? Not necessarily. Some applicants can lie or misrepresent their work history. If they apply at a dozen jobs and only three check their references, they've still got nine places who think their references are good.
When you check references, ask some of the same questions you'd ask the employee. Don't just take a good review at face value. Probe for information. How were they at communicating? Could they admit when they did something wrong and correct it? Did they take criticism well? How was their time management?
2. Keep in Touch with Temps
Seasonal and temp workers are just that, right? You'll contact them again if you need another temp job filled. Hiring the right employees often starts with the ones you already have experience with. If a temp laborer does a good job, they're very likely to continue doing a good job as an employee. You already have experience with them, and you know their habits and strengths. What if they're not in a position to start working on a full-time basis again? Keep in touch with them anyway. Ask them to update you about any new experience and training they get.
3. Do They Care?
What if someone has all the necessary skills and experience, but gives you strong warning signs that they just don't care. The first thing to do is to make sure you're not jumping to conclusions based on race, gender, or social background. If they speak differently from you or come from a very different background, they may care but simply represent it in a way you're not familiar with.
If you consider this and you're still sure that something's off, trust your instincts. You're hiring – you can ask about their attitude directly. If this is a conversation, that's a good thing. If someone gets overly defensive or simply admits that they don't care, then you have your answer. You're not just looking for construction workers, you looking to hire people who are passionate and have a reason for being there.
4. Time Management
Late for the interview? There's always a chance there's a good reason. The interview-to-hire process may be short, but it still offers you the chance to assess a potential employee's time management. If they're late once, everyone is at some point in their lives. Do they take accountability for it? If they're late once... and took days calling you back, and also don't have all their paperwork finished, that begins to form a pattern. It's no longer a potentially isolated incident; it's a habit. Heed this as a red flag.
5. Find Someone to Manage Hiring if You Can't
If you don't have time for all of this, then find someone who does. You're running a business. A number of construction companies don't have anything resembling a human resources department who can interview enough applicants, check references, test their skills, and verify certifications, let alone handle the administrative aspects of hiring.
Rely on a staffing agency that can do this work for you by running background checks, conducting preliminary interviews, verifying experience, and giving you the best final candidates of the crop.