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News & Press: Government Relations

Do You Have the Talent to Capitalize on Increased Construction Spending in 2017?

Thursday, November 17, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Builders Association
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Regardless of which party you supported in the election, both proposed extensive infrastructure investments. With support on all sides, a significant increase in construction spending is very likely.

How are you going to find the employees (office/field, executives) to respond and take advantage of this looming growth opportunity?

This new administration’s construction plans will place even more burden on top of an already busy construction industry. Resources are tight with baby boomers retiring, and it’s difficult to attract younger generations and new entrants to the construction industry

Is your recruiting “infrastructure” ready to meet your hiring needs amid heavy competition for talent across the entire spectrum of construction companies in 2017?

Recently, numerous sources have highlighted the increase in construction activity and the challenges being faced by those recruiting and hiring construction talent:

  • The AGC’s November 2016 issue of Constructor references its 2016 Workforce Survey that once again showed continued difficulty filling various positions.
  • The most recent issue of AGC Data Digest, on November 11, 2016, was titled:Voters pass numerous construction ballot and bond measures; job openings rise. It listed numerous new projects that were approved in the recent elections at both the local and statewide levels.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in its November Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) reported 221,000 construction industry job openings.
  • The Dodge Momentum Index, for October reported existing non-residential building project activity increased 10 % (industrial) and 20% (Commercial) over the same period last year.

As construction recruiters, we can confirm that all signs point toward an increasingly difficult recruiting landscape. The challenge will be to do everything you can to retain your existing personnel while adding additional team members to meet the demand for 2017. So there is an urgent need for hiring managers to proactively prepare to meet this challenge.

You can start this process by examining your recruiting process and making improvements necessary to win the war for talent. So what can you do?

After informally polling construction companies across the country, we developed a list of the most common, successful methods of recruiting:

  • Develop programs to increase employee internal referrals
  • Use External referrals - vendors, subs, suppliers, consultants, previous employees
  • Establish and maintain college recruiting programs
  • Establish internship programs
  • Use online job postings and website postings
  • Retain professional construction recruiters
  • Place signs on trucks, jobsites and roadside (effective for road/bridge builders)

We, at DK Cole recommend you incorporate the following top 10 techniques into your recruiting process to ensure your success in winning the war for talent.

  1. Make sure the hiring manager is directly involved and accountable for hiring
  2. Select interview team members who represent the job and company well
  3. Develop your “employer brand”
  4. Ensure frequent communication and feedback with all candidates
  5. Develop a success profile (not a typical job description) for every hire
  6. Treat all candidates as if they were a prospective client!
  7. Keep the process moving
  8. Identify a hiring coordinator to manage interview coordination
  9. Learn to recognize and manage candidate motivators
  10. Send offer letters after a verbal acceptance

Implementing these techniques will significantly increase your ability to attract the right candidates. You’ll also increase your success with current and future hires, and your acceptance rates from top candidates. For more information or further discussion, call Kathy Cole, President, DK Cole Company, on her direct line at 630.282.7747.