The demand for residential construction has risen given low interest rates and the rapid acceleration of remote work. Other construction needs are also expected to increase as the world moves past the pandemic. However, a year and a half of market uncertainty has created a tight labor market for skilled labor like construction workers. With 2022 only a few months away, construction firms need to prepare themselves for a competitive hiring season.
5 Items to Incorporate into Your Construction Hiring Planning
The purpose of construction hiring planning is to evaluate needs, foresee gaps in headcount or skill level, and make necessary adjustments – all to meet business goals. The five concepts discussed in this section can provide certain advantages for a business’s hiring operation.
1. Establish a Recruiting Dashboard
Having a recruiting dashboard is a necessary step in today’s tech-driven world where most workers begin their job search online. A dashboard is simple to implement and provides a construction company with an immediate pool of candidates to turn to when labor needs arise.
Even if the company is not actively hiring, the recruiting dashboard is a useful tool for building a roster of potential workers.
2. Determine Cost Per Hire, Source of Hire, and Time to Fill
An efficient (i.e., cost-effective) hiring operation requires accurate data on certain logistics of the process.
- Cost per Hire: How much money does it cost to hire a worker? This figure might consider marketing, onboarding, training, and the time spent by management reviewing applicants.
- Source of Hire: Know how each worker arrives at the doorstep of the company (e.g., hiring agencies, internet channels, etc.). Keeping track of this information allows for strategic planning to evaluate the best sources of new workers and allocate efforts accordingly.
- Time to Fill: Have a sense of how long it takes to fill each position. The benefit of this knowledge is the ability to avoid delays in projects by making sure workers are available in advance.
3. Mystery Shop the Competition
Mystery shopping is the tactic of approaching a competitor as a potential customer to learn more about their operations and how to beat them. In the context of hiring construction workers, this might mean learning about upcoming projects, pay rates, and other info to stay competitive.
Are your competitors offering a higher starting wage? Better benefits, such as flexible scheduling or no weekends? Consider even testing their application process against yours to see if you can stand out there.
Watch this webinar on-demand to learn how to create a positive candidate experience and make hires.
4. Forecast Headcount Needs
An accurate forecast of headcount needs is helpful to avoid over-hiring or under-hiring. Recruiting forecasts should reflect the many variables that impact the number of workers a construction firm might need at any given time. Relevant factors could include:
- Number of active projects
- The complexity of the projects
- The worker skill level
- The amount of time available to complete a project (i.e., short deadlines may require more workers)
5. Determine Biggest Tech Gaps and Automation Needs
Continue to evaluate how current construction trends in tech and automation can accomplish business goals by reducing labor costs or improving efficiency. Being able to compare the value of automated equipment versus labor is critical in this environment as labor markets tighten and technology advances increase.
A Proactive Hiring Plan Will Be Key to Meeting Business Goals in 2022
Understand the construction worker market by going through the exercise of strategic workforce planning. Having a well thought out plan that includes various scenarios (like cost of materials, demand, and so on) can help with future planning and spark creative ways to meet the hiring needs of construction companies.