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Since the last recession from 2007 to 2009, there’s been a shortage of construction workers. And the shutdown of work during the pandemic only made it worse. Now that the country is getting back to work, the challenge of finding good employees is at the top of the list for every construction owner. Read on to see what you can do to find good workers and grow your business.

Put Someone in Charge of Recruiting

Hiring is an ongoing process. You can’t do it hit and miss and expect good results. The first thing you’ll need to do is have someone in charge of recruitment – even if it’s you, the owner.

Competitive Wages & Benefits

There’s nothing that will bring in good employees like a competitive wage. If you’re paying below average or just average – you will have a more challenging time recruiting good employees. In this market, you need to pay well. And that may mean raising the prices that you charge your customers. It’s unrealistic to pay more for employees and not increase your bid amounts.

In addition to the wages, health insurance and other benefits are something workers look for. That’s especially true if they have children.

Support Apprenticeship Programs

Those looking to change careers need training. That’s where apprenticeship programs come into play. If you have any good programs in your area, contact them to see how you can participate. Being involved will keep you in touch with what workers are available and looking for an apprenticeship.

Besides apprenticeship programs, there can also be pre-apprenticeship programs where potential employees visit worksites and get an idea of what working in the industry would be like. Be open to having visitors and helping where you can.

Training for Employees

In addition to offering apprenticeships, have a robust training program for your current employees. Create a pathway where they can gain skills and increase their competency and income.

Employees who know they can create a better future for themselves, and their families will be more inclined to stay with your company.

And remember, not all high school graduates are headed for college. Let your local high schools know you’re available to talk to college-bound and non-college-bound students about working in the construction industry.

There are significant advantages to working in the industry right after high school and gaining hands-on experience compared to going into substantial debt with college. Make sure students know that.

Robust Advertising of All Kinds

Most companies spend time and money on advertising for customers. But, they may not have a consistent advertising program for recruitment. With the shortage of employees, it’s imperative to have a plan and be consistent. Here are the top places you can advertise:

  • Online recruiting – have a social media presence and let everyone know you’re hiring. Facebook and LinkedIn are the best platforms. Sometimes Craigslist can work too.
  • Put ads on association job boards – keep a running ad in and track the results. If the ad isn’t pulling, change the content and hire a professional writer if needed.
  • Promote to local veteran groups – let them know you’re hiring and provide training.
  • Promote to local churches – let pastors know that you’re looking for good workers
  • Post current openings on your website – keep your site up to date with all your openings. Give as much information as possible about duties, wages, and benefits, so the visitor feels comfortable applying.
  • Along with the website page, get testimonials both written and video of your current employees.
  • Promote to local suppliers – smaller suppliers can be an excellent source of leads.

Work with Schools

Contact local high schools and see if they have any placement programs for their students. Also, work with universities and colleges. Many students need summer or part-time jobs.

Let the high schools know that you offer excellent training for those who would like to work in the construction industry.

Recruitment Incentives

Give your current employees internal recruitment incentives. Also, stay in contact with past good employees. They may know of someone looking for a job.

Send out emails to your customers, suppliers, and anyone else on your list offering incentives for anyone they send your way.

Maintain a Good Reputation

Have a goal to become one of the best and most respected construction companies in your area. That will draw in good employees.

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