Three Steps to Better Hiring
Develop a modern recruitment approach that attracts top talent to your firm.

In the latest FMI U.S. Construction Industry Talent Development Report, 53 percent of companies said that they are facing a shortage of skilled workers. Of those companies, 93 percent felt that the actual number of skilled workers available was the reason for the shortage. As the economy continues to recover and the construction industry enters this year’s busy season, companies are faced with new challenges. Many organizations haven’t been proactively recruiting in close to five years, and job seeker habits have changed significantly since then. No longer can organizations take a reactive or wait-and-see approach to hiring, nor can they post ads in the newspaper and expect to receive an influx of top-quality applicants. If an organization wants to compete, it must be willing to evolve and innovate its hiring strategy. Understanding a new three-step approach to recruitment will help up your game and take your hiring strategy to the next level.

1. Recruit with Great Job Distribution

Because of the Internet and access to information, businesses are now “open” seven days a week, 365 days a year. In order to be available to active and passive job seekers on demand, organizations must take their recruitment strategy online. When an organization creates a career page on its website and uses it as the hub of its recruiting strategy, the company establishes a place where job seekers can learn about open positions at any time. A career page is also an extension of a company’s brand. It should communicate your company principles, what you value and your position in the market. Providing this information allows you to show off your company’s strengths and explain to job seekers why your firm is a place they should want to work.

Creating a career page and compelling job ads while providing an easy application process is a vital foundation for an organization’s strategy, but stopping there will only identify applicants who know about the organization and seek it out. Developing a job distribution network of diversified audiences enables an organization to reach out to the groups in which the best candidates reside. Proactively posting jobs on niche and general distribution boards and aggregators can significantly increase traffic and awareness to the job posting and company career page. While results can vary, organizations may see a 50 to 75 percent increase in applicant flow when they focus on job distribution. Some boards will require an investment while others are free, so an organization needs to evaluate the budget and benefits of available boards to determine the best combination.

Using social media is another effective channel for job distribution. Facebook and LinkedIn can help you leverage the social networks of employees and business partners to significantly expand your reach. Both of these job distribution channels are available to all organizations at no cost.

Some construction firms may have concluded that LinkedIn is too office-
oriented. In that case, another option is workhands
.com, a new site that targets skilled trades jobs and networking.

One of the most overlooked job distribution channels is referral networks. Organizations that excel at job distribution utilize industry and partner networks to extend recruitment reach. One of the most powerful referral sources is the network of your organization’s employees. According to Dr. John Sullivan, an HR thought leader and author who focuses on strategic talent management, referrals are the No. 1 source of hiring volume and the No. 1 source of new hire quality. Referrals also provide the fastest time to fill positions—generally less than 30 days—and average twice the employee retention rate that other sources offer.

Investments in job distribution, social media and referral networks are critical to diversify your reach to top candidates. But what is the sum of these parts? Proactive organizations consider this network their talent community. A talent community combines numerous communication methods to reach out to those who are known and unknown to the organization.

In this competitive recruitment landscape, you do not want to discard an applicant simply because he or she is not a good fit for your organization today. People change, and organizational needs evolve, so 
a future employment relationship still may be a possibility.

2. Implement a Systematic Recruitment Process

After your organization has embraced employment branding, job distribution, social media and referral networks, the applications start pouring in. But flooding your HR manager with applications doesn’t solve the recruitment challenge. It intensifies it. To develop a hiring process that attracts top talent in an efficient and timely manner, you must closely examine your current recruitment processes.

Are you prescreening with questions that quickly identify top talent? What is your organization’s interview process? Are background checks required? What is the process of extending an offer and hiring? Evaluating these details can be overwhelming, but tools that can help are available. Some organizations still rely on documents, spreadsheets and hard copies, but—if you want to attract top talent in today’s market—consider using software that will automate the entire process and free up an HR manager to spend more time with applicants and less time on manual tasks.

3. Report on Results to Construct a Plan for the Future

Whether your organization does public work, private work or a combination, tracking recruitment workflow success is important. Like any investment in your organization, tracking what is and isn’t working is key to building on strengths and improving weaknesses.

Common reporting matrices that organizations are tracking include:

  • sources and conversions for applicant traffic
  • applicant summaries by race, gender, vet status and disability status
  • applicant summary by candidate stage (how far they advanced in the recruitment process)
  • New Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA)/Section 503 results to track and support an affirmative action plan

Build the Best Company

People are the lifeblood of any business. As your company begins to employ more talented individuals, your bottom line will reap the benefits. However, more profitability and efficiency can’t be achieved without making recruiting a priority.

Competition in today’s construction market is intense, and talented people with the right skills are increasingly scarce. The companies that find top talent quickly and efficiently will win the employment game.

For Federal Contractors and Subs

Know the New OFCCP Requirements

For the first time in five years, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCC) has made changes to the policies that govern contractors’ outreach and recruitment practices aimed at veterans and disabled individuals. These changes went into effect March 24, so federal contractors and subcontractors must review their current recruitment outreach processes.

Highlights of the new regulations include:

  • a focus on the utilization goal
  • data collection
  • invitation to self-identify
  • incorporation of equal opportunity clause
  • records access

Your organization should look to their affirmative action planning resource as a guide for reacting to these changes.

Go Mobile

70 percent of job seekers use mobile devices in their job searches.

81 percent of employees use their personal mobile devices for work.

23 of keyword searches that contain the word “job” come from mobile devices.

(Source: Forbes, Oct 2013)

By making job postings easily accessible online, your organization can show recruits that it is a modern company employing up-to-date business practices. The ability to apply online and complete the entire process from a mobile device takes the application procedure to another level. Top talent appreciates this efficiency and attention to detail, and these practices provide them insight into what they can expect as employees. Today’s potential employees—particularly in the construction industry—aren’t sitting behind desks. They are using mobile devices to conduct the business of building careers.