December 21, 2017 | Sherry Seaton
Projects are set, revenue is projected, calendars mapped out, and the budget for new hires has been approved. It’s time to scoop up the talent you need to meet your demanding 2018 goals. It’s a busy season to be shopping for high-quality construction talent, and candidates can afford to be selective. Seaton and Associates sources and speaks to thousands of construction candidates throughout the year, and here are a few things on their wishlists for 2018.
Flexible Work Arrangements: The construction industry is not widely known for offering flexible work schedules. While it may not be appropriate for all positions, flexible working in construction is growing as other industries embrace and emphasize it. As remote working and flexible work schedules grow in popularity (and feasibility due to mobile technology), professionals in the construction industry want to enjoy this benefit as well. Homebuilders and construction companies that not only support this but encourage it have a differentiator in a competitive market.
Continuous Learning: Career growth and development rank among the top priorities for candidates. Professional development and learning opportunities seem like a no brainer for organizations wanting to invest in their employees, but it can be difficult and time-consuming to do well, especially in the construction industry where many workers have onsite jobs. MicroLearning, which focuses on short bursts of learning to help workers meet a larger goal and is easily accessed through mobile, can be an effective method for providing learning opportunities to onsite workers and is trending in the construction world.
A Good Candidate Experience: A positive candidate experience is a frequently requested and seldom granted wish for job seekers according to a mysteryapplicant.com survey. Per the survey, only five percent of job applicants rated their experience as excellent and almost half rated their experience poor to very poor. Sixty four percent of the job seekers in the survey shared their candidate experience on social media. Candidates sharing their negative experiences with your company can be very damaging to your employer brand. A positive candidate experience is noteworthy and 90 percent of candidates who were treated with courtesy and respect say they would refer other candidates to the company in the future.
A Focus on Wellness: Candidates, especially millennials, shop for jobs that support their personal needs and goals. This includes health and wellness, which millennials care more about than previous generations. A holistic approach to employee wellness that focuses physical, mental and emotional health is appealing to this generation of candidates and serves to not only get them in the door but keep them engaged.
Uncomfortable Honesty: High-quality candidates understand your company is not a utopia, so don’t tell them it is. Sure, you want to highlight what’s great about working there, but tell them what’s hard about it too. If it’s a high pressure environment, mention it – you need a candidate that can handle it. If there’s not a lot of opportunity for upward mobility in their role, be upfront about it. While you may drive down your number of applicants, you will increase the number of candidates that are a good fit and your new employee’s job satisfaction.
A Safe Work Environment: A focus on safety goes hand in hand with a focus on wellness. Employees want to feel valued. Part of that is making safety a top priority and a core part of your employer brand. Publish your outstanding safety record, and highlight it throughout the recruiting process. Cite examples of what your company does to ensure safety for all employees. This extends beyond physical safety, discuss your response to harassment and workplace bullying. This is especially important when hiring women or other underrepresented groups in the construction industry.
To Know your “Why”: Today’s candidates want to feel like their job contributes to a higher purpose. They, not only care about what your company does but why you do it and why it’s important. You can convey this through creating or highlighting your mission statement and then demonstrating how their job will support it.
With so much information available on the internet and the number of construction jobs currently available, candidates have the luxury of being able to shop for an employer that meets most of the criteria on their wishlists.
What’s on your candidate or employer wishlist for 2018?