December 7, 2017 | Sherry Seaton
The suburbs are making a comeback in 2018. Due to rising housing costs in U.S. cities, such as New York, Austin, San Francisco and Boston, millennials and middle-class families are opting for suburban neighborhoods over urban living. “Home buyers are facing an ‘affordability challenge,'” said Chief Economist Lawrence Yun of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). “The inventory shortage has been pushing prices up too fast beyond people’s income growth.”
The influx of new buyers moving to the suburbs is not keeping up with the inventory available, and home builders will play a crucial role in replenishing depleted inventories over the next few years with affordable, new-home construction.
Because of this year’s major storms in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico and the devastating wildfires throughout Northern and Southern California, construction talent is in high demand. Home builders are competing for the best candidates with the federal government (FEMA) and other construction companies focused on rebuilding.
The number of construction jobs available plus the need to keep labor costs down to keep housing affordable means home builders need to be very strategic when searching for and hiring new talent.
Here are a few recommendations to improve your recruiting game and land the best talent in a space crowded with job opportunities.
Focus on Long-term Career Growth
While job seekers may be able to land higher paying jobs with companies focused on rebuilding in areas hit by natural disasters, those are temporary. Emphasize the opportunity for career growth and promotions within your organization. One of your competitive advantages is that you’re offering them a career, not just a job. Make this a central focus in your recruiting and hiring efforts.
Highlight your Employee Benefits Package
Competitive compensation is one of the most important factors to job seekers. But if you’re not offering the highest base pay, – and there is typically someone willing to outbid you for top talent – you can leverage your benefits package to help attract and retain the best employees by showing how it affects total compensation.
The Balance, an online financial publication, suggests designing a total compensation statement of an average employee. Employee Benefits expert Tess Taylor says, “Pick a mid-level employee and create a statement that shows their total compensation for one year. This statement should include the salary (gross annual earnings), including any potential bonuses or commissions, plus the complete value of the health insurance benefits, dental and vision benefits, retirement savings benefits, maximum annual health or flexible savings plan benefits, company training benefit costs, onsite perks dollar value per year, and any additional perks that have an annual cost to the company.”
You may be competing with organizations offering higher salaries for the position; however, if you can provide candidates with a visual of their total compensation, you can edge out competitors using a big upfront number to attract candidates.
Sell your Brand
As discussed in my last post on creating construction job postings that stand out, use the recruiting and interview process to highlight what makes your company special. While competitive compensation and other benefits and perks are important to job seekers, most workers want to feel like they have purpose, are valued in their positions, and are a part of something important. Highlight how working for your company can provide this for them. Use pictures, videos, employee testimonials, customer quotes and awards to help showcase your brand.
Build and Nurture Relationships with Top Industry Talent
Create your own talent pool by building relationships and staying connected with industry talent. Use social networks, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to stay connected with candidates. Keep a database of past candidates you liked but did not select and create a strategy to stay in contact with them. The effort is well worth it when you find yourself competing in a lean pool of talent and needing to hire quickly to keep your projects on time and on budget.
If you’re looking to hire a recruiting firm to help build out your construction and executive teams for next year, look for recruiters that specialize in recruiting for home builders and construction companies. The good ones will have deep ties in the construction talent community and a large pool of candidates with whom they already have relationships. They can focus on bringing you the best talent while you focus on building the best homes.