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The construction workforce shortage is a growing concern for the industry. With contractors competing against each other to fill vacant positions, how can you get the most value for your recruitment dollars and find well suited employees? On many projects with public funding hiring minority and female workers isn’t just a good idea, it ensures you remain in compliance with regulatory requirements.
Unfortunately, posting ads is not enough. Identifying reliable sources for employees is key.
Sources can be:
- vocational training programs
- trade schools (secondary or post-secondary)
- community colleges
- programs that assist the unemployed & underemployed
Whoever is tasked within your company on recruiting, whether it’s your HR Department or someone else, developing a relationship with people who work at these organizations is invaluable. It demonstrates you are serious about providing career opportunities and investing in your employees. Individuals you hire from these sources become your best recruiters for free. Many graduates go back to speak to participants, answer questions about working in the trades and offer guidance about careers in construction.
Since recruiting employees is an ongoing activity, even if you don’t have any available jobs, it’s always good to attend job fairs, career days, and other events. Ask colleagues for suggestions and maintain a resume bank. Should a job open, reach out to those individuals when the job opportunity occurs.
Keep Contacts Updated
Another best practice is to reach out to your contacts yearly, to confirm they are still the right person. If not, update your records and introduce yourself to the new contract. Having a direct contact will yield more successful results.
The project site is another recruitment source that is often overlooked. Posting job opportunities and accepting resumes at the project site office is convenient. Utilizing a poster with a QR code is a great way to direct interested prospects to your career site where they can find your current job openings. You can also ask them for referrals during toolbox meetings.
Social media is the primary method to reach potential employees. If possible, you should utilize as many social media channels as possible. In addition to search services and your website, post all openings on your company social media pages, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and other accounts. This is a quick & easy way to reach a wide audience.
Pre-apprenticeship programs, trade schools, and other construction related organizations provide training and will not only help fill your workforce gaps but create community goodwill.
In the construction industry workforce demand is outpacing supply. Consider starting your own program or apprenticeship program. Reach out to your department of labor for help with designing a program that will fit your workforce needs. Your state department of education can identify partners that support the program such as:
- OSHA-certified instructors
- CDL schools
- schools that teach technical courses (ex. blueprint reading)
If you’re able to partner with a non-profit organization that provides a facility to conduct training, that entity can apply for funding to underwrite the costs of the program.
Some resources that may help you are:
- Nontraditional Employment for Women
- Helmets To Hardhats
- Construction Skills, Inc.
- Hiring Assistance for Businesses - NYC Business
- Customized Training Grant Program - NYC Business
There are many best practices that can effectively help you recruit employees. Deploying as many as possible will maximize your results. If you have any questions or need assistance, reach out to TSIB and speak with our DiversityAssured team.
TSIB’s DiversityAssured team is currently providing services nationwide. The team helps foster workforce development and diversity compliance monitoring. Services include conducting project-specific training to all contractors, assisting with monitoring, reporting, and corrective action.