The new year calls for a new recruiting strategy. If you’re struggling to recruit enough workers, you’re not alone. According to the Associated General Contractors of America’s (AGC) 2024 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook, 77% of the survey’s respondents say they’re having a hard time filling some or all salaried or hourly craft positions. What’s more, 55% believe hiring will continue to be hard or will become even harder this year.
Contractors can’t ignore 2024’s hiring difficulties, they must meet them to meet the increased demand for construction work. Most construction firms anticipate adding more workers in 2024. About 25% of AGC’s survey respondents want to increase headcount by 11 to 25% or higher. To achieve these goals, contractors need to align their recruiting strategies to meet industry workforce challenges.
Here are our three top recruiting tips you need to implement in 2024.
Number 1: Target Passive Candidates
Throughout 2023 – and likely into 2024 – the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there are more jobs than available workers, thanks to low unemployment rates. Since unemployed workers aren’t clamoring to find new jobs, employers must target passive candidates. According to LinkedIn, 84% of recruiters said that engaging passive candidates is becoming important in lower and middle-level roles and for bringing top talent into the funnel.
Passive candidates are candidates who may be already employed and working hard at their current job, though willing to look elsewhere if the right opportunity presents itself. Employers can reach out to passive candidates by posting job openings across multiple channels, like job boards and social media, starting an employee referral program and also by building a talent pool. HR software, like Arcoro’s Applicant Tracking System (ATS), stores all applicant records, helping to create a database of candidates who may not have been perfect for a past position but are ideal for a current or future opening.
Number 2: Champion Diversity
Construction workers have historically been white and male, by overwhelming amounts. According to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s report, Building for the Future: Advancing Equal Employment Opportunity in the Construction Industry:
- Women only make up 11% of construction workers, holding only 8.5% of management positions while they make up 47% of the overall US workforce.
- African Americans make up nearly 7% of construction workers, holding just over 5% of management positions, while constituting about 13% of the US workforce.
- Hispanic workers are more represented, constituting more than 34% of workers but are significantly underrepresented in higher paying positions.
Construction companies need to take serious steps in 2024 to diversify their workforce. Not only does a diverse workforce inspire innovation and creativity but more candidates are looking to work at a company that champions diversity through its hires. Research by Eagle Hill Consulting LLC shows that 53% of workers say diversity, equity and inclusion are key factors when considering a new job. It’s even more important for members of Gen Z, at 77%, and millennials, at 63%.
Building a more diverse workforce includes expanding the reach of your job postings via national and niche job boards. It also helps to include language in postings that is inclusive, meaning it is gender and race neutral. But construction companies can also promote benefits that attract all workers, like paid maternity leave and transportation to and from work.
Number 3: Display Your Company Culture
Your company culture is what’s going to attract workers and get them to stay – essential in 2024 as a 2023 PWC report shows employees will continue to job hop. Twenty-six percent of employees say they will change jobs in the next 12 months, up 19% from 2022. These workers, 35% of which are Gen Z, say it’s because they feel overworked or struggle to pay bills. Highlighting a culture that includes in-demand benefits, like flexibility, pay raises and career development opportunities can help. Put your culture front and center by promoting it online via your website and social media channels. According to Jobvite, Job Seeker Nation, 59% of job seekers research companies’ websites, social media and reviews to gain insight into their employer brand and culture. If your website is sparse or non-existent or your social media is lacking, a candidate might move on to a company that represents itself better.
Bonus: Don’t Forget Engagement
A bonus tip is to keep candidates engaged throughout the hiring process. Currently, applicants have a lot of employment options and if you don’t communicate with them throughout the hiring process, they may think you’re not interested and move on to a competitor. Arcoro offers an SMS texting functionality for its ATS. Admins can use the system to exchange text messages with candidates who opt-in from the application process. Recruiters, managers and HR can all text a candidate from a designated number throughout the process, like letting the candidate know you are reviewing their application, scheduling interviews and more.
If you already have Arcoro’s ATS, contact your Account Manager to add this great feature or learn more. Prospective customers can schedule a demo to see everything Arcoro’s ATS can do for your hiring strategy in 2024.