Construction and field services companies currently have it tough when it comes to maintaining a healthy workforce. Labor shortages mean it’s getting harder and harder to recruit, onboard and retain construction employees. In fact, more than half of all construction companies are having a hard time filling both salaried and hourly positions. Reasons for the labor shortage include a reduced number of workers entering the field, mass retirement of Baby Boomers and shortages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to reports. Updating your hiring practices, including recruiting and onboarding, can not only attract better workers, but keep them on the job longer.
Highlight Your Benefits
A big part of the skilled-labor crisis is the mass exit of Baby Boomers from the workforce. With so many of these skilled workers leaving, it’s up to Millennials and even Gen Z to start stepping up. Offer benefits that these generations want most. Millennials want help with their finances, like company matching 401(k) contributions, but development opportunities and flexible working hours matter too.
- Personal and Career Development: Recruiting becomes easier when you offer opportunities to workers that will advance their professional standing and skills. On-the-job training for high-demand industries like brick masonry, electricians and plumbing decreases the bar of entry and encourages even novices to apply. Creating a larger job pool gives you more applicants to choose from, so you’re not only hiring for skills but also personality fit.
- Workplace Flexibility: Field services workers don’t often have the same opportunities to work when and where they want. But companies can still offer some flexibility when it comes to PTO and managing work/life balance. For example, let your workers check their mobile devices so they can stay connected to their families and allow for flexible start or stop times to drop off and pick up kids.
- Voluntary Benefits: These optional benefits are sometimes called supplemental benefits or employee-paid benefits, and they’re extra appealing because they’re cheap and a la carte. With lots of offerings across different categories, employees can pick and choose what they need and what they can afford.
Promote Your Employer Brand
Your employer brand is your reputation as an employer and how that reputation is presented online matters. And since the “employee experience” is currently driving the job market, skilled laborers – already in high demand – have their pick of opportunities. That means candidates can quickly search online about your company and if they don’t like what they see, they may not move forward with the application process. Nailing what they find online is paramount to winning over the best candidates.
- Check your reviews on job referral sites and social media to see what kind of “first impression” job hunters are taking in.
- Ask current employees about their opinion of you as an employer through anonymous surveys.
- Create brand ambassadors to send into the community for talks and volunteer opportunities
- Tout and/or improve your company culture and use that momentum to create enthusiastic employees who generate reliable employee referrals.
According to Indeed, the benefits of employee referrals include:
- Increased hiring frequency
- Access to better candidates
- Better performance for the assigned budget
- Brand ambassadorships
- Reduced turnover
- Increased employer satisfaction
Make the Process Simple to Retain Construction Employees
Easy-to-use hiring and onboarding processes can give construction companies an edge for maintaining their workforce. Making sure the processes are optimized for mobile offers a definite advantage. According to a study by Glassdoor, not only do 58% of workers look for jobs on mobile devices, but 56.3% are looking for jobs in construction, repair and maintenance. The report further shows that promoting a job opening as mobile-friendly can increase the applicants by 11.6%, a definite advantage when trying to hire in a tight labor market.
Choose an applicant tracking system (ATS) that is optimized for mobile, meaning, candidates can view and apply for your job postings from their mobile devices. A cloud-based ATS makes it simple for companies too, especially when it comes to posting jobs, branding, managing candidates and reporting.
Once a candidate is hired, continue offering a great mobile experience with an easy-to-use onboarding software solution. Onboarding helps set the tone for an employee’s experience with your organization, and it can help create a solid foundation for engagement and retention. According to CareerBuilder, 9% of employees have left a job due to poor onboarding.
Use an onboarding system that allows new employees to start this part of the process from home using their phone or even laptop before their first day on the job. A cloud-based system gives employers the ability to collect several documents from employees for legal and regulatory compliance.
Completing this step from home means the first day for construction and field services employees is less about paperwork, and sitting by themselves in the trailer, and more about productivity. Use that first day to help employees start to create working relationships with their new team members and really begin to understand the responsibilities of the job and the culture of the organization.