The construction industry is a tough business to be in right now. Labor shortages are forcing many construction companies to turn down jobs. HR Tech can help organizations overcome these challenges by becoming more agile.
What exactly does it mean to be agile? Business agility is the ability to adapt quickly to market changes, respond rapidly to customer demands, be flexible and be able to adapt and lead change in a productive and cost-effective way, according to AgileBusiness.org.
In today’s industry landscape, if construction companies aren’t agile and finding new HR tools and techniques that will help them compete, they’re going to be left behind.
In a recent online summit organized by Arcoro, Ben Eubanks of Lighthouse Research and Advisory (Lighthouse) shared some insights on how business agility and HR technology are linked. This topic speaks directly to the construction industry as it continues to address challenges such as skills gaps, new technologies and escalating material costs.
Insight #1: HR Tech Drives Agility
Construction companies both large and small must be able to adjust quickly to meet the industry’s changing conditions. HR technology can help construction companies with 100 or more employees be more flexible and responsive. According to Lighthouse, 97% of companies say HR technology plays a key role in enabling their agility.
A cloud-based HRIS allows companies to deliver services to employees, no matter where they’re located. HR can track time and PTO for crews spread out over town or staff working from home. Any updates to policies can be sent to all employees and easily signed from any device.
“The money a company invests in its people, and the tools to manage them, was the most predictive metric for whether the company will be successful and profitable,” says Eubanks.
Insight #2: HR Tech Re-Focuses Hiring Processes
When the COVID-19 pandemic all but shut down face-to-face interactions, how many construction companies were able to quickly pivot to a virtual environment, especially when it came to HR issues like hiring?
HR teams found out just how much their systems could handle and whether those systems could adapt. Lighthouse found 65% of companies indicated that 2020 exposed critical gaps in their talent acquisition technology.
One critical need is accessibility. Eight out of 10 construction applicants are looking for jobs and applying on a mobile device, according to Eubanks who advises that inaccessibility will be the downfall for companies looking to hire new workers.
“Don’t create friction. Don’t make it harder for those candidates to get to the end of the process, or you’ll end up losing out to someone who has an easier apply,” he explains.
An applicant tracking system (ATS) that offers a mobile-friendly, no-login-required application reduces any friction that might prevent candidates from finishing the process. An ATS also allows you to quickly post and screen potential hires so you can fill open positions faster.
Insight #3: Construction Companies will Need to Invest More in HR Tech
If construction companies want to be agile, they need to do more than just dip their toes in HR tech. They need to develop a strong plan to invest. But many construction companies don’t plan on increasing what they’re spending on HR tech.
AGC’s 2021 Construction Outlook asked construction companies how they plan on changing their HR investment in 2021 compared to 2020.
- Only 18% said they plan to increase their spending on HR software
- 15% plan to increase spending on scheduling software
- 13% plan to increase spending on payroll software.
That’s too bad, considering the right HR software can reduce time and cost to hire, reduce unnecessary overtime and increase retention rates. For example, if your retention rates drop significantly after initial training, your onboarding process may need a much-needed upgrade. Or if your crews repeatedly rack up overtime hours, a time tracking system can help you manage this cost.
Investing in HR tech is your best bet for staying agile when the construction industry dips and turns. Arcoro’s HR software is designed to help construction companies hire, manage and grow their employees.
Learn more by downloading our eBook, Getting the Edge: 3 Things Construction Companies Need to Know About HR Tech and Agility.