The past few years have seen some of the lowest unemployment rates in Australia in almost 50 years with rates as low as 3.4% in 2022.
While this is great news, these rates, spurred on by the COVID-19 lockdown and the subsequent reduction in overseas workers, have resulted in critical staffing issues, particularly in the construction industry.
In fact, the National Skills Commission’s Skills Priority List report for 2022 found that 47% of all occupations across Technicians and Trades Workers were suffering from staff shortages and in the past year, the issue has only worsened.
According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), more than a third of construction businesses reported that they struggled to find suitable workers due primarily to a lack of applicants, and of those that did apply, the majority were underqualified or lacked the necessary experience.
For those in the construction game, a highly competitive industry that heavily relies on people, it’s never been more important to understand the most effective ways to best position yourself for bringing in top talent. Afterall, it’s one of the few ways to differentiate as a company.
The best companies in the world who attract the brightest talent use a number of different cutting-edge strategies to get a competitive advantage in the labour market. Things like sourcing technology, job fairs, employer branding, recruitment marketing and talent pooling. However, the construction industry is still decades behind most other industries when it comes to recruitment.
In 2023 more construction companies moved towards in-house recruitment, and its a great start. But, the real win comes from fully embracing and using every effective recruitment tool simultaneously. Here’s why:
We wanted to put together a list of recruitment tools and methods being used by some of the largest and most successful companies in the world, like Apple, Walmart and Salesforce, to attract great-quality candidates and more importantly, hold onto that talent, and figure out what we could learn from these companies and how our industry can improve.
So, we looked at the key recruitment components found on the websites of the world’s top 50 companies and narrowed it down to 13 key components. We then researched 500 civil construction, commercial construction, landscaping, and infrastructure company websites across Australia to see how many businesses were actually utilising these tools.
In this article, we’ll be looking more closely at 7 of those key components and will cover the remainder in our next article. The components we will be talking about today are;
Let’s dive in to see what we found . . .
The most effective process used by some of the largest companies in the world for bringing in top talent – and retaining it – is building an Employee Value Proposition (EVP). However only 5% of construction companies we researched clearly displayed an EVP on their careers site.
EVPs are central to any companies recruitment processes since businesses consistently attribute them to not only helping them attract better quality talent but also improving employee satisfaction and higher retention rates.
An effective EVP communicates what your organisation offers to employees beyond just salary and benefits and is designed to filter out people who would never thrive at a particular company, ultimately saving huge amounts of time and money. Here are some steps to help build and implement an EVP on your company’s website:
A Careers Page: Every top 50 company in the world has a robust and informative careers site – EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. It’s owned real estate that can be used to showcase the brand, advertise job openings and highlight a company is a great place to work. But shockingly only 43% of the construction companies we researched even HAVE a careers page on their website.
If you plan on recruiting at all, a Careers Page is a must, and if you only have the resources to focus on one or two things, it should be your EVP and Careers Page.
Building a Careers Page for your construction company’s website can be a valuable way to attract talent, showcase job opportunities and gain interest from better fit candidates. According to Glassdoor and LinkedIn, a substantial majority of job seekers (80%+) research a company online before applying and visit a company’s Careers Page as part of their decision-making process.
This highlights the importance of an informative and engaging Careers Page as part of a company’s overall recruitment strategy to attract and retain potential candidates.
A thorough, up-to-date and well-designed Careers Page can serve as a window into a company’s available opportunities, culture and values. Ultimately giving them a sense for what life is like at a particular company. Here are some steps on how you can implement an effective careers page:
Building a talent pool: The top companies are all building talent pools, it’s a strategic approach that involves proactively sourcing, engaging, and nurturing potential candidates for future job opportunities within your company long before you actually need them.
But only 6.33% of the construction companies we researched are actively building a talent pool through their website.
The job search function: Companies like Apple, Amazon, Walmart and Tesla all have job search functions embedded in their career sites. Why?
Two reasons: User experience and data.
80+% of job seekers are going to visit a company’s careers page to learn more after seeing a job vacancy. So giving people the ability to quickly apply through a company website provides a seamless and efficient experience for potential candidates, contributing to a positive candidate journey.
Secondly, if a company tells job seekers to apply via job boards they’re not capturing data but instead we’re giving it away to the job boards. Who ultimately use that data to charge its customers higher prices for access.
Having candidates apply directly with a company instead of via third party platforms is critical to a companies overall recruitment strategy success.
However, only 5.33% of the construction companies we researched actually post current job vacancies on their website.
Here’s why these tools are valuable and how they help to recruit new staff:
These tools contribute to a positive candidate experience and ultimately help your company recruit and hire new staff more effectively while retaining valuable data that will help with future recruiting efforts.
Employee testimonials providing authentic insights into the work culture, values, and overall employee experience, helping to build trust with potential candidates is a tactic that the biggest companies in the world use really well. By using things like employee testimonials and other employee success stories throughout careers pages and social media profiles it allows companies to build large amounts of credibility.
Here’s why employee testimonials are so valuable and the steps to implement them:
If you’re still questioning whether you need to start including video and imagery to elevate your recruiting game, here are a few reasons to get you over the line and some steps to get you started.
According to Wordstream, videos receive a mind-blowing 1200% more shares than plain text or images combined. LinkedIn found that video clips are shared 20 times more than any other content and according to CareerBuilder, placing a video icon on your job post not only grabs 12% more views but also boosts your chances with a 34% higher application rate.
And in general, 80% of recruiters swear that videos increase the number of applicants. So, if you’re looking to stand out in the recruiting game, it’s time to hit record. We’ve listed a few of the values of video and imagery below and some simple tips on how you can start implementing them.
In a skills deficit market, our data shows that less than half (43%) of the construction companies that we looked at are doing the absolute bare minimum (Careers Page) when it comes to recruiting top talent and reducing employee attrition. But perhaps what is even more alarming is that 56% of the construction company websites that we analysed are not putting ANY of these processes to use.
So where does your company sit amongst our data? Compare your recruitment processes against what you could be using and see what improvements you could make to increase your recruitment and retention potential.
And keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive, we’ve only scratched the surface. We’ve provided an overview with some helpful steps on how you can get started but the other half of this process looks behind the curtain to see the stats and figures, using technology and data analytics to see which tools are working hardest for you. Don’t worry if you’re feeling a little lost or not sure where to start, feel free to get in touch or sign up for our newsletter/podcast for more useful content to help you along.
If you feel that this is an area of your business that is suffering, then get in touch with us at Moonshot Media so we can get you on track for attracting and retaining not just great people, but the right people.