Construction Industry Recruitment

How has the construction industry changed?

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.

So, what recruitment strategies should the construction industry be using?

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:

  • You’ll save money on external resourcing
  • You’ll be able to fill positions 3X faster
  • You’ll attract better quality talent
  • You’ll have the ability to build talent pools of potential future candidates
  • You’ll promote brand awareness with an online presence and through current and previous staff testimonies

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;

  • Employee Value Propositions
  • Career Pages
  • Talent Pools
  • Search Functions
  • Testimonials
  • Video and Imagery

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.

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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:

  • Understand Your Audience: Identify your target audience (e.g. engineers, project managers, operators, labourers) and understand their needs, preferences, and career aspirations.
  • Define Your Employer Brand: Clearly define your company’s values, culture, and mission. What sets your construction company apart from others in the industry?
  • Conduct Employee Surveys: Gather feedback from current employees to understand their perspectives on working for the company. Identify strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Identify Unique Selling Points: Determine what makes your construction company an attractive employer. This could include challenging projects, opportunities for career growth, a supportive work environment, etc.
  • Craft a Compelling Message: Develop a concise and compelling message that encapsulates what employees can expect from working with your company. Highlight the key benefits and opportunities.
  • Create Engaging Content: Develop content that proves that you walk the talk on your careers page. This could include videos, employee testimonials, and written content that reflects your company culture.
  • Highlight Career Development Opportunities: Emphasise opportunities for professional growth and development. This could include training programs, mentorship initiatives, or career advancement paths. Or… if you’re a smaller company and can’t offer endless progression, lean into what you can offer… impact, not making people feel like just another number.
  • Showcase Employee Well-Being: Illustrate your commitment to employee well-being by highlighting work-life balance initiatives, health and wellness programs, and any other employee-centric benefits.
  • Feedback Mechanism: Include a feedback mechanism on your careers page to gather insights from potential and current employees.

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.

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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:

  • Employer Value Proposition: lead with your company’s employer value proposition, it should be one of the first things candidates and job seekers see when visiting your Careers Page.
  • Benefits: Highlight employee benefits, company culture, and what makes your construction company a great place to work.
  • Job Listings: Organise and display your current job openings with clear job titles, descriptions, and requirements.
  • Application Process: Provide information on how candidates can apply, whether through an online form, email, or another method. But make sure  the application process is as frictionless as possible.
  • Showcase your Company Culture: Include photos or videos that provide insight into your workplace environment and team dynamics.
  • Testimonials: Share testimonials or quotes from current employees about their experiences working for your company.
  • Mobile Optimisation: Ensure that your careers page is mobile-friendly, as many job seekers use mobile devices to search for opportunities.
  • Implement User-Friendly Navigation: Make the careers page easily accessible from the main navigation menu on your website. Use clear headings and subheadings for easy navigation.

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.

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  • In the construction industry, where skilled and specialised talent is often in high demand, having a talent pool can offer several advantages in recruiting new staff. Here’s the value of building a talent pool and the steps to implement one:

     

Value of Building a Talent Pool in the Construction Industry
  • Proactive Recruitment: Building a talent pool allows you to take a proactive approach to recruitment, ensuring that you have a pool of qualified and interested candidates ready when positions become available.
  • Reduced Time-to-Fill Positions: Having a pre-qualified talent pool can significantly reduce the time it takes to fill open positions. This is crucial in the construction industry where project timelines are often tight.
  • Access to Specialised Skills: In construction, where specific skills and certifications are often required, having a talent pool allows you to identify and engage individuals with specialised skills in advance.
  • Mitigation of Skill Shortages: We’re all aware of the skills shortage the construction industry is currently facing. A talent pool enables you to address these shortages more effectively by having a pipeline of potential hires with the necessary skills and qualifications
  • Cost Savings: Building a talent pool can lead to cost savings in recruitment. Proactively sourcing candidates and reducing reliance on external agencies can result in lower recruitment costs.
Steps to Implement a Talent Pool in the Construction Industry
  • Encourage Employee Referrals: Establish an employee referral program to encourage current employees to refer qualified candidates. Employee referrals often lead to high-quality hires.
  • Engage in Continuous Sourcing: Actively source candidates through various channels, including job boards, social media, industry events, and professional networks. Keep a steady flow of potential candidates entering your talent pool.
  • Leverage Networking: Attend industry events, conferences, and trade shows to network with professionals in the construction field. Networking can help you identify and connect with top talent.
  • Build a Talent Community: Create a talent community or join existing industry-specific platforms where potential candidates can stay engaged with your company, receive updates, and express their interest in future opportunities.
  • Regularly Communicate: Regularly communicate with individuals in your talent pool. Provide them with relevant updates about your company, industry news, and potential job opportunities.

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.

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Here’s why these tools are valuable and how they help to recruit new staff:

  • User-Friendly Navigation: A job search function streamlines the candidate’s experience, allowing them to quickly locate relevant job openings based on keywords, location, or other criteria.
  • Simplify the Application Form: Streamline the application form to include only essential fields. Reduce the number of clicks required for submission.
  • Increased Conversion Rates: Quick and easy application methods lead to higher conversion rates. Candidates are more likely to apply if the process is straightforward and doesn’t require an excessive amount of time.
  • Faster Recruitment Cycle: Streamlined processes result in a faster recruitment cycle. The quicker candidates can apply, the faster your company can evaluate applications and make hiring decisions.
  • Offer One-Click Application Options: Explore options for one-click applications, such as using social media profiles or resume parsing tools to pre-fill application forms.

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:

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  • Authenticity: Testimonials offer genuine perspectives from current employees, providing an authentic portrayal of the company culture and work environment.
  • Trust Building: Potential candidates often trust the opinions of current employees more than official company statements. Testimonials build credibility and trust.
Steps to Create Great Employee Testimonials:
  • Select a Diverse Group: Choose a diverse group of employees from different departments, levels, and backgrounds to showcase a well-rounded view of the organisation.
  • Conduct Interviews: Conduct interviews with selected employees to gather their thoughts and experiences. Ask open-ended questions to encourage detailed and genuine responses.
  • Include Multimedia: Where possible, include multimedia elements such as photos or videos to make the testimonials more engaging and visually appealing.
  • Integrate into Careers Page: Feature the testimonials prominently on your company’s careers page. Create a dedicated section where visitors can easily access and read/watch the testimonials.

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.

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  • Visual Appeal: Visual content is more engaging and memorable than text alone. Videos and images capture attention and make a lasting impression.
  • Increases Engagement: People are more likely to engage with and share visual content. This can expand the reach of your recruitment efforts through social media and other channels.
  • Showcases Company Culture: Video and imagery allow you to visually portray your company culture, giving potential candidates a sense of what it’s like to work for your organisation.
  • Humanise the Brand: Add a human touch to your brand by featuring real employees, their stories, and the day-to-day activities within the company.
  • Highlight Employee Stories: Feature employee stories through video interviews or profiles. Showcase their experiences, career growth within the company, and what they enjoy about working there.
  • Include Day-in-the-Life Content: Provide a glimpse into a typical day at the office or on a construction site. This helps potential candidates visualise themselves as part of your team.
  • Use High-Quality Imagery: Utilise high-resolution images that capture the essence of your workplace. Include a mix of candid shots and professional photography to showcase authenticity.
How many construction companies are using the right tools to recruit top talent?

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.

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