Most construction companies are ignoring 98% of candidates
“We use word of mouth - it’s the only way to recruit for construction workers. “
The people who talk about word of mouth to find construction workers aren’t wrong. They’re just ignoring 98% of the candidates.
For those who don’t want to ignore 98% of the construction candidates, this is for you.
How to find construction workers in 2022
The world is changing.
Forward-thinking construction companies are finding new ways to find construction workers.
This article is to show you step-by-step how to find construction workers in 2022.
How many construction workers are there?
There are approximately 7.5 million people working in construction. The number fluctuates throughout the year but that’s a good number to work with.
Of that 7.5 million people, how many construction workers does your company employ?
Dozens? Hundreds? Thousands?
How many construction workers has your company employed over the past 5 years?
That number is still in the hundreds or thousands for most companies.
So that leaves literally millions of people who you have not employed but could re potential candidates.
That’s why we say most companies are ignoring 98% of candidates. The percentage is a lot higher than 98% for most companies.
What are the elements of a desirable construction job?
Construction jobs that get filled have three (3) key elements:
- A job that people are looking for. This is the demand for job. Are there job seekers out there looking for this job?
- A competitive job. These are the financials of the job (pay rate, per diem, overtime hours etc.)
- A job that people want. These are the non-financials (company reputation, job location, owner’s reputation etc.)
How to find construction workers Step 1: Select the labor pool you’re recruiting from
This is about generating demand for your job. Have you thought about who you’re recruiting?
There are four levels of talent pools in construction. Select the talent pool that you’re targeting:
- Level 1 Talent: Current employees
- Level 2 Talent: Prior employees
- Level 3 Talent: Referred candidates
- Level 4 Talent: All other candidates
These labor pools are different and require different tactics. Levels 1 and 2 are going to be very responsive to calls and texts.
Level 3 will require engagement from talent levels 1 or 2.
Level 4 requires an entirely different tactic involving broader outreach.
Being intentional about the labor talent level does two things. First, it helps you understand the tools you need to select to be successful.
Second, it helps you plan for generating demand. If you’re able to generate demand from level 1, great! If the job isn’t getting filled, you’ll need to work into other levels.
How to find construction workers Step 2: Put together a compelling job offer
All people want jobs that pay well.
Welders, electricians, pipefitters, millwrights, ironworkers, and operators are no different.
Not every job can be the highest paying job on the market, but there are some things that companies can do to make their job more attractive.
First, be transparent with pay. This is the number one driver of applications.
Companies that are up front with pay get more and better candidates.
Second, address the right information. There are eleven (11) pieces of critical information that construction workers are looking for in a job description. If you’re looking for more details on these items, we wrote an article about it.
- Trade name / Job title
- Job location
- Pay rate
- Per diem rate
- Per diem days paid per week
- Work hours per week
- Project duration
- Project start date
- Signing bonus
- Travel pay
- Expense reimbursement
Address as many of these as possible.
Third, be concise.
There’s no reason to write a three-page job description. If those details are necessary for you, we recommend putting them below the eleven pieces of critical information.
Address the important items first and your internal items last.
How to find construction workers Step 3: Address the intangibles
Construction workers care about your company’s reputation.
Are you known to have safe job sites? That’s a checkmark in your favor?
Are you known to treat employees well? Another good mark.
Are construction workers talking badly about your company online? Not good.
Are construction workers talking badly about your company to each other? Even worse.
Intangibles matter. Sometimes even more than pay rates.
When certain company post jobs, they get a massive response. Other companies with comparable financial offers do not get the same response.
What’s the difference? It’s the intangibles.
Other factors to consider are the project location and the owner/customer reputation. If the job is in a place that people want to work in, it’ll get a lot more applications than a place nobody wants to go.
How to find construction workers Step 4: Re-evaluate and adjust steps 1, 2 or 3
Maybe your plan is working. Maybe it isn’t.
This step is where you look at what you’re doing and where you may need to change course.
Depending on what you did in steps 2 and 3, the job may have increased (or decreased) demand.
If you’ve increased demand, it could be time to shut down recruiting and get into vetting.
If you’re not seeing enough candidates, it’s time to adjust steps 1, 2 or 3.
What is the best site to find construction workers?
The best site to find construction workers depends on which workers you’re recruiting. If you’re looking for traveling construction workers, for example, RoadDog Jobs is the best site. If you’re looking for local construction workers, standard job boards like Indeed or Ziprecruiter work. Also Facebook Groups can be effective for finding construction workers.
Conclusion on how to find construction workers
Even today word of mouth is a powerful tool to use to find construction workers. Companies with good reputations and good jobs can find construction workers with little effort because this informal network.
How do some construction companies have construction workers clamoring to get on their job sites?
The reason is that those construction companies use the three elements of getting a construction job filled:
- A job that people are looking for
- A competitive job
- A job that people want
The companies that post jobs that meet these three criterial find construction workers better than others.
Use these to your advantage and your company will find construction workers whenever you need to.