How to find skilled construction workers: 7 Tips to making smart hires

How to find skilled construction workers 7 Tips to making smart hires

Surrounding yourself with qualified construction workers is key to building a successful company in Australia. However, finding candidates that fit your company’s requirements can be tricky when you don’t know what to look for. This often results in hiring workers who are more of a liability than an asset to your team. To prevent this from happening, you should have a well-structured recruitment process. Consider the seven tips below to help you hire skilled construction workers. 

Create targeted job descriptions 

An effective job description will attract qualified tradies to apply to your company. Writing the right information is therefore crucial in ensuring you only get applications from ideal workers. Here are the most important elements to cover in your job description: 

  • Job title and purpose
  • Responsibilities and tasks
  • Prerequisite training, certifications, and knowledge required
  • Other relevant skills (e.g., software literacy, equipment expertise, and interpersonal skills)
  • Nature of the position (e.g., temporary or full-time)
  • Job location and a description of the work environment
  • Benefits and salary range consistent with market trends

Post job listings in the right places

When you’ve formulated a detailed job description, you must advertise the vacant position through the right channels. Although you can cast a wide net over every conceivable channel, it’s better to focus on platforms that are popular among construction workers. Some of the best places to look for potential candidates include SEEK, Hays, and hipages. Social media websites like LinkedIn are another effective channel for reaching out to more people in the construction industry. 

Also, make sure to advertise vacant positions on your company website’s careers page. You can even try looking for applicants in career fairs, local schools, and TAFE campuses

Ask current workers for referrals

Chances are your workers already know someone in the industry who’s looking for construction job vacancies. By encouraging current workers for referrals, you can significantly reduce the time and money spent looking for a fresh candidate. Involving workers in the recruiting process is also incredibly effective since they’re in the perfect position to share and promote their experiences working with your company. 

Of course, to motivate your employees to make referrals, you need to create an incentive programme. A sample incentive can be offering additional cash or other benefits when a referral turns to a hire who passes their probationary period. 

Don’t have such a rigid selection process

It’s rare to find high-quality candidates whose experience and skill set exactly match what you’ve outlined in your job postings. Oftentimes, the people who apply have the skills you’re looking for, but come up short in terms of years of experience and training. 

You shouldn’t disqualify candidates from your selection process just because they don’t meet all the criteria. Instead, give less experienced candidates a chance and provide hands-on training programmes to make them an asset to your team. These up-and-coming construction workers are likely more eager to develop their skills and put more effort into every task they’re assigned. 

Interview shortlisted candidates

Once you’ve received resumes for vacant positions, narrow down a list of applicants with the right qualifications. You should then invite the most promising candidates to a round of phone and in-person interviews. The purpose of these interviews is to assess their experience, communication skills, and personality. It’s also an opportunity to iron out logistics like salary expectations and start dates. 

For a smooth interview process, here are some sample questions you can ask:

  • Why did you choose to apply to our company?
  • Can you tell us about previous construction projects you’ve worked on? 
  • What strengths and expertise can you offer our team?
  • What do you think your responsibilities as a construction worker entail? 
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve disagreed with a supervisor or team member about your work? If so, how did you handle that situation?
  • What have you done to further develop your current skill set?

During this process, pay attention to how the candidates conduct themselves and whether their answers line up with your company culture. If they’ve largely worked by themselves or frequently move between different employers, it may indicate that they have trouble working with a team. You’ll also want to make sure they look physically capable to meet the labour-intensive demands of your construction company. 

Perform due diligence before making an offer

When a candidate passes your round of interviews, you should conduct the necessary background checks. This involves reviewing criminal records, pre-employment medical checkups, drug screenings, licenses and certifications, and previous work histories. Additionally, you should also contact the candidate’s professional references to get an idea of their work ethic and general demeanour on jobsites.     

Always look for new hires

A common misconception among construction companies is that they should only hire new employees when they’re expanding or if someone’s retiring. This mindset often results in having a smaller pool of candidates to choose from when it matters most. 

That’s why you should constantly be on the lookout for new construction workers, even during your company’s off-season. This way, you’ll always have a pipeline of potential candidates when you need more workers for the busy seasons. Plus, if you can actually find and stay in contact with skilled workers before other contractors scout them, you’ll be leagues ahead of the competition.

Acquiring the right talent for your construction company is a constant challenge you’ll have to contend with, but the guiding principles in this entry should make things easier. For more practical advice on managing your construction company, WorkBuddy is your go-to resource. We also offer a top-of-the-line job management platform that can optimise schedules, worker management, accounting, and safety compliance. Request a demo today to explore WorkBuddy’s capabilities.

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