How Staffing Agencies Help You Hire Construction Workers For Projects
Does construction have a high turnover rate?
The construction industry has long had a reputation for high worker turnover. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction industry averaged 197,250 resignations per month from September to December 2021.
Struggling to hire construction workers, many construction companies have decided to enlist the help staffing agencies. These are firms that specialize in marketing jobs. They also help in sourcing, screening and filling job openings with quality candidates. During times of challenging job markets, they can be an incredibly useful resource.
How construction recruiting agencies can help you hire construction workers
To understand why construction companies should partner with a construction recruiting firm, we spoke with Regional Business Development Executive and Lead for Aerotek’s Construction Division Joshua Miles. He has over 14 years of experience in partnering with construction companies to overcome their staffing challenges and hire construction workers. He explains why working with construction recruitment agencies can help construction companies secure the workers they need to reach their business goals and support their efforts to successfully complete their projects.
Construction budget management
Construction companies need to bid, win and build new projects to reach their business goals. Once a project is won and a budget is approved, companies want to avoid adding new costs. Often, a job may require hiring more construction workers to complete the project. Or — in combination with other projects going on — there could be a gap in manpower leaving some jobs with less people than needed to successfully perform the work. Sourcing and onboarding new workers internally can result in added costs. It can also jeopardize the project from being completed on budget and on time. Partnering up front with a quality staffing firm that specializes in your industry allows companies to offload their staffing responsibilities. It also allows them to factor in the cost for additional staffing into the original budget proposal.
“As construction companies go after new projects it’s important for them to be proactive with partnering with an agency or firm. If they know they’ll need the added support on the back end, they can negotiate pricing up front and build into their estimate the staffing cost so then it's not a major issue when they need to hire new workers,” says Miles.
Continuously trying to figure out how to recruit construction workers is a significant cost for employers. Repeatedly hiring, onboarding and training new workers takes time and money. A staffing partner can help teach construction companies how to find construction workers, improve efficiency and reduce some unnecessary costs throughout the project.
“It’s about retention. The first two to four weeks on the job usually involves heavy training and job site safety orientation regardless of the skill set. So, if you’re constantly losing workers, all you’re doing is training as opposed to working towards completing the job, that’s when you start to lose money and get behind,” says Miles.
Construction recruitment agencies know how to recruit employees in construction:
Expand construction candidate pools
A construction company is focused on building and setting up the next projects. Construction recruiting agencies are focused on hiring construction workers for their clients. It’s what they do best and why many companies are willing to offload their recruiting and onboarding operations to an employment agency. This allows managers and other business leaders to focus on other company goals.
How do construction recruitment agencies work?
“Our job is to identify candidates that work in the skilled trades, understand what it takes to work in the construction industry and the safety requirements and place them with our clients in need of additional personnel. We network with passive and active job seekers to build networks of candidates with specific skills in specific geographies. We figure out what motivates them and what they’re looking for in an employer,” says Miles.
The benefits of working with a construction recruiting agency
One of the main benefits of working with an employment agency is that they have the resources to effectively promote jobs to workers. Most construction companies don’t have the time to contact the number of workers it takes to build a reliable network of potential candidates.
“Our network of candidates is larger than what many construction companies have access to. Our recruiters can call thousands of people a week to find the right person for the job. We also promote job postings and can build referral programs to bring in more candidates,” says Miles.
Having a strong network and a well-honed outreach process not only makes staffing agencies better equipped to know how to find construction workers. It also allows them to leverage those assets to find the best-qualified or best-fitting candidates.
“Staffing is all about networking and being consistent. We try to build a reputation with our contractors and clients that we have the jobs they are looking for and that we partner with the candidates they need to fill their openings.” says Miles.
Improve construction candidate screening and worker quality
Connecting the right candidate to the right job is one of the major benefits of working with a construction recruiting firm. Construction companies often don’t have the time or access to workers to effectively screen candidates. This can lead to companies staffing workers who are likely to leave the team before the project is complete — consequently creating more time training and more turnover.
“Most staffing companies are incentivized to hire construction workers who will last for a long time, not just to find anybody that can do the job. When we place somebody, we want them to work out for the duration of the assignment. If they leave before the assignment is complete, that’s not a win for us…When we place a candidate who is the right fit, enjoys their job and remains on the project until its completion. It not only builds our credibility but also helps our clients get the job done on time and under budget,” says Miles.
Proactively working with a construction recruitment company to outline exactly what you want in a candidate can increase worker quality. It can also save time and improve retention. Staffing firms know how to find construction workers, as they have existing connections to construction workers - which makes the screening process more efficient. Knowing a worker’s skills and motivations saves time during the screening process. It also reduces the chances that the worker leaves before their assignment is complete.
Simplifying recruiting in the construction industry
By building a partnership with a staffing agency, construction companies can create a larger pool of candidates, make screening more efficient and improve how they budget for projects. For companies interested in working with a staffing firm, Josh Miles has some advice – be proactive and look to create a partnership.
“Create a partnership, not just a typical vendor-customer relationship. Staffing agencies are providing the people that are building your job. We have to be on the same page and we have to be a partner as opposed to simply being a vendor. It may take a little bit longer in the short term, but the more we understand about your company and projects you build, the more likely it is to find the right person the first time around; this is where the efficiency comes in. It will end up saving you time and money in the long term,” says Miles.
Do you need to hire construction workers?
If your construction company needs to find workers for an upcoming project, contact us today.