A solid, dependable, and responsible crew is vital in construction. The mix of complex projects, tight deadlines, need for precision and constant use of powerful, expensive heavy machinery - not to mention long hours, taxing manual labor and exposure to the elements - mean a consistent, trustworthy employee is invaluable.
As you build your business, you'll need to find staff that can fill critical roles on the job site and helps you move your business forward. While you need to anticipate some level of attrition, the right approach to hiring, developing, advancing and retaining workers can go a long way toward creating a stable, appreciative employee base that displays the positive attributes necessary for long-term success.
How to build a solid work crew
Finding employees is the first step to building a dependable crew that you can count on. The nature of construction means there's a large pool of qualified workers out there, especially for jobs that don't require many specific skills or past experiences. However, you also need to consider recent industry trends that show a tight labor market. To find the employees that provide the best fit with your business needs during a time when workers are in demand, consider a targeted approach to recruitment.
Instead of posting general-interest job ads in your local newspaper or online, turn to job boards that focus on the construction industry when you're targeting workers with specific skills. Even if they may potentially have to relocate - and request you provide some financial assistance to that end - identifying and recruiting a veteran operator of the heavy machinery your company uses on a daily basis can definitely pay off. If you can target someone who is also familiar with the projects you most frequently bid for and take on, you'll have an especially valuable member of the team on board.
You may want to take a two-tiered approach to recruiting. Use localized job postings to find employees who need fewer qualifications and can more quickly move from prospect to new hire. Supplement these additions with more targeted, specialized postings on industry-specific job boards. ForConstructionPros offers a detailed look at several construction job board websites, with discussions of pros and cons for each. You should also strongly consider drawing on the professional networks of your employees for potential new hires when the time comes. If you trust them, it can be a good supplemental source of new workers.
Make sure your job postings call attention to the specific attributes you want your employees to demonstrate, regardless of specific skill levels. An early emphasis on consistent attendance, ability to work well with others and a respect for safe jobsite practices helps you attract the type of employee you want on your team.
Onboarding and developing your team
Once you make first contact with potential recruits and deem them a good fit for your organization, you'll want to provide relevant and necessary technical training alongside a cultural development process. In terms of emphasizing business culture, you don't need to sit all new recruits down in one large gathering and lead a formal presentation if you don't want to - or don't think it will be effective. Instead, you can have more casual conversations and use other gatherings as a chance to introduce, address and emphasize key attitudes and priorities you expect to see among your staff.
Once employees are fully up to speed and you know you want to keep them with your business for the long haul, giving them opportunities for professional development is key. That can be as simple as training them on how to use the Cat equipment your business works with or giving them their first taste of managerial duties. You'll eventually reach a point where your staff have risen to the most senior position possible, which is where salary negotiations and the opportunity to play key roles in any business expansion can help keep them working for you.
Retention strategies and finding the next great team member
Giving workers chances to develop professional skills alongside competitive wages and opportunities for growth can help keep them from finding another employer. However, despite all of these strategies, some of your best employees will eventually leave for reasons that you simply can't address. You should never completely leave hiring efforts by the wayside. Identifying skilled workers in your local area makes it easier to extend offers and formulate transition plans following a valued current employee giving his or her notice. Keep job descriptions on hand for quick posting, no matter which avenues you decide to use, and ask your employees to tap into their networks, too.
A great crew is vital for a safe work environment and positive results. To get the equipment your staff needs to do the best job possible, talk to Cat Financial.