When it comes to filling roles in the construction industry, the hiring process is about more than just checking off boxes on a resume. The construction industry is a sector defined by grit, teamwork, and the tangible results of hard work. It requires more than just qualifications or experience; it calls for individuals who are dedicated, resilient, and eager to learn.

According to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, 41% of the construction workforce is expected to retire by 2031, which makes spotting great construction talent all the more valuable to any firm that plans to stay competitive.

So how can employers look beyond the resume to find these types of candidates? Here are some key aspects to consider.

A Construction Recruiter Will Look for The Right Attitude

In construction, attitude can often be as important as aptitude. Construction work can sometimes be physically demanding, and conditions can be challenging, so it’s crucial to find people who maintain a positive attitude even when the going gets tough.

During an interview, pay attention to the candidate’s demeanor. Are they enthusiastic about the job and industry? Do they respond positively to challenges? Ask them to discuss a time they faced adversity in a past role and how they handled it. This can provide valuable insight into how they might navigate future difficulties.

Work Ethic Must Be There

A strong work ethic is a critical asset in the construction industry. The ability to consistently deliver work of high quality, on time, and within budget is essential. Often, a solid work ethic is demonstrated through reliability, dedication, and a high degree of professionalism.

During the interview process, you can assess a candidate’s work ethic by discussing their past projects and responsibilities. Consider asking for references and then inquire specifically about the candidate’s work ethic. Were they dependable and dedicated to their previous job? Did they take ownership of their work? Did they consistently meet their commitments? 

Growth Orientation is a Good Sign

A capacity for growth and a willingness to learn are traits of a strong hire. This industry is all about continual learning and innovation, and the right candidate will be eager to grow with it.

You can gauge a candidate’s growth potential by asking about their long-term career goals, the steps they’ve taken to further their skills, or their interest in emerging trends or technologies in construction. This will give you an idea of their commitment to personal and professional development.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Construction is a team-oriented industry. Projects succeed or fail based on the coordination and communication of teams. A candidate who can work effectively in a team, who is open to feedback, and who can communicate clearly and effectively is worth their weight in gold.

To assess this, you might ask them to share experiences from past jobs where they had to work closely with others, manage conflicts, or balance competing priorities. Their responses will give you an idea of their interpersonal skills and their ability to work within a team.


Construction candidates should have the mental fortitude to manage stress, solve problems on-the-go, and maintain focus over long periods.

Look for evidence of these traits in their past roles. For instance, ask them to describe a time when they had to work under challenging conditions, or discuss the strategies they use to maintain mental health and well-being in high-stress situations. 

Final Thoughts

While qualifications and experience are important, they’re just part of the picture. The best construction hires are those who show a positive attitude, strong work ethic, potential for growth, teamwork skills, and mental resilience. By looking for these qualities in candidates, you can build a team that not only completes projects successfully but also fosters a healthy and productive work environment.

Remember, each new hire shapes the culture and future success of your business. By focusing on these key areas, you can spot great hires that bring much more to your team than what’s written on their resume.

For more information on spotting great construction hires beyond the resume, please click here.