The construction workforce is aging at an alarming rate. Organizations in your marketplace are committed to acquiring top young talent to spur growth as we head into a bullish economy. The question becomes, how do you make them want you back? Young professionals who enter the construction industry are highly educated and more in demand than ever. In this candidate-driven marketplace, prospective hires expect to be courted in a fashion similar to athletes being recruited by top sports teams.

Why Should Young Talent Pick You?

Today’s workplace culture is no longer a climate where companies can sit back and idly wait for top talent to come to them. Progressive companies in your space are proactively recruiting these individuals at a breakneck pace.

A company may offer financial stability, competitive salaries, unparalleled benefits, impressive ongoing training and development, but unless candidates can clearly comprehend your opportunity, your efforts become irrelevant. Candidates want to know:

  • What makes your products or services unique?
  • What differentiates your transportation construction firm from the competition?
  • Does your company offer the long-term growth they are seeking?

The best resource to attract young professionals are at your disposal in the form of current employees. By creating open lines of communication, you can gain a clear understanding of what your current young employees like and dislike about your company. Arming yourself with the knowledge of organizational strengths and deficiencies from the vantage point of the candidates you are looking to hire can produce impressive returns.

Beyond Traditional Construction Staffing Metrics

It is important to reevaluate the qualifications your firm looks for in candidates to align yourself with this fluid, ever-changing market. When competing to hire from such a small pool of candidates, your company is best served by redefining and expanding your candidate pool. Young talent is more open to the concept of exploring out-of-industry job opportunities, meaning you must be flexible enough to consider candidates with alternate backgrounds.

This can bring renewed innovation and passion to your company and help you win over talent that isn’t on your competitor’s radar. Rather than focusing on traditional construction staffing metrics, such as industry experience, progressive companies are attracted to candidates who are:

  • Resourceful
  • Adaptive
  • Driven
  • Coachable

Top Talent Is Motivated

The concept of hiring from outside the construction industry to help lead your organization to new areas of innovation may sound risky, but you must consider the alternative. Just because a candidate has more direct industry experience does not mean they are motivated. Tenure can also be a roadblock to the out-of-the-box innovation you desire. Your management team will be fighting a losing battle if staffed with a tenured, yet unmotivated, team so consider expanding your horizons to highly motivated innovators.

Top Candidates Are in Demand—Position Your Construction Firm as A Top Contender

Top candidates are in demand, even when speaking of young talent. They may be happily employed, but employed or not, they will be actively interviewing and choosing who they want to work for. There are key factors during the interview process that do more damage than good. This includes:

  • Lengthy, or rushed, interview process
  • Inconsistencies and mixed messages from hiring managers
  • Clear communication regarding long-term opportunity

Upon identifying the right candidate, you must position your organization as a top contender. With nationwide shortages in the construction industry, the market is more competitive now than ever. It’s vital to be concise, organized, and responsive throughout the interview process. If candidates ask multiple people within your organization similar questions about the position, they must receive a consistent response from each hiring authority they speak to. If the interview coordinator is unresponsive, unreliable, or uncommunicative, candidates will have no choice but to assume this behavior reflects your organization.

Create A Dialogue, Not Interview Questions

Interviews are your opportunity to set yourself apart from your competition. Traditionally, an interview comprises a hiring manager or upper management, creating an overly formal setting, where candidates deliver the answers they believe their interviewer is looking to hear. But every hiring manager knows this approach isn’t always the best way to determine if your candidate is a true match. Rather than investing in a formal process, consider an interview structure that is more of a dialogue about the organization and long-term job opportunity. While you have specific questions you would like have answered, allow the conversation to flow naturally, allowing you to learn more about your candidate’s experience and interpersonal skills.

Include Peers During The Interview Process

Progressive organizations, including your competitor’s, have redefined the traditional hiring process by including current employees, who are contemporaries of your desired candidates. Current employees will be better equipped to explain what the position entails from current, first-hand experience, while providing a peer’s perspective on the company. Candidates are likely to be more comfortable engaging with peers who can provide in-depth knowledge of the position they are applying for. Finally, including a panel of peers also helps to determine if the candidate is a good match for your organization.

In the current sink or swim construction industry, a major change is underway. Successful companies have redefined the hiring process, diverting away from the traditional, stagnate, hiring model employed by their predecessors. This has resulted in unprecedented growth for aggressive companies that have embraced the changes to attract and cater to the next generation of construction professionals—the young talent, required to take your company to the next level.