Is Your Construction Recruiter Playing Checkers or Chess?

//Is Your Construction Recruiter Playing Checkers or Chess?

Is Your Construction Recruiter Playing Checkers or Chess?

You want a construction recruiter who can strategize, plan ahead, and give you a competitive edge in the construction market. Most recruiters play checkers, but market master recruiters play chess. How can you tell the difference and hire the right construction recruiter?


In checkers, the player thinks one move at a time. A recruiter who plays checkers finds a candidate, sends the candidate to a hiring manager, and waits for feedback. If there is an objection, they find a way to overcome the objection at that time. This can be a very slow process.


In chess, the player has to think of the end game in advance. A market master recruiter who plays chess envisions the entire hiring process and anticipates issues that might come up throughout.

Why the Difference Matters

The construction market is highly competitive. A market master recruiter always plans ahead. They have a good understanding of the client company, culture, the role they are looking to fill, and how that translates to the type of opportunity they can offer the winning candidate. They also understand the candidate’s background, motivations, and what both sides would be able to offer each other if they teamed together. Knowing there’s no such thing as a perfect fit, they already have strategies in mind on how to address any of the questions or issues that might come up throughout the hiring process. They see the finish line and they can visualize what a successful conclusion will look like and what it takes to get there. They can also anticipate deal killers much earlier, rectify it before it’s too late, or kill the deal before investing time and money only to find that the candidate they want turns down their offer. They have a saying “kill a deal and kill it early.”

What’s in it for the Client When a Construction Recruiter Thinks Strategically?

You want a recruiter who thinks strategically because going step-by-step and hoping for a positive outcome does not work. A strategic recruiter works closely with you to make sure a deal is secured. In fact, a market master recruiter will never put out an offer if they aren’t 100% certain it will be accepted. Skilled recruiters find a candidate they want and do everything they can secure them. A strategic recruiter will also make sure candidates do not accept counteroffers.

What’s in it for the Candidate When a Construction Recruiter Thinks Strategically?

Working with a strategic-thinking, market master recruiter gives candidates a better chance of improving their career. They have an opportunity to advance their career and improve their financial situations. A market master recruiter doesn’t charge the candidate; however, they will expect them to be honest and open. Good recruiters make it easy for a candidate to say “no.” Working with a strategic recruiter makes the whole process easier on the candidate because they will know what obstacles might come up and have a better idea about how to address those obstacles.

Happy Candidate = Happy Client

Market master recruiters don’t push people into doing things they don’t want to do. They understand that the candidate and the company need to want each other much more than they want to make the deal. The first thing I teach my new recruiters is, if you have to sell a candidate or company after an interview on why it’s a good fit, it probably isn’t. If you can ask the right questions that reveal to the candidate and company why they’re a good fit for each other, you’ve got something.

Avoiding Tire Kickers

Market master recruiters also know how to avoid tire kickers in the construction market. It is easy to convince someone to go on an interview. Skilled recruiters find people who will stick it out, accept the offer, and do well at the job once they have it. They find serious candidates, so you don’t waste money on hotels, car rentals, and fancy lunches for a candidate that turns down your offer.

You can interview the best talent in the field, but this means nothing if they don’t accept the job offer. The recruiter will manage expectations and go the extra mile to make sure the right candidate accepts the offer. The average rate of acceptance is around 70%. If you want the best talent, you need that rate to be closer to 100%. If the recruiter plays chess, you will only have to make one job offer.

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By | 2018-11-13T12:35:43-04:00 November 15th, 2018|Construction Blog|

About the Author:

The Birmingham Group has been serving the construction industry since 1967. Brian Binke took over the firm in 1995 and since that time, he has personally placed over 1200 construction managers and senior leaders, with company revenues ranging from $10 million dollars to the largest ENR 400 companies in the industry. Brian is an industry innovator, with a specialized skillset in construction. His keen understanding of business, the construction industry, and ability to effectively match and recruit top leaders has led to many accolades. He was ranked the #1 International Billing Owner in the construction industry for his own personal production and has been consistently recognized as one of the Top 10 International Billing Owners out of 800 owners worldwide. This includes owners across every industry. In 2013, Brian was awarded the #1 International Billing Owner within the entire network. For over two decades, Brian has been considered one of the most influential thought leaders in the construction industry. His business and construction knowledge are used as a resource for some of the nation’s most prominent publications. In the past year alone, Brian has been quoted in or authored articles for The Wall Street Journal, CBS News, MoneyWatch, Construction Today, ConstructionDive, United Rentals, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, American Express, Builder Magazine, and Human Resource Executive, among others. "I believe companies are a lot like sports teams. The team with the best players usually wins. It is my passion to deliver the absolute best talent to my client companies – the market’s top performers, the talent that every company wants to hire but which seldom seems available. To put it simply, I thrive on helping my clients build their Dream Team." - Brian Binke, The Birmingham Group

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