Given the current labor shortage, being able to hire strong qualified managers, is harder than ever before. It can be difficult to meet deadlines, stay in budget, and still maintain a quality level high enough to exceed the clients’ expectations. Yet, some contractors have managed to succeed in spite of these challenges. The contractors who are successful in this area are the ones that make hiring their number one priority. They understand how important it is to attract and retain construction talent, because without a quality team being able to maximize success can’t happen. These are traits successful contractors have in common.

Proactive at Hiring

Contractors who are able to consistently hire the best candidates are the ones who are obsessed with acquiring talent. They don’t just put out an ad on a job board and hope that the perfect candidate comes to them. They proactively go after top candidates. One way that contractors can be proactive about acquiring talent is working with a successful recruiter who specializes in the construction niche. There are few that know the industry inside and out and are able to fully understand your business. These recruiters will target every candidate in the marketplace who has the background, skills, and personality traits that work best for the team you are trying to build. They will articulate your company story, motivate the candidate to meet with you, and most importantly give you the best chance that the “pre-closed” candidate will say yes to your offer. Recruiters like this are few and far between but partnering with the right one is a game changer.

Strategic about Building the Right Team

As Jack Welch says, “If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it, you almost don’t have to manage them.” Successful contractors are incredibly strategic in the way they build teams. They don’t view a potential candidate in isolation. The best contractors are focused on bringing on the right talent, not just figuring out what position to put them in. This is just plugging holes. They think about how the candidate’s skills complement the other team members. They make sure that each team members weaknesses are offset my other members who excel in those areas.

Focused on Retaining Talent

Because of the talent crisis, retention can make or break a contractor’s ability to succeed. With low retention, you are going to have an extremely difficult time adhering to deadlines. You need to be able to attract high quality employees and keep them happy. Emphasizing training, camaraderie, benefits, and strong management will help keep retention high.

Strong Leadership Skills

Leadership is most successful when it is driven by a sense of purpose. The best leaders serve their community and their employees. The best leaders are humble. They understand they aren’t perfect and are always trying to better themselves. They understand that the people they work with often have useful insights so they’re active listeners.


While it used to be easier to specialize in one niche, to succeed as a contractor in the current market, you have to diversify. Ideally, you want to pick an area to focus on that has a high profit margin, and then supplement that focus with a broad range of other construction niches. This way you’ll better be able to adopt to evolving construction trends.

Working as a contractor can be hard when there is an extreme shortage of skilled workers. Your margin for error is small and there are so many things that can go wrong. To really succeed as a contractor, hiring has to be your priority. Your projects won’t exceed expectations if you don’t have a team that works well together—a team that trusts and complements each other.

How can we help you?

Searching for an opportunity in the construction industry? Contact The Birmingham Group today to discuss your career path or browse our open positions.

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