What Traits do Successful Contractors Have in Common?

//What Traits do Successful Contractors Have in Common?

What Traits do Successful Contractors Have in Common?

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.

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By | 2019-05-28T12:18:16-04:00 May 30th, 2019|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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