Take these steps to avoid letting qualified candidates slip through your fingers.
A solid, well-trained workforce is the backbone of any company. Ironically, this is the area where many construction companies flounder. All too often, companies use the same old methods to try to reach top candidates, or they take too long to follow up with candidates — and those candidates go with another opportunity. Some companies simply don’t have a strategic hiring process in place.
Here are five simple measures you can put into place today that will help you attract the very best talent in the industry.
Make hiring talent your top priority
Treat hiring as the most crucial activity of your company. If you invest in attracting the best talent, you’re going to reap the highest rewards. Start by creating a plan and developing a hiring strategy. Companies invest big money in attracting new clients. You should be willing to make a similar investment in hiring the best talent.
As Jack Welch, former CEO of GE Corporation, said, “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.” Welch had a knack for attracting and retaining top talent. He led GE during some of the most profitable periods of the company’s history. He maintained that the number one priority for him as CEO was to attract and retain the very best talent.
Define your value proposition
Define who you are as a company and what makes you the best one for the prospective hire. Think about what you have to offer candidates. You must give clear, tangible and very specific reasons for them to want to leave their current company and come to yours. Work on becoming the company that people want to join. These questions are a good place to begin defining what your company has to offer prospective candidates.
- What is the company’s “wow” factor?
- Where can they go or be if they are successful in the company?
- Why is the company great?
- What is the company’s culture like?
- Why would they want to leave their current company for yours?
Establish brand ambassadors
Analyze your workforce to identify the people in the organization who will be the brand ambassadors. You’re looking for the ones who really believe in the company and can sell you to a prospective candidate best. Choose people at every level whom the company considers a success and bring them into the interview process to create influence at the peer level. Everyone in the interview process should be on the same page with the talking points. Don’t confuse the candidate.
There is a saying in the industry: “Candidates are like ice sculptures in 100-degree weather.” Clear, timely communication is critical to closing the deal. The entire hiring process should last no more than two to three weeks and include two to three interviews. Candidates need to know where they stand, so respond within 24 hours of the final interview with a “yes” or “no” follow-up. You want everyone you interview to really want that job, and then the choice is yours to select the very best fit.
Consider working with a recruiter. Research recruiters who specialize in construction. Inquire about their process. A high-quality recruiter should have a clear step by step recruiting process that they can explain to you (not just “we have a huge network”). Their process should be specific and tangible. Carefully review their website and make certain that they are selective and not just taking every search that comes their way.
Brian Binke is the founder and CEO of The Birmingham Group, a globally recognized Executive Search and Consulting firm specializing in the Construction arena. You can reach Brian directly at [email protected].