How to Attract, Hire and Retain Top Talent for your Construction Company

If you own or manage a construction company and have tried again and again to hire new employees with little success this blog post will change all that for you.

You may have said to yourself over and over things like

  • We can’t get good people
  • We’ve hired the wrong people for certain jobs, and
  • There aren’t enough qualified people in my industry

And you’d be right…

In fact, when my team created a quiz to discover the Top 5 Construction Business Growth blockers of the 127 business owners to took the quiz

  • 33.9% had a problem hiring and retaining employees, and
  • 19.1% chose “Work-Life Balance” as their biggest challenge

This accounts for 53% of the responses…

The Biggest Challenge in Construction

Without a doubt, there are significant shortages of Top Talent in almost every business sector (and not just construction).  And, for this reason, we need to think differently about the hiring process.

The days of putting “bums on seats” are long gone if you want to grow your business and become more profitable.

Yet this phrase is still commonly used…

A recent report by the Chartered Institute Of Building (www.CIOB.org) clearly states on page one that

  1. In the construction industry, the total of workers over 60 has increased more than in any other age group.
  2. The biggest reduction is in the total of workers under 30.

Clearly we have an issue in the industry if the talent pool is aging and the skillsets are not being passed on to the younger generation.

For this reason the hiring process tends to be reactionary when someone hands in their notice.  And we often hire the wrong person because we are desperate.

What is the true cost of hiring the wrong employee

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (www.cipd.co.uk) the following statistics reported by HR Managers show that hiring the wrong person can and does lead to

  • 52% in lost productivity
  • 32% in reduced morale amongst work colleagues
  • 17% financial impact

So by the time you spend time (and money) and advertising the position, sifting through CVs, interviewing, hiring, and training the new recruit the total financial impact will be somewhere between

  • (3x) of salary for mid-range or lower-skilled salaries, and
  • (15x) of salary for a CEO-level appointment in an organisation

So let’s say you offer a salary of £50,000 a year to a contracts manager and it goes horribly wrong, your total financial outlay could exceed £150,000.

And for a CEO on £200,000, the company may experience a financial loss of around £3 Million if large customers or key directors are driven out and lost to competitors. 

So how can we make sure this doesn’t happen…?

So How Do You Hire Great Employees?

Einstein once said this…

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

With this in mind in this blog we are going to help you create a process to hire the best people for your company

In addition we invited nine separate experts on this subject to join us as guests on the Wealthy Wednesday Podcast to share their insights with you on everything related to hiring great employees.

The links are in the resources section at the bottom of this blog.

First You Need A Talent Acquisition Strategy – A Framework For Hiring Success

Recruiting top talent tends to be all about short-term solutions.

The focus is narrow: You need to fill in an opening, so your HR professionals try to deal with these empty positions as quickly as possible to keep the vacancies from straining teams and workloads.

Recruitment efforts usually include:

  • Creating detailed job descriptions
  • Outreaching to qualified candidates
  • Promoting your listings on social media
  • Answering queries about the openings

In short, recruiting is all about finding new people. 

A talent acquisition strategy, however, is a more holistic approach to hiring the most talented employees. And when you formulate a clear strategy, your company will invest in:

  • Candidate attraction
  • Employer branding
  • Candidate experience
  • Performance and metrics
  • Diversity hiring strategies

This simple change in mindset to focus on a talent acquisition strategy for your business will promote long-term growth.

The hiring framework you need to install in your business has five separate sections:

  1. What to delegate first
  2. Who to hire next
  3. Who to hire in the future
  4. How to hire
  5. How to onboard and integrate

We’ll dive into each one in a moment, but first ..?

Let me introduce you to 5-Star Employees

When you think of Premier League Football Teams, American Football Teams or NBA Basketball Franchises, they have talent scouts who are looking for talent 365 days a year.

And so should you…

However, we call them 5-Star Employees because they…

  • Increase your revenue and profitability
  • Make freedom happen for you as the business owner
  • And make big decisions and get real results over and over again

Better still they do the work of several 2-Star and 3-Star employees, meaning you can cut your fixed cost overhead by “pruning” team members who are not performing

What exactly is a 5-Star Employee

If you have ever watched the rowing events in the Olympics where 8 men are rowing in unison and gliding over the surface of the water, this is what your team of employees can and will look like

Because your 5-Star Employees

  1. Share YOUR core values
  2. Have a score of 7 or higher on the 11 Qualities of 5-Star Employees
  3. At the interview, they meet or exceed the role-specific skills and aptitudes
  4. Are committed and capable of meeting or exceeding the defined success metrics for the position
  5. Their salary commensurate with a minimum 3X Return on Payroll because they are elite performers.

And while you may think there are very few of these “Unicorns” around, you should know that they are definitely out there but represent the top 15% of available talent in any industry.

So for every seven candidates you have applying for a job role, only one of them will be a 5 Star employees.  

And to hire just one 5 star employee you require three candidates to interview meaning twenty one applications

Imagine for a moment you have a high-performance team that loved working with your company and created an ROI of three times their salary

Would your life change at all…?

Of course it would

Well on my Wealthy Wednesday Podcast my guests included the Owner and Vice President of The All-In Company who discuss in detail how to attract, hire and retain 5-Star Employees.

PODCAST – Danielle Mulvey – https://anchor.fm/wealthy-wednesday-drimmie/episodes/S3-Ep8-The-Definitive-5-Star-Employee-Recruiting–wit-Danielle-Mulvey-e1vl13u

PODCAST – Heenle Turner – https://anchor.fm/wealthy-wednesday-drimmie/episodes/S3-E2-5-Star-Employees-with-Heenle-Turner-e1tkekn/a-a96ldue 

People First Culture – Is your Business Culture Fit For Purpose

According to www.dictionary.com the verb culture comes from the Latin word CULTURA which means cultivation, agriculture, tillage and care.

Apply this into your business and for you to grow and thrive you need to build a culture where your employees feel that they are able to grow and become an important role in the growth of the company.  

And in this blog I want to unlock the potential you have for growth by uncovering the four building blocks that will allow you to attract, hire and retain the best employees in your industry.

Instead of being the “Hunter” and I want you to become the “Farmer” and follow these for steps

  1. Create Fertile Soil
  2. Plant The Best Seeds
  3. Nurture and Grow these Seeds
  4. Harvest

So how do we go about doing this

Step 1: Build Fertile Soil

If you have ever come across a book by Partick Lencioni called “The 5 Dysfunctions of A Team” you will know he discusses openly the challenges that cause a toxic culture

  1. The absence of Trust
  2. Fear of Conflict
  3. Lack of Commitment
  4. Avoidance of Accountability
  5. Inattention to Results

Each step from 1-5 compounds on the next one and your results suffer.

If you are experiencing any of these you should invite an external coach or consultant into your business as soon as possible.  They will help you build a better culture and create a fertile environment where your top people can grow, thrive and achieve their potential.

And your business does the same as these people grow

First you need a Strategic plan which outlines the following

  • S.W.O.T. analysis 
  • Trends in the market
  • Your Core Values
  • Your Why
  • Your 10-30 year plans
  • Your 3-5 years plans
  • Your 1 year plan
  • Your quarterly plan

You may think that choosing the correct market is the most important, however your core values are critical to hiring the best people, because

  • Your team look after your customers
  • Your customers buy your products or services
  • Your products and services create revenue

However if your customers get a horrible experience they will find someone else to do business with in the future rather that do repeat business with you

When your team live by your core values and are driven by a purpose to serve these customers as if they are family you can be certain your company will grow

Talking of propose you might like to look at the TED Talk given by Simon Sinek which has over 60 Million views – on how great leaders inspire action

Step 2: Plant The Best Seeds

We have already spoken about 5-Star employees.  These are definitely the seeds you want to plant in your business.

You may have to “prune” out some of the 2 Star and 3 Star employees though because your 5 Star employees thrive best when surrounded by people like them.

The hiring process we suggest is as follows

  1. Telephone screening (15 minute call)
  2. Whole person assessment (online)
  3. Culture interview
  4. Skill test interview
  5. Assignment
  6. Decision 
  7. Offer

This is probably longer than you currently use however I want you to remember this kep statement shared with me by a successful Millionaire friend

“Hire slow and fire fast”

Having a “Talent Pool” allows you to hire almost on demand because you have been consistently advertising and building a database of potential 5 star employees for when someone leaves you.

You need specific Job Descriptions for each silo in these talent pools so that you are building relationships with the best people all the time.

You may want to listen to two recruitment specialists we invited to join us as guests on The Wealthy Wednesday podcast because they openly share their insights and experience

PODCAST – Emma Marriott

PODCAST – Tara O’Brien

Here are some ideas to help you build and develop your talent pools

Advertising

Job ads are one of the oldest forms of advertising.  However, running job ads is not necessarily an old school approach

Online campaigns can place targeted ads on www.Google.co.uk, www.Bing.co.uk or other Internet Search Engines in the form of 

  • Banner ads on web pages
  • Online magazines and newsletters
  • Classified ad sites

Additional paid ads can be placed on www.Meta.com (Facebook) and www.Youtube.com as well.

And lets not forget the old school methods such as 

  • Ads in printed publications
  • Flyers on bulletin boards at schools and churches
  • Bus signs

The key to making this type of advertising work effectively is to make sure it delivers a compelling message based on the desires of the applicant.  

The logo or features of your company are unlikely to attract them as I explained earlier.

Automation

Technology can generate and streamline your recruiting process.  Here are the most frequently used ones.

www.Indeed.com

www.Monster.com

www.TotalJobs.com 

www.CV-library.co.uk 

www.Reed.co.uk 

In addition many employers post a job advert on www.Linkedin.com.  

However on all these online resource sites you need to attract your ideal candidates based on their desires and not “pitch” your company at them.

Candidate Mining In Your Company Database

If your company has been around for a few years and is well known, you may have CV’s hidden away in cupboards or old filing cabinets. Can segment them  Believe it or not there will be some amazing opportunities to hire employees in these dusty real or digital CV’s.  

Because you now know the ideal candidates you are looking for you you will be able to spot them more easily

Market Presence

If you have an office, the local community will already know your name.  My question is how could you expand on that by putting up signs to let the local community know that you are hiring.

Company vans.  On the back could you add a job ad on the back?

And how about sharing your core values

  • Storefront – why you care
  • Website – how employment at your company has changed lives
  • Videos on social media on how your company stands on important issues

Be creative.  Be different. Be memorable.

Networking

If you are part of your local Chamber Of Commerce you will meet some fantastic like minded business owners who may help you.  Have a look at www.BritishChambers.org.uk to find your local one

And www.BNI.com may also be a great networking group to join

Referrals

You already have hundreds of people you could reach out to in your personal network who may know the ideal candidates you are looking for.

Make a list of 20 personal contacts you know well and reach out to ask them.

Talent Manufacturing

Talent manufacturing happens when your team of employees do the recruiting for you because they love working in your company and want people like them to work there too.

Talent Scouts

Make a list of talent scouts and recruiters who specialise in your sector and interview them all until you find one or two who can deliver on their promises.  This will save you time and money in the long run.

Some Alternative hiring methods (26 ideas for you)

One of my favourite people is Tom Reber who runs The Contractor Fight in the USA. He’s quirky, honest and tells it the way it is.  And here’s a list of alternative methods he and others have created to hire people.

Tom says the only reason you can’t hire people is you only hire when it’s needed.  And I agree with him.  Which is why we mentioned above the need for building your “Talent Pool”.

  1. Share your culture on social media every day
  2. Put the spotlight on your employees
  3. Website career page
  4. Put your own job fair on
  5. Advertise on radio
  6. Promote on your facebook page
  7. Create a recruitment video to show what its like to work at your company
  8. Print recruiting business cards for your employees (with QR code)
  9. Past employees
  10. Your customer base.
  11. School careers people
  12. Suppliers
  13. Targeted ads on Indeed all year round (not the “my company is awesome” ads)
  14. Job sites
  15. Yard signs
  16. Local home builders association
  17. Advertise compensation plus benefits package
  18. Position yourself as a forward thinking company (tech, tools, amazing projects)
  19. Offer apprenticeships
  20. Veterans groups
  21. Women and Mums groups
  22. Craigslist
  23. Build a talent bank so you can hire as required
  24. Retired employees
  25. Offer flexible employment
  26. Pour love on your existing workforce (don’t take them for granted)

Basically what Tom is saying is for you to create a business that becomes a people magnet and you will attract people all year long

And because of the importance of this you may want to consider hiring a “Talent Manager” who’s sole focus is building your talent pool

Step 3: Nurture and Grow these Seeds – Why Employee Engagement is crucial

What is Employee Engagement?

According to Gallup, employee engagement is the involvement and enthusiasm of employees in their work and workplace.

And when you place your focus on helping your team grow, learn and become engaged you quickly learn whether they are actively engaged with their work or simply putting in their time.

Why is Employee Engagement Important

Employees make decisions and take actions every day that can affect your workforce and organisation.

The way your company treats employees and how employees treat one another can positively affect their actions — or can place your organisation at risk.

In fact data show that only 15% of employees worldwide fall into the “engaged” category which shows the depth of the problem

And without employee engagement, there’s no team engagement, making it more difficult to improve business outcomes

However when Gallup did an analysis of positive employee engagement in businesses they discovered that there was a reduction in

Absenteeism81%
Safety Incidents occurring (accidents)64%
Patient safety (death and falls)58%
Staff turnover for low turnover companies43%
Quality (defects)41%
Shrinkage (theft)28%
Staff turnover for high turnover companies18%

And better yet on a positive note the following increases were pinpointed when employee engagement was high in an organisation

Profitability increased23%
Sales productivity increased18%
Customer loyalty increased10%

This last statistic is really important because it can lead to a high level of referrals and repeat business leading to further increase in profitability.

Onboarding Your New Employees

Month 1 of a new employee’s onboarding experience is crucial for setting the foundation for their success in the company. 

Here are some of the key activities that should happen in month 1:

Orientation: Provide a detailed orientation about the company’s mission, values, and culture. This should include an introduction to the company’s history, organisational structure, policies, and procedures.

Introduction to the Team: Introduce the new employee to the team, including key stakeholders, managers, and colleagues. Encourage team members to reach out and welcome the new employee.

Mentor or Buddy: Assign a mentor or buddy to help the new employee navigate their first month. The mentor should be a seasoned employee who can answer questions, provide support, and offer guidance.

Role and Responsibilities: Provide a thorough introduction to the new employee’s role and responsibilities. Ensure they understand their job duties, goals, and performance expectations. Provide regular feedback and support as they adjust to their new role.

Safety Training: Conduct safety training and provide necessary protective equipment for job sites. Ensure the new employee understands the importance of safety and how to work safely in the company’s environment.

Training and Development: Provide additional training and development opportunities to help the new employee develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their role. This can include job-specific training, as well as soft skills training, such as communication and teamwork.

Performance Goals: Set performance goals and expectations for the new employee’s role and establish a timeline for completing them. Regularly review progress towards these goals and provide feedback and support as necessary.

Company Culture and Values: Reinforce the company’s culture and values by sharing real-world examples and providing opportunities for the new employee to participate in team-building activities.

By following these activities in month 1 of the onboarding process, the new employee will feel welcome, prepared, and equipped to succeed in their role. 

They will also have a strong foundation for building relationships with their colleagues and contributing to the company’s success.

Next Create And Discuss A Career Pathway

The career pathway is crucial for both you and your new employee.  All you need to do is ask them what they want to achieve in the business

What career progression are they after

If they want your job and are genuinely interested in learning how, then mentor them to do so

As business owner you should be thrilled you will one day be able to delegate away the role you are in to focus on more strategic work

Others may want less of a role and that’s fantastic too.  Help them achieve what they are after, care for them and they will stay for a long time

Step 4: Harvest

When you have your employees tuned in to the work of growing the company as if it’s their own magic happens

Your business takes on a life of it’s own and you as the business owner begin to experience something unusual

Free time…

And the opportunity to use that time for strategic thinking for the growth of your business

However before that we suggest you delegate the role of a “Systems Champion” to one of your team and have them create step by step processes for each element of your business – working with the department heads to create videos that anyone can easily follow to successfully complete a task

  • Marketing
  • Sales 
  • Customer relationship
  • Operations
  • Human Resources
  • Leadership

Now that you have systems in place and a team of amazing 5 Star Employees who know how to use them, your entire business is destined for growth and profitability.

CASE STUDY: How An Electrical Contractor Used 5 Star Employees To Grow From $700k to $5.2M in less than 36 months

You’re probably wondering if all this stuff works…

Well the good news is it does.

In particular, you may wish to listen to my friend Harlan Hammack who helped an Electrical Contractor in Atlanta USA grow from $700,000 in revenue in 2019 to over $5.2 Million in 2022 with significantly higher profit margins.

Harlan spills the beans on how he and Michael the Owner made it happen when he was a recent guest on my Wealthy Wednesday Podcast.

PODCAST – Harlan Hammack – https://anchor.fm/wealthy-wednesday-drimmie/episodes/S3-E4-Core-Values–Growing-a-Construction-Company-from-700K-to-5M-in-3-years–with-Harlan-Hammack-e1u968r/a-a98uepi

Resources To Help You Hire Key Employees

In our third podcast series called “People First Culture” we have some amazing guests who shared their experience and insights.  You can click on the links here

Listen to these podcasts several times and you will learn how to attract, hire and retain the best people in your industry

ANDREW – you can find the links on spotify here – https://anchor.fm/wealthy-wednesday-drimmie/episodes/S3-Ep8-The-Definitive-5-Star-Employee-Recruiting–wit-Danielle-Mulvey-e1vl13u 

Would you like our help to help you Attract, Hire and Retain 5-Star Employees in your Construction Business?

In this blog post, we discussed briefly the entire hiring process.  There is so much more we could not cover. However you have enough here to make a start.

But whatever your business goals, you cannot scale your business to the next level without building a high performance team who share your core values, your purpose and have a fertile culture where they can grow and achieve their potential. If that sounds overwhelming and like too much work for the time you have available, we can help!

Our Breakthrough Coaching is the ultimate time-saving solution for ambitious and time-poor construction business owners.  So if you would like our help for hiring the best people in your industry, get in touch!

Meet the author: Dave Drimme

Meet the author: Dave Drimme

I boost profits for construction company owners by improving operations, establishing systems, and creating self-sufficient teams, allowing for more freedom and financial stability.

Scroll to Top