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Here’s how Top Companies find Construction Workers

Here’s how Top Companies find Construction Workers

By: Catherine Conlan

The construction industry has made some big gains since the economy turned around and the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects it to grow another 10% by 2024 compared with 2014 numbers. 

But all this growth also creates a major talent crunch for employers. “It’s a constantly evolving situation,” says Tim Mayer, director of talent acquisition at Kraus-Anderson Construction Co. in Circle Pines, Minnesota. “You think you have a handle on it one day, and the next day things have changed and it’s different.”

Here’s how top construction companies are successfully recruiting new hires and retaining their best employees.

Compete on Wages
“People marry for love but work for money, and we work to make sure that compensation is not the reason people won’t consider our industry. There are a variety of benchmarking tools and sources we use to drill down to the job and geographic area to determine what the appropriate salary structure is. We also offer an annual bonus and incentive plan.”

Mark Peabody, Vice President of HR, U.S. Concrete, Euless, TX

 

 Mark Peabody, Vice President of HR, U.S. Concrete, Euless, TX

 

 

Mentor New Employees 
“We’re absolutely willing to train someone with the right work ethic. We find the best way to train a green new hire is to pair them with a successful seasoned employee who can teach them the ropes of how our company goes to market.”

 

 Nicole Ferderer, Human Resources Manager, Haldeman-Homme, Minneapolis

 

 

Hire from a Broad Range of Backgrounds
“While it’s certainly important to build a knowledgeable and experienced staff, some of my company’s top performers have been people who’ve made career changes. We make it a point to hire a diverse cross-section of people -- from architects, engineers and designers to military veterans, former police officers and a professional boxer -- who we believe have skills that translate to our business and, just as important, are a good fit for our culture.”

 

 Jim Caulfield, Partner, Fields Development Group, Hoboken, New Jersey

 

 

Establish Internships
“When we are hiring for certain experienced positions, such as mechanical or electrical engineers or architects, we seek qualified candidates. However, many positions we are willing to train for and we have a very robust intern program  to 'grow our own' talent. Gray’s intern program has been in place more than 15 years and produced great talent. Our current COO and regional managers in our southeast and south Atlantic offices are products of this program.”

 

 Susan Brewer, Vice President of Human Resources, Gray Construction, Lexington, Kentucky

 

 

Build Partnerships
“We utilize our partnerships with schools and trade programs like Boards of Cooperative Educational Services in order to have a pipeline of young talent that have shown interest in pursuing the construction trades but may not have any work experience.”  

 

 Chris List, HR director, Comfort Windows, Syracuse, New York

 

 

Offer Training throughout Careers
“As an integrated design and construction company, training and development is an important part of our business. We offer internal training programs based on our business processes, industry standards, safety and best practices. Most of our training programs are developed internally. We offer different programs tailored to the different needs of our employee-owners, included office-based staff (engineers, architects, project managers, business development, estimators, schedulers) and our field staff (construction). We also offer external training through associations, professional trainers and online learning sources.”

 

 Brian Gallagher, Vice President, O’Neal, Atlanta

 

 

Build Your Employer Brand
“Good people are being taken care of at their current companies; they have no reason to pick up the phone when a similar company gives them a call. We have a pretty strong company brand  with a long history, great core values and a good reputation in the market as a builder. We’re working on leveraging that to attract people to us. We talk about what it means to work here -- how it will impact your career and community.”

 

 Tim Mayer, Director of Talent Acquisition, Kraus-Anderson Construction Co., Circle Pines, Minnesota

 

 

Plan for the Future
“We are working really hard on building our succession plan for every essential role in our company. The succession plan requires us to identify gaps in knowledge so we can improve our service and grow our business. We’re investing in both technical training and leadership development to ensure our folks have a career path in front of them, and our teams have the “bench depth” to maintain project performance as our projects get larger and more complex.”

 

 Julie Strong, CEO, C1S Group, Dallas

 

 

Learn more:

Construction: Let's Get Hiring!
Construction Hiring is Growing in these Areas
Interview Questions to ask when Hiring Construction Workers