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  • Heather McGee

5 common hiring mistakes in the construction industry and how to avoid them

Updated: Mar 6

As with many industries, the construction industry is facing a skills shortage that has the potential to threaten its stability and future. With the effects of the pandemic and Brexit serving as key drivers of the shortage, the industry finds itself in a challenging situation where there simply isn’t enough skilled workforce to meet demand. This is particularly true of carpenters, bricklayers, electricians and plumbers, where significant shortages are impacting project completions.  

Whilst the industry seeks new and innovative ways to attract new talent and bridge the skills gap to meet future demand, this does little to help in the here and now, where the issue of finding and sourcing much needed talent is becoming one of the biggest challenges construction firms are currently facing.   

When skills are scarce and competition is fierce, implementing the right hiring strategy is critical. So, what are the common hiring mistakes seen in the construction industry, and how can you avoid them? 

1. Ignoring seasonality 

For many sectors and industries, the hiring surge happens at the start of the year, with January and February typically the busiest recruitment months. Construction, however, is at the mercy of seasonality, with activity increasing during warmer months. As a result, demand for workers rises in Spring and Summer, and so does the competition. Getting ahead of the curve by starting your hiring process in late Winter or early Spring will help you to get ahead before the peak hiring season begins.  


2. Posting vague and unengaging job ads  

With the continued candidate-driven market remaining a key challenge, trying to attract the right talent to your construction company is crucial. Posting unclear job ads that don’t spark interest from your target audience won’t help you to compete effectively to attract and retain the best candidates. The rise of Employee Value Propositions (EVPs) in recent years has seen industries redeveloping their hiring programmes to attract, engage and retain the right people for their organisation. More help and guidance on creating an EVP can be found in our free downloadable guide available here.  


3. Not completing references or background checks 

When hiring under pressure, it’s tempting to skip fundamental elements of the process in order to meet site demand. One of the commonly missed areas is completing full and thorough background checks on new employees. But managing site workforce fluctuations can be handled with ease by embracing technology to streamline the process. Not only does this reduce your hiring risk, it helps to improve the quality of your new hires and protect your business from reputational damage. Find out more about construction background checks and how you can simplify the process here


4. Moving too slowly 

At the other end of the spectrum sits a recruitment process that is simply too long to keep the candidate engaged. Lengthy processes with unnecessary or repetitive steps could see your applicants becoming frustrated and more likely to seek alternative employment options. Examine your hiring process and determine what can be streamlined without losing confidence in your final decision. As mentioned, background checks are an important component, but they’re an easy one to streamline through the use of an all-in-one background checking platform. There will be many areas like this that can be streamlined to deliver a better candidate experience and speed up your time-to-hire. 


5. Not embracing technology 

Traditional methods that rely on manual processes only serve to consume valuable hiring time and potentially limit your access to a wider talent pool. Embracing technological advancements, such as using AI-driven recruitment tools, pre-employment vetting platforms, or centralised applicant tracking systems (ATS) can help you manage your pool of applicants more effectively and expedite your hiring process.  


Streamline your construction background checks with VettingGateway   

We’ve mentioned the need to streamline your processes as much as possible, and VettingGateway is the perfect place to start.  With access to this industry-leading software solution, you can streamline and simplify the often lengthy and complicated process of background checking your construction applicants.   


If you would like to find out more about VettingGateway, please book a demo with a team member below.    

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