How the Construction Industry Can Attract and Retain New Talent

Looking to find new employees who will help your business thrive?  In this article, Kelly Friel from industrial tool supplier Zoro shares her top tips for attracting and retaining new talent for your construction business.

After an incredibly busy lockdown period and a skills shortage in the industry, many construction businesses are finding themselves desperate to attract new employees. In fact, the demand for construction workers is at a 20-year high, with 38,000 vacancies listed in July 2021 (ONS). So, if you’re on a search for new employees, you’re not alone! To make the process easier for yourself, consider using the following tips to find new talent and keep existing employees loyal to your company too.

Correct outdated perceptions

While anyone who works in the industry knows how great it is for employees at every level, many people looking in don’t see this side of construction. Instead, they see the common misconceptions, such as it being an old and traditional industry that’s dominated by men. In order to attract new groups of people, construction businesses should make it clear that these misconceptions don’t apply to the industry as it is today.

There are many platforms to spread this message, including at jobs fairs, school career days, and via social media, to name just a few. Make it clear just how many paths there are in the industry that can be taken, from engineering to education. And don’t forget to emphasise that construction can be just as safe as any other industry, as long as tools and PPE are used correctly.

Have the best resources available

For employees to thrive in their roles, they need the right tools and resources to help them out. That’s why providing your staff with top quality tools and personal protection is crucial. Invest in the most modern and high quality equipment to both keep them safe and allow them to create their best work.

Having appropriate personal protection and site safety is also vital, not just to protect the safety of your employees, but to make them feel valued too. Make sure to provide the following PPE to your workers:

  • High visibility clothing: Hi-vis vests, jackets, and trousers will keep your employees safe by making them easy to spot at all times and reduce the risk of collisions.
  • Safety boots: Provide workers with a pair of steel-toe capped boots that will protect their feet from falling objects, and ensure they are comfortable enough to spend all day in.
  • Eye protection: Keep your employees’ eyes free from dust, harmful chemicals, and falling debris by ensuring that they wear the appropriate safety goggles or glasses when necessary.   
  • Ear protection: Research has found that 58% of construction workers have experienced some degree of hearing loss (PubMed). To protect your employees hearing, invest in the best ear defenders available and ensure they use them when using loud equipment.  
  • Headgear: Make sure that all employees have a hard hat that fits well to keep them from being harmed by falling objects and protect them from electric shocks.

Offer up incentives

When looking to hire new staff, it’s important to consider why people should choose your business over any other. As well as making new employees happy, incentives can boost the morale of current employees and keep them engaged with their work. Take the time to think about what you can offer that other businesses don’t.

This could be a range of things, including flexible hours, a workplace perk scheme, the opportunity to earn more paid time off, and more. If your company doesn’t already have incentives like this, then you should consider implementing some to attract new staff. Even small incentives such as work nights out or ordering a meal in for lunch can do wonders for morale and company loyalty.

Invest in future talent

It’s important to consider your long-term employment strategy. A great way to help you get set up for the future is by attracting people to the industry at a young age. Attend local secondary schools and give talks about the benefits of the industry, and make it clear that construction is open for everyone.

To prove to young people that they’re wanted in the industry, you could offer up a range of graduate roles and apprenticeships for school leavers. You should also consider making some of these offers exclusively for young women. While the industry has come a long way in recent years, improvements are still to be made, as only 14% of construction workers are female (CIOB). By offering female-only apprenticeships, you’ll be both diversifying your workplace, and showing other young women that they would be welcome in your business.

By using the tips above, you should be able to attract and retain a talented selection of employees both in the short- and long-term. To keep up to date with all of the industry’s latest news, make sure to check out Construction View Online.

Related Article