Labor Shortage - How to Improve Your Recruiting

It is no secret that a shortage of skilled labor is one of the biggest challenges facing the Lumber Building Material industry. Although the pressure on the industry to find workers has always been a concern for construction companies and building material suppliers, it was greatly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that has faced the country for the past year. The 2020 Business Outlook report by the Associated General Contractors of America stated that 81 percent of construction businesses are having difficulty finding qualified skilled labor.

With this much pressure on the industry, it’s obvious that our pool of candidates needs to expand beyond just the unemployed. To solve the problem, large and small companies in the construction sector will require an effective and proactive strategy designed to attract candidates from multiple sources including other industries, competitors and other parts of the supply channel. They will also need to focus specifically on how to attract younger candidates and a more diverse group of candidates. Simply posting an ad for a job position is not enough to attract qualified workers. In this labor market it is necessary for organizations to actively promote their companies and consistently engage a strategic recruitment marketing strategy.

How to create a blended and diverse recruitment marketing strategy:

1. Review your Employer Brand and Employee Value Proposition (EVP)-If you don’t have an EVP now is the time to create one. Both the Employer Brand and EVP are key elements to building an effective recruitment marketing strategy. Even if you are a smaller builder or GC, this is not something reserved for large companies and it can certainly help you stand out. An employer brand and employee value proposition communicate what you have to offer an employee in return for what they bring to your company. You want to define the essence of your company, what makes it unique and what you stand for. When thinking about your EVP you can start with the 5 common pillars – compensation, benefits, career path, work environment and culture…as you look at each pillar, start to list the things that you have to offer, what makes you unique, what would a candidate value – look at it from their ‘what’s in it for me’ perspective. Once you’ve added things to the pillar, you can start to write the story.

2. Make a hiring plan with the team- Know the budget you’ll need. According to a 2021 LinkedIn survey the average small business spends around $1,600 a year on hiring. Interview past and present teammates to build out exact qualifications for this role. Understanding the role as thoroughly as possible will help you make better candidate matches. Map out your hiring timeline with milestones. Almost half of small businesses take 30-45 days to make a hire. Sync with teammates about their individual responsibilities to streamline the hiring process. Everyone on your team should wear a recruiter hat.

3. Execute a multipronged job posting strategy- Keep a log of previous candidates, even if you don’t end up hiring them right then, and create a candidate email drip campaign to remain in the picture for the future – if you automate this process, be sure to personalize the message. 79% of job seekers use social media during their search. Post in local Groups and Communities on Facebook, Glass Door, Instagram and LinkedIn and communicate job openings in the group.

4. Activate your employees- Your current employees are your secret weapon – implement an employee referral program and provide incentives and a way for them to track their referrals. Build a talent pool of candidates who didn’t get the job they applied for, but may be interested in future opportunities, candidates not qualified yet but may be in the future.

5. Display advertising and retargeting in recruiting – Display advertising is an important tool to reach specific audiences and retarget active job seekers who have already visited your career page. Encourage them to come back to your site to fill out the application. Make sure your ad is very specific and designed to your target candidate.

6. Measure important metrics – Key performance indicators such as time-to-hire, quality-of-hire number of applicants, visitor-to-applicant ratio, applicant-to-hire ratio will help you evaluate your process and pinpoint which activities are successful and which are not productive.

Finally, as you build your Recruitment Marketing Strategy it’s important to keep it focused on the candidate’s journey. The goal is to create the absolute best hiring and onboarding experience possible to attract and retain the best talent. Following the above tips can help set you apart as an employer and give you a leg up when recruiting to ensure you can keep building your business.