It's no secret that the construction industry is in high demand—there are not enough skilled laborers to meet the needs of various construction and infrastructure projects. Different types of construction require a wide range of skill sets, so it's essential to ensure you match the worker's skills with the right job.
How do you go about it if you're a hiring manager in charge of filling a vacant construction role? What are some things to consider? This article will give you actionable tips on finding and hiring the best construction worker for your team.
Qualities of Effective Construction Workers
When it comes to relevant qualities found in effective construction workers, there are a few key things employers tend to value.
Having a solid work ethic is critical in the construction industry. Workers willing to put in the extra effort to get the job done are in high demand. Those who take pride in their work and possess a can-do attitude will be successful in this field.
Employers also want workers who are reliable and punctual. This industry requires workers to be on-site early in the morning and often work long hours, so dependability is vital.
Physically fit workers who lift heavy objects or work in challenging positions are also an asset in this industry. Construction workers need to be able to handle the job's demands mentally and physically.
Finally, employers want workers with a positive attitude and willingness to take direction. Cooperative workers are a pleasure to have on any construction site.
Hiring safe workers is also a priority. Part of creating a safe work environment for your employees means hiring other workers with high regard for safety.
Some red flags that speak volumes about an individual's regard for safety, integrity, and work ethic include:
- Workers who lack overall awareness of their surroundings and are actively antagonistic towards safety protocols
- Highly dominant and controlling individuals that are outspoken with their beliefs
- Workers whose previous role was "higher risk” than the position they are being considered for tend to be complacent in the new environment, which is perceived to be “less of a threat” to them
- Employees who are disengaged during safety meetings—and any forum in general
- Workers who “cheat” by slipping out of PPE when supervisors are not looking
- Workers who, when tested, are not familiar with the proper operation of safety equipment, or life-saving techniques
Construction Worker Job Descriptions
Construction workers are responsible for a variety of tasks on construction sites. Here are the types of qualifications to consider including as you are writing job descriptions:
1. Education. Most construction workers have a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may require specialized training or an associate's degree.
2. Skills. Construction workers must be able to perform physically demanding tasks and work in all weather conditions. They also need to be able to follow instructions and safety procedures. Here are some of the skills that are essential for a construction worker:
- Physical strength and stamina
- Manual dexterity
- Good coordination
- Ability to follow instructions
- Safety consciousness
3. Experience. Some construction worker jobs may require experience in a particular type of construction, such as carpentry or masonry. Others may be perfectly acceptable for unskilled labor, since most of the work can be taught on the job.
Some common construction duties include:
- Excavating and grading land
- Setting up scaffolding
- Pouring concrete
- Erecting walls
- Installing windows and doors
- Roofing buildings
- Painting structures
4. Certification. Construction workers may need to be certified in CPR, first aid, and/or OSHA.
5. Safety. Construction workers must be aware of safety hazards (falling, tripping, material exposure, and excessive noise) and know how to avoid them. Relevant certifications are an advantage, as mentioned above.
6. Physical fitness. Construction workers must be physically fit, as most of the work is done while standing on their feet all day. They should be able to lift heavy objects and operate heavy machinery. There is also the possibility of working at tall heights that should be considered.
Pro-tip: To shortcut this process of writing job descriptions, download our job description templates. You’ll find editable templates for a construction foreman, construction worker & more!
Tips for Hiring Construction Workers
When hiring construction workers, HR managers, project managers, and decision-makers should look for reliable, physically fit individuals with a positive, can-do attitude. Those with a strong work ethic and a commitment to safety should land on the shortlist of applicants.
Here are some tips for hiring the best construction workers:
- Write a clear job ad.
- Post on relevant job boards.
- Offer apprenticeships for construction laborers.
- Ask for referrals.
- Look for military veterans.
1. Write a clear job ad.
Include the qualifications, skills, and construction experience required for the positions in your job postings.
Here are some tips for creating a compelling ad for your job openings:
- Describe the salary and benefits you're offering.
- Specify whether it’s a full-time, or part-time, or seasonal job.
- Include information about the work location and hours. Do they need to travel to the job site daily, or are there barracks where workers can stay?
- Be specific about the skills and experience you're looking for. Are you looking for seasoned and specialized construction workers, or entry-level job seekers?
- Highlight the unique aspects of your company culture and what makes your company different from others in the industry. If you offer special perks or benefits, mention those as well.
2. Post on relevant job boards.
Several job boards cater to construction workers. When you're looking for candidates, it may make sense to post your job ad on these platforms as part of your strategy.
Some of the most popular job boards for construction workers include CareerCast, Careers in Construction, Construction Equipment Jobs, Construction Jobs, and many more.
If you’re looking to save time and effort, however, tools like Team Engine can help expedite the process of sourcing new hires, so you don’t have to spend hours posting on job boards and digging through hundreds of resumes.
Team Engine is a recruiting automation platform with sourcing tools and centralized job postings. It even offers multi-channel job ad distribution that can deliver your job ads to a targeted audience and geographic area. Learn how Team Engine can automate and optimize candidate sourcing for you.
3. Offer apprenticeships for construction laborers.
Apprenticeships are a great way to attract new employees for your construction project. They provide on-the-job training to individuals interested in becoming construction workers, which can be a great way to attract and retain talented employees.
Not only will this give you a chance to assess their skills and abilities, but it will also help them get a feel for your company culture and values.
4. Ask for referrals.
If you're looking for reliable and hardworking construction workers, one of the best things you can do is ask for referrals from your network.
Some of the places you can ask for referrals include:
- Clients who recently had construction work done
- Friends and family members
- Current employees! Consider having an employee referral program in place to reduce your cost per hire and speed up your sourcing process. (Team Engine can help you streamline your employee referral program, too. Find out how here.)
By asking for referrals from people who already know your company, you'll connect with candidates who are a better fit and more likely to stay long term.
5. Look for military veterans.
Military veterans are great candidates to consider when hiring construction workers. They often have the skills and general construction experience needed in construction projects.
Military veterans also make great construction workers because they're reliable, hardworking, and have the training to succeed in this field. They have been trained in leadership, discipline, and teamwork and have developed a strong work ethic, which is an asset in the construction industry.
If you're looking for candidates committed to safety, turn to military veterans. You can find them by searching on job boards or by contacting your local Veterans Affairs office. Make sure to mention your company’s desire to hire veterans in your job ads, as well.
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