ABC of Arkansas – Merit Shop Volume 1 | 2018 – Finding and Retaining Talent

March 22, 2018

Finding and Retaining Talent: Marketing and Employee Recruitment Go Hand in Hand (Click here for the PDF Version)

Finding great employees — and even good employees, for that matter — is challenging for construction companies. There is a talent war going on with trying to recruit and retain talented employees. That means companies must to get creative about what they do to recruit these great employees.

Marketing plays a HUGE role in recruiting, because potential employees research you just like your prospects do. Having information online about your company culture, what it’s like to work for your firm, and the basic benefits package are all important to employees. The more the potential employee sees your transparency online, the more trust they are building with your company… before you even realize they are researching you.

There are several ways to successfully market for recruiting great employees. This process takes time, dedication, and consistency, just like marketing does. Company culture (marketing) impacts your recruiting more than you probably realize. Eightyfour percent of candidates would consider leaving their current company if another company with an excellent reputation offered them a job. ( That’s a staggering statistic. Branding is extremely important when recruiting employees, so you must take great care of your reputation.

Being involved at the high schools, technical schools, colleges, and universities is also a longterm recruitment strategy. The involvement should include guest lecturing; attending industry career fairs, industry days, and career expos; and volunteering on the advisory board of your alma mater. As a company, you probably have specific schools you’ve been successful at recruiting, so get involved at those schools. This will help build relationships with the administration, faculty, deans and professors at the schools, so you can ask them what students to recruit for the positions you need in your firm. Again, this is a long-term marketing/recruiting strategy — it will take some time to develop these relationships and see the fruits of your labor – should you not already be doing this.

As far as the benefits offered by firms, I have seen some offer flex time, working from home, and paid time off to volunteer. These are just a few of the ways employers are trying to recruit employees. The job market is very different today than it was just 10 or 15 years ago. Employees are requesting some out-ofthe- box ideas, most of which typically won’t cost the company much money to implement.

Some traditional places to recruit are high schools, technical colleges, universities, and colleges. It’s our industry’s responsibility as a whole to educate and inform high school and even middle school students about the construction industry and the career opportunities we provide.

Ask for and listen to your current employees’ input, because they will have valuable ideas of how to recruit others to come work for your company. Ask them why they like to work for your company and use their testimonials on all your recruiting materials.

You’ll need a variety of employee testimonials from laborers, superintendents, project managers, project engineers, and skilled craftsmen. Let your employees recruit for you! Encourage your current employees to share information about your company through their connections, both in person and online.

Having an incentive program for current employees who recruit new employees is also a successful strategy. Obviously, the new employee needs to stay a certain period of time before the current employee is compensated. As an example, one construction company has different levels of incentives based on the position within the company. If a laborer is recruited, it’s $500; if it’s an executive position, it’s $5,000. Determine what this incentive would look like for your own company.

Employers also provide reimbursement for education and training. Many already provide a stipend for technical college or university classes, so set up a program that will help your employees grow. Sending your employees to training is also recommended.

This will prepare them for growth and advancement within your company, making them more efficient and productive. During training, they will learn new things that should be implemented in your company.

Ask the employee to share a summary and how they will implement ideas they learned in the training. For every conference or training I have attended that the company paid for, I would write a 1-3 page summary of what I learned and what could benefit the company. Not everything I brought back to the management team and owner was implemented, but they at least knew I was bringing ideas back from the training they were paying for.

Create a digital campaign focused on employee recruitment. Gather your employee testimonials and stories and share throughout a recruiting campaign.

Showcase 1-2 employees per month to focus on telling their individual stories and why they work for your company. You can push this out through an email campaign, too. Consistency and reach are important.

Through social media and Google AdWords, you can spend relatively little money to promote to your ideal candidate. Create hashtags (#careerswithnumarketing #lastingcareerswithnumarketing) for your campaign.

Not only does this recruiting campaign help attract employees, it boosts employee morale through recognition.

Putting your employee recruiting strategy together is your first step. Once you have that plan, start consistently implementing it. Marketing and recruitment take time and patience but with consistency the results will come. The talent war is on, so set your company apart from the rest!

Click here to see the full Merit Shop Report.