October 14 2022

How to attract talent: Tips for the construction sector

The tech industry, like the construction sector, faces an acute skills shortage. To address this difficulty, many tech companies have implemented creative solutions.

So, what tips on talent attraction and retention can the construction sector take from tech? Let’s find out.

What can construction companies do to attract talent?

The issue of how to attract talent is one that faces HR managers across most sectors. Not only must employers compete for a smaller pool of talent, but millennials (who constitute over a third of the workforce) expect more from their employers

As well as the challenge of recruiting talent, both the construction sector and the tech industry face the problem of how to reduce turnover.

Construction faces higher turnover rates

Average staff turnover in construction is 21.4%, compared to 18% in the tech sector and 15% in other industries. 

To address these matters, many tech companies have transformed their recruitment and talent attraction strategies. Let’s look at some talent management approaches and explore how these could be applied effectively in the construction sector.

1. Flexibility in where employees can work

During the pandemic, many tech companies started allowing employees to work from anywhere (WFA). Today, Airbnb continues to offer their employees the opportunity to work from home, the office, or wherever in the world they choose.

Airbnb saw job applications soar when they introduced this new policy

Airbnb found that over 1 million people have visited their jobs website since they introduced WFA. That’s because people don’t need to live near Airbnb’s offices to apply for jobs.

It’s also because WFA is attractive to employees as it gives them control over their lives. If an employee wants to move nearer to their family or explore foreign lands, this policy makes that possible.

Of course, in the construction sector, it’s not possible for site-based employees to work from anywhere. However, introducing this policy where feasible to those that don’t need to be onsite could give your business an edge over others competing for the same talent.

2. A generous approach to learning and development

Another top tip for talent attraction in the construction sector is to fuel your people’s career aspirations.

For millennials, training and development is the most important benefit an employer can offer. A whopping 76% of all employees say they’re more likely to remain with a business that ofers training and development opportunities. 

Many tech companies place learning and development (also called L&D) at the heart of their talent management strategy and have built a strong reputation in this area.

How are SalesForce and Monzo presenting L&D?

After asking their employees about the training they wanted, Salesforce started offering personalised learning that employees complete independently at their own pace. 

Software company Monzo stands above its competitors by giving each employee a learning budget of £1,000 for books, conferences and training courses. They promote this generous benefit on their jobs and careers webpage.

Construction companies can attract and retain the best talent by offering outstanding opportunities like these. If your employees can learn new skills and progress in their careers, they’re more likely to stay because they feel motivated, happy, and fulfilled.

3. Being transparent about pay

Pay transparency is more than just publishing salaries on job adverts. It’s also about holding regular pay reviews and doing away with ‘gagging clauses’ that stop employees discussing their salaries with co-workers. In the UK, one in five workers are bound by gagging clauses.

According to the European Commission, the gender pay gap across the EU is 14.1%. In the UK, in 2021, the gender pay gap was a shocking 15.4%. Across the same period, mixed-race people earned 16% less than white British people (Ethnicity Pay Gap Report 2021, Strategy& – part of PwC).

Social-savvy Buffer makes salary details public

When the social media company Buffer introduced pay transparency, they saw applications for jobs more than double. Buffer publishes salary details of every role on their website for everyone to see. That’s quite astonishing.

Employees at Buffer reported that they were 110% more likely to remain with the company because of pay transparency.

That’s because pay transparency promotes fairness and equality, which builds trust in a business. Pay transparency can enhance the reputation of your business because it shows a commitment to equal opportunities and genuine care for your employees.

4. Building an intentional culture that fosters belonging

Deep employer branding connects employees to the ethics and purpose of a business. Employees who truly connect with a brand are more likely to be loyal, motivated, and productive at work.

So it makes perfect sense to carve out your company mission and build your culture around that, tapping into people’s desire to find a sense of belonging. Creating an intentional culture is a great tip when it comes to talent attraction in any sector, including construction.

Digital headhunter Paltron doubles-down on passion

IT company Paltron aims to attract employees who share their passion for technology that changes the world for the better. The company believes these employees are more likely to “find meaning and significance in their work.”

Interestingly, 83% of people working for the best companies in tech say they “feel good about the ways their organisation contributes to the community.”

That’s according to the report ‘Insights and best practices from our 2021 Best Workplaces in Tech’ by Great Place to Work. This shows how important it is for your employees to share common goals with your business and to know their work is meaningful.

5. Prioritising employee wellbeing

Prioritising employee wellbeing is vital to retain and attract talent in construction. Offering perks and benefits shows that a business values its employees. 

The best perks to attract talent are those that offer real value. Everyone has different needs at different stages of their lives. For example, someone with young children might value childcare vouchers, whereas a graduate could be more interested in subsidised gym membership. 

Tech consultancy AND Digital provide on point benefits

When considering perks, it’s essential to think about what your employees really want. Tech company AND Digital provides a £1,000 Flex Fund for each employee, so employees can purchase the benefits they choose. Not surprisingly, AND Digital is named by Glassdoor as one of the Best Places to Work in the UK

Octopus Energy is also on the Glassdoor list. They offer Octopus Money Coach to support employees’ financial wellbeing with a financial coach.

In the construction industry, financial worries are the number one cause of stress. Providing access to financial advice and perks like on-demand pay can help relieve financial pressure.

6. Encouraging a healthy work-life balance

People with a healthy work-life balance are happier, less stressed and more productive at work. According to Glassdoor, work-life balance is even more important than pay for job hunters.

Employees in the construction industry work, on average, 5 hours a week more than those in other sectors. But poor mental health in the construction sector is a serious problem.

For tech company ServiceNow, empowerment is a core value

The technology company ServiceNow allows employees to decide where they want to work. They also give employees the freedom to decide how and when to collaborate in the office.

This promotes a culture of flexibility and trust. As a result, the company has received outstanding reviews from employees.

7. A superior recruitment process

An outstanding hiring process is essential for ensuring a business attracts people with the right skills. 

Transparency from the start is very important. Being open and honest about a job role, salary, and benefits during the recruitment process establishes trust. If a new starter is disappointed, there is a real risk of that person leaving quickly. This increases recruitment costs and can also damage a business’s reputation.

Amazon value candidates’ time and effort

Amazon.com prioritises transparency in their hiring process. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos believes their recruitment strategies are the reason for their success:

“Setting the bar high in our approach to hiring has been, and will continue to be, the single most important element in Amazon.com’s success.”

Bonus talent attraction tips for construction

Review your interview stages

When there are upwards of four interview stages, it’s more likely that highly skilled applicants will pull out and accept a job with another employer. This is especially true in the construction sector, where employers compete for talent. 

Aim for a balanced relationship

Remember, interviews are a two-way process. A job interview is not just about an employer assessing an employee. It’s also about an employee assessing an employer, especially during a talent shortage. 

Leverage technology to help attract talent

Good recruitment practice is a streamlined human experience, but technology also has a role to play. Artificial Intelligence can make the recruitment process quicker and more efficient, which leaves candidates with a positive impression of a business. 

Talent attraction tips from the tech sector

Top employers in the tech industry are pulling out all the stops to attract the best talent. Taking a creative approach to flexible working, learning and development, employee wellbeing and hiring practices means they’re attracting skilled employees who share their vision and goals. 

By considering talent attraction tips from other industries like tech, the construction sector can benefit. Effective talent management in construction boosts productivity, enhances business reputation, and significantly reduces the cost of recruiting, onboarding, and training new staff.