Recruiting in the construction industry can be a challenging thing, especially in today’s competitive market. As recruiters who often work with SMEs, we know that recruitment success in this part of the construction industry hinges on how you frame the role within the context of an ever-changing market.
Before reaching out to a potential candidate, we always take a moment to consider what’s on their mind. What are the questions that will likely come up in our conversation? What is the primary concern that might sway their decision one way or another?
Currently, it all boils down to one central theme: Job Security.
What is job security?
Job security is having confidence that you won’t lose your job unexpectedly. It’s a feeling of stability in your employment, knowing that your position is likely to continue as long as you perform well and the company or organisation remains stable. When you have job security, you’re less worried about sudden job loss and can plan for your future with more peace of mind.
The Quest for Job Security
In today’s job market, especially in the construction industry, job security is paramount. It’s the foundation on which people build their professional lives and make crucial career decisions. Candidates want to know that their future is stable and that their decision to join a new company won’t come back to haunt them.
So, what are the specific aspects of job security that candidates are concerned about when considering opportunities with SME companies?
Let’s break it down:
Solid Pipeline of Work
Candidates want assurance that there’s a steady flow of projects lined up. They’re not just looking for a job; they’re seeking a long-term commitment. Knowing that there’s strong pipeline of work ahead can significantly ease their concerns.
Having a good pipeline of projects is important, but it’s equally crucial that these projects are close by. For Site Managers and Quantity Surveyors, a great pipeline doesn’t matter if they have to endure lengthy two-hour commutes to reach each project. Being able to work on projects nearby can be a significant factor in their decision-making process.
Clear 5-Year Plan
A well-defined long-term plan for the company is a reassuring sign. It demonstrates stability and growth potential. Candidates want to know that they’re joining an company with a vision for the future.
Financial stability is a critical factor. Candidates want to be sure that the company’s finances are in good order. Nobody wants to be in a position where their job is on the line due to financial instability.
Strong Staff Retention
High staff turnover is always a red flag. Candidates want to join a team where people stick around. It’s a sign that the you value your employees and treat them well.
The Regional Business Stigma
The moment a candidate hears about a regional business, their immediate concern is ensuring they won’t be “last-in, first-out.” This perception can be tough to overcome, especially in a market where national companies allocate a tonne of resource towards recruitment.
However, regional businesses have their USPs. They offer opportunities that larger companies may not, including a more personal work environment, a chance to make a significant impact, not feel like a small cog in a large machine, and a sense of being part of a close-knit team. These are things that often resonate deeply with candidates who prioritise job satisfaction and a sense of belonging – something that’s becoming of more and more importance to people.
A Balancing Act
People are drawn to SMEs that offer competitive pay, make them feel valued, and engage them in interesting and meaningful projects. But, none of these matter if candidates can’t put their minds at ease about job security.
With so many companies struggling, job security is undeniably the most significant reason why people hesitate to make a career move. We all have bills to pay, people to support, and expenses that seem to rise endlessly. A job isn’t just about earning a paycheck; it’s about building a stable future.
Providing Peace of Mind
So, how can you address these concerns and provide candidates with the peace of mind they need? Here are some strategies to consider:
Be upfront and transparent about the company’s pipeline of work, long-term plans, and financial stability. Open and honest communication goes a long way in building trust early on.
Emphasise Employee Retention
Highlight instances of long-term employees. Showcase the company’s commitment to retaining talent and fostering a supportive work culture. Let them know why people like to stay working for you.
Highlight Success Stories
Share success stories of employees who’ve thrived. Real-life examples help candidates paint a picture of career growth and stability.
Encourage current employees to share their experiences through testimonials. Hearing from potential peers can be incredibly reassuring.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Consider offering flexible work arrangements or remote work options to ease concerns about longer commutes.
Outline opportunities for professional development and growth. Demonstrating a commitment to your team’s career advancement can be a powerful selling point for a many candidates.
Recruiting for SME companies in the construction industry is undoubtedly challenging. But, by understanding the primary concerns candidates have regarding job security and being proactive to address those concerns, you can position your opportunity as an attractive option in a competitive market.
In a world where job security is paramount, giving candidates confidence that the move is a safe one can be the key to successful recruitment. As we all navigate a tough market, it’s crucial to remember that most people aren’t just looking for jobs; they’re looking for stability and a long-term career.
By providing reassurance, you can attract great people, even in a competitive, talent-short market.