“Without labour, nothing prospers” ~ Sophocles
After reading the previous blog on the Survival of Your Business, I heard you yelling at me, “It’s great to know how to build a company culture worth working for and all, but where do I find these people to impress!?”
In our industry, across North America, we have a serious labour shortage. I know this is not news to any one of you, everyone I speak to is feeling it. It is the number one challenge in any construction business right now. The volume of work available is increasing combined with a lower number of new people entering the industry and the number of people set to retire in the next 10 years is going to leave us short bodies by a significant amount, never mind skilled bodies.
As an employer in the construction industry, that is looking to grow, you are desperate for labour. And desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m sure you’ve tried, with much frustration, job boards, posting on social media, and other practices that all the others are doing. Here are five secret, off-the-wall ideas that, if you are committed, will bring you results. Are you willing to do what others aren’t?
1. Host a Career Day (and support a good cause?)
Commit to the desired outcome and go all in on putting on a big, community event.
Get creative on the title you give your event. Be transparent, and also be enticing to a variety of people, they may not realize this is what they are looking for.
Invite all the people you know and all the people they know – no limits. Friends, family, acquaintances; advertise at schools, churches, local grocery stores and wholesalers; invite your vendors, your banker, previous clients and any network connections. Reach as far as you possibly can.
Have current employees “sell” your company – how amazing it is to work for and the opportunities available in the industry and specifically with your company. They are there to be honest, be sure it is as amazing as they say.
Put on demonstrations or exhibits of interesting work you do. Build interest and intrigue.
You are looking for many people with different strengths and skills. Look for people that would make great managers, great admin people, great skilled tradespeople. Look for good people.
Invite interested parties to connect with you.
You could take this to the next level and combine your career day with fundraising for a cause you support.
2. Approach Top Talent
You have an amazing opportunity for the best people and you know it, let them know it too.
Employers do not have “rights” to people and if you know your company will treat them better and have more opportunities, then it is the choice for the candidate to make where they prefer to work. All you are doing is letting them know what opportunity you have available for them.
It is the responsibility of the employer to build an environment worth staying with, if your competitors haven’t done this, they don’t deserve to keep the top talent.
Any potential hire will appreciate that you recognize what they have to offer and that goes a long way these days.
3. Leave Cards on Vehicles
Drive the neighbourhoods where you work and look for marked vehicles of the skill you are looking for.
Leave a card and a note on the windshield laying out the opportunity you have for them. Don’t forget to highlight the fact that they can work close to home (the reason you drive the neighbourhoods where you work).
Invite them to connect with you to discuss the opportunity.
Avoid putting a card on an owner’s vehicle, that may invite an unwanted response.
4. Employee Incentives
Offer your current employees an incentive if they recruit a successful hire.
A recommendation or referral is one of the best sources of employees, especially if it’s from someone you already know (and hopefully like and trust).
Employee incentives are a win-win-win and contributes to building a positive company culture.
5. Temporary Labour Provider
When we were in dire straits for bodies, we relied on temporary labour providers. We worked with a provider that offered skilled labour and general labour. It worked well for us while we were in search of full-time employees.
There are some people that prefer to work on a part-time basis and not commit to full-time employment. These are the people you can find at a temporary labour provider.
6. Bonus Secret
When you start to see your “competitors” as allies, you can work together to get more done. That can mean sharing employees and it can also mean subbing work to each other to manage the workload.
We referred to them as our “friendly competitors”. We worked together in many facets to support each other in the success of our businesses.
Look around you to build a network of “friendly competitors”, that are like-minded and prepared to share in the abundance of work and success of both businesses.
It is a challenge to find good labour. Employees are demanding more and more from their employers (and rightfully so) in the way of a positive work environment, potential for growth, good pay, benefits and flexibility. The commitment to doing what others are not willing to do will be a game changer for you. However, take the time to build a company culture that others will want to work with; be sure you are providing what you promise because otherwise, it may backfire.
When you become known as someone who does some of these practices, you become a potential target for others. Be prepared. Make sure you are taking care of your people.
Are you ready for things to be different, to accept help from others that have been where you are, and successfully made it to the other side? Are you about ready for some relief of the constant pressure? Wanting more time in your week so you can focus on your business? If this is you and you are ready, get in touch to schedule your free consultation by filling out our online needs assessment today at www.ThriveHQ.ca. There is a better way.