With Ireland’s Housing for All plan now commencing, construction talent is needed at all levels to meet the 33,000 homes a year needed to meet the 2030 target. With the government now launching its own recruitment drive, there are now more talented people than ever moving into the industry.
However, with many job opportunities, and with different companies vying for the same all-too-small pool of workers, attracting the best people to your job opening requires reassessing your approach. Creative construction marketing is the answer.
Below, we’ve put together a list of the best ways for companies in Ireland to recruit the top construction workers in 2022 and beyond.
1. Be visible
Whether you’re looking for apprentices, graduates, or experienced construction workers, you need to make sure your marketing efforts can be found by your ideal recruit – that means social media, email campaigns and partnerships with third-level and training institutions.
For apprentices, this could simply mean visiting schools and colleges, giving talks about the industry and why construction would provide a promising career for Irish students.
Graduates, as well as jobs websites, will often look through graduate directories, professional trade journals, and visit both in-person and virtual career fairs. Long-term, it is beneficial to also offer internships and summer jobs to students prior to graduation to encourage awareness of your brand,
Experienced construction talent is in hot demand so targeting these should involve reference by word of mouth as well as platforms such as LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor, making your company sound as appealing as possible.
2. Establish a vision for your company
A well-communicated brand can prove to be the biggest draw for your company in recruiting workers. Building this brand involves having a vision for your company and a mindset that complements this.
Following the trend set by Millenials, graduates and upcoming talent are looking for companies that they can be proud to work for. With Millenials and younger soon to make up over 75% of the workforce (https://www.fastcompany.com/90306556/most-millennials-would-take-a-pay-cut-to-work-at-a-sustainable-company), it’s important to stay on track in terms of company goals and optics.
Specifically, a good Irish construction company vision will now include:
- Sustainability efforts
- The ability for workers to “be themselves” with personality encouraged
- Social responsibility goals
- Focus on safety
These should be developed and demonstrated throughout your company website, social media efforts, and during the recruitment process. Regular content and marketing approaches can be developed using industry specialists such as Property District.
3. Be employee-centric
Those new to the industry and existing construction talent, both want to feel valued at their place of work. A well-designed employee page showcasing workers with testimonials is the best way for this to be signposted.
With safety a priority in construction, it is important to emphasise your company’s safety record during the recruitment process and that you understand the hazards involved. This can be emphasised using a dedicated section on your website that potential recruits can spot easily when researching your company.
It’s also important to be flexible with work arrangements both in and out of the office. Many workers now enjoy hybrid working which can often be a deal breaker if not offered to new and established construction talent. Giving options such as compressed weeks and the ability to work remotely some of the time is a great way to show you are putting the wishes of your employees first.
To retain workers and also improve conditions for future talent, your company should also implement regular employee engagement measures such as surveys or, even better, one on one chats out of the office where concerns and ambitions can be discussed with more senior staff.
Importantly, these internal efforts need to be visible to potential recruits. This means positioning your social media, LinkedIn, and website efforts on why employees like working for your company.
4. Put technology at the heart of your business
Construction is often overlooked as a viable career path by Irish graduates and students because of a misconception as non-innovative. This false conception is largely due to the industry’s slow progress in digitalisation with workers now not only comfortable with the implementation of technology but also actively eager to see it.
While steering the entire industry in this direction will take time, individual Irish construction companies can leverage the situation to recruit some of the best talent available.
By integrating technology such as proptech, smart devices, 3D printers, drones, and GPS-led machines, as well as moving towards more sustainable modern methods of construction, your company not only looks appealing now but will demonstrate an understanding of where the industry is heading.
The use of technology should be visible throughout your marketing efforts using carefully selected photos and imagery.
5. Be seen as a supportive company
While working for a company with vision and social goals is important for potential workers, it’s also important to offer more tangible rewards. This means including clearly demonstrating the benefits and perks offered by your company throughout your branding and publications.
These efforts can include sign-up bonuses that are increasingly being used to beat-out competition and make sure the best workers come to a company. Workers of all levels now also expect training and growth opportunities that should be implemented systematically as part of your company’s DNA. Not only does this help with developing an employee-centric brand during the recruitment process but it also means your workforce is constantly improving.
It is, therefore, necessary to develop career paths that can be advertised and targeted to apprentices, graduates, and experienced workers too. If talented potential workers can clearly see where they will be in three years by working for your company they are more likely to reach out and engage.
While none of these strategies will bring overnight success, taking the time to develop your company’s identity in these ways will lead to a continual supply of talented construction workers wanting to work for your company. With Ireland’s construction industry in demand now more than ever, it is vital to stay one step ahead and market effectively now.