Hiring the right people for your team, in any company, is going to be the determining factor on how successful you are. This is true for any company, but especially true in construction. Given the nature of construction and its hiring practices though, it can be pretty difficult to find the right construction laborers.
With the weight of the success of the company on your shoulders, it can be hard to make a decision on who to have on your team. It’s like a balancing act between everyone’s skills and reliability. It’s overwhelming to say the least.
In the end, it’s going to come down to your preferences, your specific situation, and even what kind of construction you are going to be doing. However, there are definitely some specific guidelines you can follow and go by.
These tips and what to look for, are from actual contractors/employers who have hired dozens of construction employees, even more construction helpers, and have been heavily involved in the industry.
Construction Laborers: What To Look For
We will start with the most important skills and/or character qualities that a person should have, in order for you to consider hiring them:
A person can have all the skills in the world, but if they aren’t going to show up, it doesn’t matter much does it?
Reliability with construction can be a serious problem, maybe even more so than other industries. Even though it isn’t talked about much, the truth is that construction labor is a pretty tough job to be doing, so a lot of people don’t want to do it. That leads to people applying that can’t get many other jobs. In other words, they have a criminal history, not legal status as a citizen, etc.
With that being said, a lot of people who apply to work for you are going to have a history of unreliability, at least in the workplace. Therefore, anyone who proves to have a good reliability in the work place, is at the very least a strong candidate.
A great way to tell if someone has good reliability, is also the simplest way. Call past employers!
Willingness To Work
As I said before, there’s a lot of unreliability in the field of construction labor. One of the main reasons for that is because of the lack of willingness to work. I wouldn’t say that construction laborers are lazy, because construction is hard work, but that hard work also leads to some not wanting to do a lot of it!
It cannot be stressed enough how important this is. Someone not having the willingness to work is one of the worst possible situations to have on your hands. Constant calling out, constantly asking for days off, & constantly showing up late or trying to leave early, leads to dozens of problems.
All of these problems lead to one big one; you having to deal with them! As a business owner and contractor, you don’t have the time to be constantly calling for fill ins, dealing with schedule changes, and constantly second guessing if someone is going to be working while on the job site!
Out of all the important things to consider, nothing beats out this one. Your workers need to be keeping safe on the job site!
According to OSHA stats, there were 4,386 deaths on the job in the U.S last year. That’s more than 13 deaths per day! Guess how many of them were in the field of construction? More than 20% of them! Out of all those, just a little less than half was due to nothing but falling!
There are standards set in place for every hazard you can think of, and it’s important that your workers are not only following them, but make it a habit to! Even if one worker is not following safety procedures, that could influence a dozen more to follow suit.
Anyone you even consider for a job, you need to make sure they are on top of their game when it comes to knowing safety and it’s procedures. No exceptions!
Not only will business issues arrive with job deaths, but on top of that you have to know that someone passed away on your site that was a possible father, possible husband, son, brother, uncle or anything else to other people. All because they wanted to save 5 minutes on the job.
As a contractor, it’s your responsibility to not only make sure that your construction employees are following safety procedures, but to make sure that the employees you hire are more than willing to follow them.
This may seem like a obvious requirement, but it is one that is too often ignored, and is worth noting.
It’s really unfortunate that some people are born, or develop, physical disabilities or deformations. It’s important to still strongly consider some of these people, as long as you see a job that they are more than able to complete safely. However, it’s even more important though that you realize construction is already a very dangerous profession.
You aren’t doing anyone any favors by hiring someone out of pity or sympathy when it comes to construction labor. It gives that particular individual a much higher risk of injury or even death, and slows down the team as a whole. Construction is a very physically demanding job and it’s important that you realize this and take special note of anyone who might have a physical disadvantage, and higher risk of causing themselves, or others, injury.
All of these are important points to remember. Even with all of this though, one of the most important things to remember is that you’ve always been able to tell right from wrong, and always been able to have a feel for those that know right from wrong as well.
Follow your gut most of all, on the people you should have on your team. Take all of these points into consideration, but listen to what your natural instinct, that you have had all along, as well.
Remember, nothing will make you or your team happier, than working with great people who are willing to work hard, be honest, follow rules, and do their job with minimal complaining. From a simple interview, you can usually tell a good team member from a bad one.
Now that you know the important points to take into consideration with hiring, go out there and get your team going so that you can continue on this journey of having a great contracting career and business!