Don’t Just Hire for Today’s Concrete Need - Hire for the Future

By Patrick Narron on January 22, 2019

Concrete construction work is on the rise! Particularly in urban areas, high-rise, mixed-use buildings are becoming more popular, and we’re also seeing an increase in industrial projects such as data warehouses nationwide. With such a healthy backlog of work in the concrete industry, the need for skilled concrete workers is also increasing. Well over 60% of the market is in growth mode, with a vast majority of companies seeking to bring on at least one new employee.

Growth at Every Level

Concrete workers are in demand at every level of organizations. Estimators and Superintendents seem to be the most coveted, but significant needs also exist for Project Managers, executive-level leaders, and entry-level employees. As a result of these extensive needs, in-demand candidates are commanding higher salaries than in years past. For example, while you may have been able to hire quality Estimators for $65K a decade ago, the reality is that in this market, Estimators need a minimum of $80K and up to (and above) $100K to make a move to a new company. High-quality Superintendents also have a bottom line of about $80K, while Project Managers range from around $75K to $115K, depending on the region. While these higher price tags might give some companies sticker shock, this is actually a great opportunity for companies to make a long-term investment in highly skilled candidates.

Invest in the Future

When it comes to making a successful long-term hire, strategy is critical. Candidates who are willing to move for a position have a higher probability of moving again than those who stay within their markets for their first three promotions. And in this market, candidates get to decide where they go next (and for what price). So what can you do that will keep a candidate around for the long haul? It starts with changing how you think about each hire. When you interview someone who seems to be a great cultural fit for your company, think beyond today’s need: can you picture this person interviewing for a promotion in one year, or five years? Even if the price tag is higher than you want or the person requires specific training to get them where you want them, hire someone you think can find a long-term home with your company -- someone you want to see interviewing in a few years for the next available promotion. More than anything, employees want to work for a company that values them and is invested in their future. If you invest now in high-quality candidates, you’ll set your company up for success when future positions open up. You’ll have strong, loyal employees to fill them!

Concrete Experience is a Strong Foundation

Many candidates with a background in concrete work have their eyes on growing and expanding their portfolios in the industry. These candidates are often extremely sharp and can make an excellent investment for a general contractor. Having concrete experience gives them an edge - they understand the importance of the foundation of construction work, and their learning curves will be minimal when compared with the long-term value they will bring.

Candidates are steering the construction market today, and your company can benefit from investing now in the skilled workers who are open to a strategic career move. So when you consider a new candidate, look beyond your short-term need, don’t get caught up in the price tag, and consider how their specialty experience can contribute to your company’s long-term goals. That way, any hire you make today will continue bringing value long into the future!

The Author

Straight from the desk of

Patrick Narron

Patrick Narron

Associate

Patrick joined Kimmel & Associates in 2018 as an Associate, and he specializes in the concrete industry. Prior to joining Kimmel & Associates, Patrick cultivated a broad background in sales and business development. He has a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from North Carolina State University. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and young daughter.