Gaining the Competitive Edge When Recruiting in Today’s Candidate-Driven Market

By Bill Wolfe on September 5, 2019

Too many construction companies are suffering from a major flaw in their hiring process: hiring managers simply do not believe that they are in a candidate-driven market. But the reality is that in this market, the talent is doing the choosing - not the other way around. Companies can’t afford to behave as though they have the pick of the litter. Instead, construction companies that want a competitive edge must recruit. So how can managers make sure that their companies are the top of a talented candidate’s list of prospective employers? Here are five things that will help:

1. Make a strong first impression. From the recruiter who reaches out to the candidate to the person who answers the phones, every point of contact at your company needs to provide a positive experience for your potential candidate. These frontline employees are a candidate’s first impression of the company culture, so make sure the people who greet them are warm, friendly, and inviting. Make the candidate feel important from the first second they engage with your company.

2. Google your company. It’s important to know what your company’s reputation is online. Google Reviews, Yelp, Glassdoor, and social media are all make-or-break platforms for employers. If you see any negative reviews or red flags regarding your company, be prepared to address them early on in your communications with the candidate.

3. Be transparent. Your candidate should know exactly what to expect at every stage of the hiring process, and it’s your job to keep that process as clear and expedient as possible. Lay out each step (i.e. an initial phone interview followed by an in-person interview, then a final interview and selection) and then do what you said you would do. Avoid rescheduling interviews if at all possible, and make sure that all of the candidate’s expectations are met.

4. Prepare your team. Make sure everyone who needs to meet the candidate is prepared to attend the interview; adding extra interviews to a candidate’s plate to accommodate disparate schedules can cost you top talent. Then have a “Pre-Interview Huddle” with your team before the candidate arrives: make sure everyone is on the same page and all of the necessary angles are covered. You can also use this time to ensure that you’re prepared to present a united front and sell your company’s culture to the candidate.

5. Provide timely feedback. After the interview, it’s critical to keep candidates in the loop as you make your hiring decision. And make a decision as quickly as possible -- candidates in today’s market have a short shelf life, and if you want them on your team, you need to move quickly.

In years past, companies could afford to relax and let candidates try to impress them. But those days are long gone, and now it’s up to the company to prove it’s a great place to work. It’s still important to find a candidate who is a great fit, but now that candidates are in control, these five steps will help you ensure that your company is bringing in the best of the best.

The Author

Straight from the desk of

Bill Wolfe

Bill Wolfe

Vice President

Bill began working at Kimmel & Associates in 2007, and he concentrates his service on heavy equipment and heavy civil clients and professionals. Bill’s exemplary work and determined effort led to his 2008 Rookie of the Year Award and Consultant of the Year Award in 2009. His success in the search industry was recognized in 2009, with his promotion to Vice President, and his 2010 appointment to the Board of Advisors.

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