Throughout the construction industry, there is always fierce competition for top talent. This is especially true in the sub-trades, where the talent pool is smaller so the “big fish” are in even higher demand. Unfortunately, too many companies make the mistake of approaching their hiring needs without a solid plan in mind, causing many to lose out on great hires. For roofing companies to compete at a high level for A+ candidates, they need to have a clear strategy for how to recruit, hire, and retain those candidates. Here’s where to start:
Recruit with a Long-Term Growth Plan
The best way for roofing companies to stand out from their competitors during the recruiting process is to show candidates that they are thinking long term. Companies that can demonstrate a healthy backlog are in a strong position to secure top talent, especially in uncertain markets. However, the strongest candidates don’t just want to know that their jobs are secure - they want to know that they will have room to learn and grow within a company. Talk to candidates about their long-term career goals, and create a clear path for upward mobility from their current roles to their dream roles. If they believe that they have a future with the company and the potential for continuous growth, they are more likely to consider a role.
Hire with a Strong First Offer
For most candidates, compensation is not the most important factor when considering a new job. But it is important, and roofing companies must be prepared to put forth a strong offer for a candidate they really want. Stay up to date on the market rates for specific positions within the local market, and make sure to come out swinging with your best offer. Low-ball first offers make candidates feel underappreciated and call into question how much the company really values their expertise. Even if they do accept the role after some back-and-forth, they might have lingering doubts about the company when they come on board. That result isn’t worth saving a few thousand dollars on a top-shelf candidate, so think of the big picture and make an offer that is in line with market value and will make the candidate feel special.
Retain with Strong Communication
There are many ways that companies can improve their employee retention rates, and many of them will cost the company little or nothing. But by far the most important retention strategy is also one of the simplest: keep an open line of communication between management and the new employee. Too many candidates hear from company leaders during the hiring process and then never again once they come on board. During their onboarding process, make sure that they understand what is expected from them in their new role and that they feel welcomed by their new team. And even after they’ve settled in, check in frequently - ask how things are going, find out what they might need support with, and touch base about their long-term plans and goals. And always keep them informed about what’s going on with the company - tell them about upcoming projects, or explain how you plan to weather difficult seasons. Simply talking to employees on a regular basis will make them feel valued and increase the likelihood that they will remain loyal to a company.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to recruiting, hiring, and retaining the best available candidates, these strategies have worked for many leading roofing companies, and they’re a good starting point for any company that wants to land top talent.