November 30, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.
By John Kenney, Cotney Consulting Group.
Labor recruitment strategies and resources you need to recruit and hire life-long employees.
According to the latest U.S. Department of Labor statistics, the national unemployment rate only rose 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 percent. There are 11.2 million open jobs in the United States as of August, including nearly 500 thousand non-filled skilled labor positions in construction alone, leaving hiring managers looking to improve their recruitment strategies for roofing companies. Moreover, more than 40 percent of the roofing is from the baby boomer generation and is over the age of 58. Roofing companies must step up their recruitment strategies to bring in new candidates to meet the growing demands.
Let’s discuss some recruitment strategies you should keep in mind to help solve not only your current labor needs but also your future ones.
No college degree?
The career prospects for our youth without a college degree have steadily declined over the past three decades. Most careers outside the trades that provide financial security require education beyond high school. Roofing jobs are an excellent opportunity for non-college-educated workers, delivering solid benefits and competitive wages they can build a life around.
This benefit and strength should be emphasized in your recruitment material. Provide specifics about your company’s benefits and how rare they are for workers without degrees in other industries.
Female workforce for your future
Most construction workers are overwhelmingly male, with women accounting for just under 11 percent of the current workforce. There are many misconceptions by managers and hiring personnel that keep women underrepresented in the roofing industry. But employers realize there’s a tremendous demand for workers to fill skilled labor and administrative roles. If you overlook women in your recruiting efforts, you are missing out on candidates who you a competitive edge and thrive in these roles.
Because it is assumed that roofing jobs are for men only, you will need to create customized recruitment strategies for women. A great resource to start in assisting you in building these campaigns is the National Women in Roofing (NWIR).
One of the recruitment strategies for roofing companies is to present clear job descriptions for potential candidates. Although this seems simple, most companies do not have detailed and clear descriptions prepared.
Job description tips:
- An engaging overview of the job – Write a one to four-sentence summary that describes the job’s primary function and how it contributes to larger company objectives and a career path ahead for the candidate.
- Exact skills needed for the position – Many times a company makes the mistake of boiler plating nonessential skills from position to position on job descriptions. If you do not list the exact skills needed, applicants will find it hard to know if the position is a good fit. However, only list the necessary skills for that position, so it is not confusing.
- Required qualifications – This is where you describe the qualifications needed for the position. These are qualifications that the candidate couldn’t perform their job without them.
Go where the candidates are
One of the contributing factors why some companies do not receive enough applications is that they do not advertise the open position on the right sites. Different candidates and generations will look in various places. So companies should post the job on the sites that attract the candidate they are looking to attract. Some recruitment strategies for roofing companies looking to post their open positions are:
Employment websites and social media are great places to recruit. Use your historical data to determine which sites produced the best-qualified candidates in the past and invest more resources into those platforms.
Referrals are excellent when looking for qualified candidates. Encouraging current employees to post open jobs on social media can help you find candidates.
Offer career paths and advancement opportunities in your company. Your future and current employees want to know they can grow in your company as they gain more experience and seniority.
Offering a career path is an excellent way to recruit and retain workers. It is a proven method to ensure they stay with your company and shows your commitment to promoting from within.
Providing ongoing training benefits both your employees and your company. Training opportunities for your employees show you are vested in their professional growth, and you retain more employees by helping them achieve their career goals.
Strong safety culture
Safety should always be your roofing company’s top priority. If you have a strong safety culture or a solid safety record, you can use that to recruit workers. Adopting a robust safety culture promotes your commitment to protecting your workers when recruiting new employees. It also shows that you care about your employees and value their well-being.
Roofing companies must use their best strategies to ensure they fill their positions. You will benefit when you plan for open positions. Don’t just focus on your immediate needs but on what your labor needs might be for the next two to five years and beyond. This will help build the foundation you need to create a strong pipeline and network to fill your needs and grow your business for years to come.
About John Kenney
John Kenney is the Chief Executive Officer at Cotney Consulting Group. Prior to starting Cotney, John had 45 years of experience in the construction industry. John began his career by working as a roofing apprentice at a family business in the Northeast. Because of his skill and hard work, he progressed from roofing laborer to foreman, estimator, chief estimator, Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer with his various companies. John has worked for multiple Top 100 Roofing Contractors and is intimately familiar with all aspects of roofing production, estimating, and operations. In his last role, John was responsible for the daily operations and performance of a large commercial roofing contractor. During his tenure, John ran business units associated with delivering excellent workmanship and unparalleled customer service while ensuring healthy net profits for his company.