DeepHire would like to welcome guest Patrick Hogan to our blog. The following are his thoughts on how to hire construction employees.

The construction industry is currently facing numerous challenges, from payment issues to project delays. One of the root causes of these issues is the skilled labor shortage currently experienced by many construction firms.

An Associated General Contractors of America study found that around  80% of construction firms find it difficult to fill hourly craft positions, which make up the majority of the entire construction industry workforce. With the number of construction projects on the rise, many construction companies find it difficult to fill jobs. This issue causes  some business owners to increase their bid prices to account for the additional work time, and others are not  able to bid at all.

One way to address this labor issue is to optimize your construction firm’s recruitment process. The ability to immediately find the right candidate for the job can be the difference between failing to bid and getting a profitable contract. Video interviews, for instance, are becoming a more popular hiring method in recent years. Several large companies, including Goldman Sachs, have included video interviews in their recruitment drives. As the skilled labor shortage in construction persists, video interviews may be one of the solutions to  the problem. Here are some of the benefits that video interviews have for construction recruitment.

1. Faster recruitment processing

The construction industry is no stranger to tight deadlines and strict schedules. From the bidding process to the project completion, construction companies need to adhere to precise timetables to minimize delays and deliver projects on time. In support of this, construction recruitment needs to reduce the time  spent on looking for ideal candidates. Faster recruitment processing means that you can fill positions sooner, enabling your company to bid competitively and turn over projects within schedule.

Using video interviews, especially during the first stage of the recruitment process, has a positive impact on the speed of your recruitment. Compared to just reading a candidate’s background in their application form, a video interview lets you engage with them sooner. Being able to see and hear candidates during a video interview also lets you pick up on their knowledge, expertise, and even cultural fit compared to just reading about them in their CVs. This lets you make a decision faster whether to hire a candidate or not and contact them sooner than other construction firms.

2. Improved hiring accuracy

Let’s face it. Construction employees face a lot of dangers while working on the construction site. It is important that construction firms hire only qualified employees with the right technical knowledge and expertise to ensure not just their safety but also that of their colleagues. By conducting video interviews, you will be able to sift through a set of top-quality candidates instead of taking a lot of time wading through less-than-ideal ones. After all, only those who are serious about landing the role and have the credentials for it will want to push through with a video interview.

Conducting video interviews allows recruiters to assess a candidate’s skills and abilities to ensure that they are indeed a good fit for the role. A lot of candidates actually have solid credentials on paper but fail to meet expectations when you finally work with them. Similar to office-based roles like sales, accounting, and pre-lien management, communication and interpersonal skills are also important in field jobs. By doing a video interview, you will be able to talk to the candidates and hear how they talk and see how they listen to you. This lets you assess if they will be able to settle into the job, resulting in more accurate and overall better hires.

3. Reduced scheduling conflicts

Arranging telephone calls and in-person interviews can be a nightmare for many human resources personnel and recruiters. When you have to go through multiple candidates, chances are not everyone can align their schedule with yours. If you go the phone interview route, you are likely to catch them at an inconvenient time which can affect the reliability of their answers to your questions.

With video interviews, you will never have to deal with the headache of aligning schedules with potential candidates. You may just send an invite through an email or instant message and agree on the most convenient time to conduct the video interview. And if there is no particular time that fits both of your schedules, you may choose to conduct an asynchronous video interview. You may send the interview questions beforehand which the candidate can then answer when they are available.

4. Reduced bias and improved consistency

It can be difficult to reduce your own subconscious bias no matter how experienced a recruiter you are. There will always be some situations that may be completely unrelated to the interview that can affect your judgment. Think mood breakers like personal or work problems that can bother you during an interview and influence your interaction with the candidate.

There are several ways you can approach the reduction of bias using a video interview. For example, you can review the video interview when you have a clear mind. In addition, having your colleagues review the video interview with you lets you discuss the merits of the candidate in a way that has a significantly reduced bias compared to an in-person interview.

If you talked to several candidates for the job, using the same set of questions for each candidate lets you compare and contrast their answers in a fair and consistent way. This ensures that they are on an equal footing going into the interview.

Many industries are already tapping the potential of video interview platforms to facilitate recruitment, improve the quality of hires, eliminate scheduling conflicts, and reduce subconscious bias. With the construction industry’s skilled labor shortage persisting without any sign of slowing down, construction companies need to take advantage of the benefits of video interviews to address the issue.


About the Author:

Patrick Hogan is the CEO of Handle.com, where they build software that helps contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers with late payments. Handle.com also provides funding for construction businesses in the form of invoice factoring, material supply trade credit, and mechanics lien purchasing.