The third in our series of articles inspired by the Construction Leadership Council’s Roadmap to Recovery, this post takes a further look at the second stage of the Roadmap to Recovery: Reset. It focuses on how to build a strong employer brand to aid recruitment.
The construction industry employs more than 2.3 million people across the UK. But that number is likely to change, as many job losses are feared from this autumn.
By the end of June 2020, over 752,000 employees from within the industry were furloughed with 75% of employers within the sector making use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Given the fact that a return to full productivity and output may still be out of reach for many contractors and housebuilders, it looks inevitable that many workers may lose their jobs. We may even lose them from the industry for good.
Unsurprisingly then, the ‘Reset’ phase within the Roadmap to Recovery puts a huge emphasis on maximising employment of all those working in the construction industry and supply chain.
The government has jumped in with funding for kickstarter jobs and work experience, a new Jobs Support Scheme and financial bonuses to employers for job retention, as well as help for the self-employed. In July, the CLC launched the Construction Talent Retention Scheme, aimed at helping people who have been made redundant or are at risk of redundancy within construction to find new jobs.
So arguably, for those parts of construction still busy and complaining about skills shortages, it’s a buyer’s market. You should find it easy to recruit. But how do you make sure you’re getting the right recruits, with the right skills and attitude, who want your job, rather than just a job?
This ‘Reset’ phase is the time to re-evaluate your employer brand.
It is important to think carefully about how you want to present yourself as an employer. A strong employer brand goes further than promoting your corporate size or status. You need to consider the messaging, imagery and tone of voice you use on your website, social media and through all your internal and outbound communication channels.
Engage with your existing staff so that they become advocates for your company. Create case studies and stories about your employees on your website. Include people at all levels and in all parts of the business to give a well-rounded view of what it is like to work for your organisation. Share what makes your organisation such a great place to work, and how you care about employees and their personal growth, success and happiness.
Showcase the types of people you want to have in your organisation not only in the job advertisement, but also on your company website. Include short video interviews with staff about how your company has adapted throughout coronavirus and how you are approaching new ways of working. And do not forget to make this as diverse a picture as possible – double down on efforts to show equality, diversity and inclusion in action, particularly at recruitment stage.
No matter where you post a vacancy, one of the first things any candidate will do is have a look at your website to get a feel for the company and the people who work there. They may check out sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to see what other employees say about the business.
Make it as easy as possible for people to understand your culture. It is likely to be the difference between them applying to work with you or going elsewhere. Set up a dedicated area on your website about working for your organisation that includes information on any employee benefits and key policies. Make this information available as a downloadable employee pack and candidates will have a helpful resource that they can revisit.
Don’t just post the vacancy on one platform. Use social media to reach a wider range of people. There are lots of Twitter and LinkedIn accounts (such as Women into Construction and Go Construct) that sometimes share vacancies or can offer some good advice for recruiting. You can also use hashtags like #ConstructLondon or other regional campaigns to help boost your reach.
On LinkedIn, use your personal networks to share company updates and ask your employees to do the same. Look for LinkedIn Groups that may be able to help and don’t be afraid to ask your network to share their own experiences with recruiting.
That said, don’t opt for a scattergun approach and join TikTok just because that’s the latest thing. Do your research and pick relevant platforms that your ideal candidates use.
Clearly, there is going to be a level of uncertainty for some time, but recruitment can’t be put on hold forever. Bring people into your team who are willing to embrace change and are quick to adapt.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that (when it wants to) the construction industry can be very flexible and innovative. So above all, your employees need to have similar qualities to help your organisation grow and thrive in the months and years ahead.
If you’d like to learn more about communicating throughout the Restart, Reset and Reinvent stages of the CLC Roadmap to Recovery, download our full e-book.