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Posted by James Hawley, Hays EVP, on Wednesday, Jun 1, 2016
Is your narrow hiring focus excluding candidates with the skills you need? Despite the lack of available construction candidates, I’m still seeing many employers shrink their talent pools by refusing to look outside their own sector.
Broaden your search scope to get the talent your competitor can’t find.
Many employers are looking for exact matches in terms of industry and sector experience, but in a talent-short market, being open-minded about transferable skills will be a competitive advantage. In our recent DNA report we found that many construction leaders have and recommend getting experience across sectors, but construction firms are still wary.
For example, Manhattan Construction VP Bob Postma told me he found himself pigeon-holed after a number of years at Continental. Firms weren’t keen to hire him unless they had aviation projects in the works.
“They would say they admired my leadership skills, my background, even the projects I had worked on, but it kept coming back to the fact that I was an aviation builder,” he says. “I tried to explain to people that we bring the same bricks, the same steel, the same concrete trucks show up on our jobs, it’s all construction.”
Better use of time
If you hired a project manager from outside your sector, how long would it take to get them up to speed? Maybe a month or two, which might seem like a long time in your busy schedule. But trying to hire from within your sector could take six months. Your time is better spent getting a talented new hire acclimatized to the role, rather than having that role empty while you hunt for a non-existent perfect candidate.
New ideas and innovation
Bringing in someone who hasn’t got 20 years experience in the sector could be a good thing, too. New people bring fresh eyes and fresh ideas. Find someone who will question your processes, who doesn’t do something just because that’s how it’s always been done. If you want to innovate and find efficiencies, a candidate with the right skill level, but different experience is one way to do it.
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