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The world has changed and is adjusting to a new normal for a period of time. As the workforce watches the stock market continuously and wonders when it will be business as usual, there are lots of questions about how best to keep operations going. The volatility of the stock market coupled with the uncertainty raise many questions on how to keep things moving.

Businesses from coast to coast will feel the impact of money that is not circulating and how that will impact them down the line. The construction industry, though deemed an essential industry, is no exception. While there’s a tremendous focus on the financial aspect of companies right now, it’s critical that leaders in the construction industry maintain focus on the people portion as well.

Some construction firms will undoubtedly have to reduce their workforce while others will be able to hang onto their teams through this rough patch. Either way, it is important to keep the recruiting ball rolling because eventually things will lift. Although business as usual may have a different look and feel, the need for good people who fit into an organization’s culture will always be there.

So, the question becomes: do companies hire anyone or continue with search efforts during this holding pattern? Not knowing if organizations will be able to hire additional staff in the coming weeks or months ahead is a frightening thing to think about it.

While it may seem counterintuitive, continuing search efforts at this time are key. Prior to COVID-19, construction firms were hiring to replace someone who had left or to build up their teams to prepare for additional projects heading their way. So, looking at this from a logistical point of view, it’s important to consider the following facts and dynamics when deciding to continue with search efforts or pause them all together.

  • Individuals who are looking to make a transition and apply for an open position will be more available now and receptive to new openings in the market.
  • Highly skilled and qualified individuals will lose their jobs and look for their next opportunity. The opportunity to scoop them up and bring them on board will exist once the dust settles.
  • Often in the construction field, hiring managers are scrambling to get the right person slated for the job. The process of recruiting requires heavy front-end and legwork. Now, recruiting teams have a better opportunity to more thoroughly vet candidates instead of wishing they had hired them yesterday.
  • By being proactive instead of reactive, companies give themselves the ability to qualify candidates without making a rushed decision. How many times is that grace provided? Individuals who wanted to enhance their careers are still looking; individuals who may have not been looking and who are highly skilled will be more receptive to making a transition; and organizations have time on their sides to make the right hire. With video conferencing and other technologies available, the interview process does not have to slow down.
  • The increased number of individuals working remotely, hiring managers have the rare opportunity to see the “true sides” of people. The current state of affairs is testing everyone differently. There are several behavioral and psychological effects of this new dynamic and they can truly play to the benefit of companies when to vetting candidates.
  • Now more than ever is the time to work with a search firm to derive a solution that works for both parties. Think outside the box regarding payouts to firms, onboarding and offer letters. As a silver lining to this crisis, better ways of doing things all together may emerge resulting in more cost-savings, improved efficiencies, and effective processes.

Embrace this time as a time to reflect on how businesses can be more effective and streamlined. This is a time to slow down, focus on hiring efforts and finally be able to make more informed decisions on the growth and stabilization of workforces. Thinking outside the box may net some creative solutions that will serve the construction industry for years to come.


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