The workforce shortage creates a constant struggle for many areas in the construction industry, and the asphalt sector is not untouched by this issue. Finding and keeping talent is a nationwide problem – one that was addressed by Kevin Reester with Reester & Associates at the World of Asphalt show in Indianapolis.
Kevin had a few recruitment secrets up his sleeves to share with attendees. The one that resonates to employees of all generations and backgrounds? A healthy workplace environment.
1. Add Value –
Create loyalty by providing a healthy work environment for the people who work hard to ensure your company goals are met. Good compensation, participation in decision-making, flexibility in work hours, work/life balace, good managers and feedback – this is what great employees want. When you are good to your people, they are good to you. In fact, a recent survey by Reester & Associates showed that 75% of new hires for the asphalt industry were coming from current employee referrals. If you have someone who loves to work for you, they will refer only candidates that they know will love the job and will contribute to the business.
2. Educate –
We work in a seemingly unattractive industry until people get their foot in the door and realize how much they love it. I would have never imagined working in this type of industry, but I’ve become fascinated by it. Had I known before what I know now, it probably wouldn’t have taken me so long to seek out a position like the one I have. The industry needs to invest in reaching new areas of potential recruitment by developing programs to educate those who are completely new to the business. According to Reester, the industry as a whole has been behind in the curve when it comes to diversification of compensation and benefits that we see in other parallel industries. Unfortunately, people are leaving the asphalt side to catch up.
3. Reassure That Each Day is Meaningful –
Honestly, the best way to recruit new talent is to target Millennials, and Millennials (you might have noticed) are a little different. Money isn’t the number one motivator for us. We’ve learned to adjust and to live without; we’ve grown up in an economy that failed our parents at one time or another, and we’ve learned that we would rather feel that we are fulfilling a purpose instead of chasing after paper. Reassure that the work that they are doing is meaningful – not just meant to add to the bottom line, but to the community and to the world as a whole. What could be more meaningful than building the roads that their community uses every day?
Reester says that having a clear vision that goes beyond making money is something that has grown exponentially since Millennials entered the workforce in large numbers. To ensure employee happiness, firms have been taking the time to support and participate in community service as a company and asking employees what they care about and how that relates to what they do every day.
Attracting new talent may require some change, but firms across the country are committed to taking the necessary steps to increase their headcounts to meet the growing demand of the industry. They’re learning that these “secrets” really aren’t such a secret after all.