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Employee Hiring, Development, and Retention

Attract and Retain Certified Construction Professionals

Mike Poskey | June 2, 2017

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Hiring/retaining certified construction professionals is valuable for companies looking to grow their business and get a return on their investment. But, how do you find the right individuals that fit your company? The key is understanding the unique behavioral factors that make up each certified professional and then learning how to manage the professionals to reduce turnover and drive employee satisfaction.

When looking to hire certified professionals, you have to consider whether each candidate is already certified or if they are seeking certification through your company. Noncertified candidates need to be asked the following unique questions during their assessment to objectively measure their commitment to the construction industry.

  • Is the individual new to the industry and needs to start the certification process?
  • Did they intend to get certified and just never completed it?
  • Is there a gap in their certification? Why?

Conduct a Behavioral Interview

A behavioral interview will help you ask the right questions to understand the unique behavior of each candidate, helping filter through prospects. While going through the assessment, you might also discover that the best candidate for the job opening is "hiding" in a group of noncertified candidates. Asking the right questions could help you discover a hidden gem who has passion and desire to be a certified construction professional but has not yet had the opportunity.

Conversely, certified professionals are clearly passionate about the construction industry and have gone through extensive training for their field, so they are well-qualified for the position. But, you need to separate the individuals to find the best candidate for your company. A valuable tool is unlocking their core competencies. This can be achieved during a behavioral interview to obtain objective information you need during the hiring process.

For example, you want to assess a candidate's workplace attitude by asking about a past instance where their certification was due for renewal. Was the individual willing to renew his or her certification out of pocket, or did the person expect a past employer to assume the cost? This is where you can discover their level of career commitment and analyze the candidate's expectations as an indicator of future behavior.

Your company also plays a role. Does your company have a policy regarding certification renewal? Do you need to create one? Showing your commitment to addressing this important item for certified professionals will attract the best candidates who are equally passionate about the industry.

Find the Right "Fit" in the Construction Industry

Having a policy for professional certification is a great step to attract candidates. The next step is unlocking the "fit" for each individual in your candidacy pool.

First, consider where you are searching for candidates. Are you using networking channels, job boards, or a recruiter? Is there information in employee records that would allow you to examine the traits of your top certified professionals? Use all available resources to find qualified candidates.

But, what if you end up with five very good candidates for only two openings? How do you determine the two best hires?

Your company needs to uncover the competencies that indicate a true passion for the industry. In this case, the best fit for a certified construction professional role is a person with high self-expectations. Conversely, if you learn that a candidate has low self-expectations, you can use this valuable information as part of the evaluation process.

The assessment profile also provides recommended interview techniques and questions designed to probe a candidate's history to predict future behavior. This guidance becomes most impactful when hiring managers take a course to learn valuable interview techniques.

A training course helps interviewers understand the science behind a behavioral interview and teaches your team how to uncover, recognize, and confirm self-expectations patterns. The result is hiring the right people for certified positions, which reduces the risk of turnover.

Reduce Turnover and Improve Employee Satisfaction

After making a hiring decision, it is important to continue evaluating the certified professionals in your construction company using follow-through assessments. It is also important to create a sense of commitment to their professional development.

  • Go back to your company policy. Does it reflect the culture you want to create by willingly helping construction professionals retain their certification?
  • Are you investing in the certified professional's career by offering more training opportunities?
  • Does your company have a culture of learning and development?

If you answered "no" to any of these three questions, then it's time to update your policies.

Certified construction professionals will quickly understand your company culture and know whether it is a good fit for them. If they believe your passion matches their passion, you will increase employee retention and satisfaction by building a long-term working relationship. But, if new employees have questions about your commitment to their career, they will likely look for another opportunity, creating more turnover.

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