Become a Franchise
How to Recruit, Train, and Engage the Right Staff to Drive Capacity
Demand for homes spiked during the pandemic, putting pressure on jobs and inflating wages, while border closures have limited the supply of workers. If builders want to continue driving business growth in the current environment, it’s time to get innovative in the ways we attract and retain top talent.
Securing and retaining the right talent is crucial to your growth. When you’re a builder and you want to scale up your business, you have to start bringing the right people on board so that you can work on your business, rather than in it – or risk becoming a productivity bottleneck.
Talent, financial performance, and growth are all tightly intertwined, so it’s only natural that retaining, developing, and upskilling staff will start falling under your remit as your business grows.
However, with international job supply restricted and employee expectations around wages, flexibility, and purpose growing, it’s important that you think holistically about how you can make the employee experience with your business more attractive.
Refine Your Recruitment Process
It’s important to get recruitment right, and never make a quick hire out of urgency or desperation. The cost of having stop/starts can be massive, financially and operationally. Not only does your investment in onboarding and training go to waste, but you also find yourself back at square one of the recruitment process. Hiring a person who doesn’t compliment or add to your internal culture can also take its toll on existing staff.
That’s why it’s important to add rigour to your recruitment process. For example, ask your candidates to tell you about a difficult problem that they have worked on. If they have the experience that you are looking for, they should be able to answer the question with great depth and detail.
The approach that they took and the way they dealt with people while solving a problem should also give you a signal as to whether or not they will be a good culture fit. Ask in-depth questions that assess every skill set that you need for the role, and look for a learning mindset around the skills that are more flexible and trainable.
Remember that offering competitive wages is table stakes, but wages aren’t also the only deciding factor in working with an employer. Also, consider if you have established a strong employer brand and reputation within your community. Do you know what really matters to talented individuals in the building industry? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you’re struggling to attract applicants:
- Is working in your business enjoyable?
- What’s the employee experience like?
- Are you offering competitive wages?
- Does the work align with your ideal candidate’s values?
- Can you offer flexibility?
- Do you offer learning and growth opportunities?
Invest in Upskilling
Never underestimate the amount of support that a new team member will need to succeed. It’s important to make meaningful investments into new and existing team members so that they can grow as individuals while contributing more value back to your business. Constantly facilitating education and upskilling is completely necessary given the dynamic market pressures and the need for technical skills in the building industry.
It’s also important to look at your onboarding process. Ensure that you have a clear ramp-up plan so that your new team members can hit the ground running and make sure they understand how to be successful in their role.
Your role as a leader is to make your team as productive as it can be, so make sure that you give your team time and support. Regular one-on-ones are a great way to share knowledge, check in on progress towards your goals and KPIs, and address any concerns before they turn into problems.
If you want employees to look within your business for their next move, then also make sure that you create more visibility over internal opportunities. Create clear skills-based pathways toward future roles and co-create development plans. Transparent and fair internal mobility is essential if you want to keep staff engaged.
Engage Through Purpose
Having a clearly defined purpose helps your business better align with customer needs and gives it a competitive edge. Purposeful businesses also tend to have higher rates of employee engagement, retention, and productivity.
Employees are demanding new levels of flexibility, wellbeing, and purpose beyond extrinsic financial motivators as part of the overall employer value proposition. As Aaron Mckewen, a behavioural scientist at Gartner recently highlighted, “people’s worlds became smaller during lockdowns and they faced a very real existential health threat. As a result, millions of employees deeply reflected on what was important to them and the role of work in their lives.
So, if you have a business that offers a product or service that truly resonates with customers, then you will find it easier to hire people that will help your business grow and envision better ways of doing things.
At G.J. Gardner Homes, a core part of our vision is, ‘for each of our franchises to be profitable and trusted by more families than any of our competitors in our communities.’ Every customer should be happy to recommend us to their closest friend and family because we understand the role that their home will play in their lives and that naturally attracts purpose-driven builders to join our network.
When you know that you have values-aligned team members on board, you’ll be far more comfortable delegating work and will be able to spend more time planning new growth pathways for your business.
Pay it Forward If you look after employees, they will look after your customers. Build times will improve, you will have better site supervision and the quality of your product will go up, along with client satisfaction, cash flow, and job cost control. The employee experience is important for both your business profitability and reputation within your local community.