Recruitment and Retention in the Construction Industry
Construction Company

Recruitment and Retention in the Construction Industry

If you heard the words ‘ the construction industry’, it is likely that you would imagine the stereotypical scene of men in dirty overalls, on a building site surrounded by heavy machinery and dug up ground. Well… you wouldn’t be far off. This is a part of the industry.  However, it is so much more than that with an enormous potential in profitability, training, and careers. Not only is the sector growing financially, but also with the times.

In this blog, we are going to talk about recruitment and retention in the construction industry.


So what jobs are available in the construction industry?

Construction work does not just mean onsite work, there are many different areas that this sector covers. There are 78 different jobs that fall into the construction and trades category. These include:

  • Architect
  • Civil Engineer
  • Demolition Operator
  • Heritage Officer
  • Stone Mason
  • Welder
  • Interior Design
  • Sales / Marketing

All these career paths have a vital part to play in the construction industry, and every job is a crucial to the success of the industry. Therefore, this, along with industry growth, means that finding the right people who want to achieve similar goals is becoming more appealing to employers and employees.

To become successful in the industry all you need to have is a genuine work ethic, and diligence for the job – nothing gender specific.

If you are looking to go into the construction sector but you feel underqualified or lack experience – think again! There are many companies that offer entry level jobs. Many companies that offer apprenticeships; And all are willing to train you with their expert advice and give first-hand experience. All while being paid for it!  (For example, have a look at Go Construct.)


What is the recruitment process?

A step-by-step guide can be followed for the recruitment process as followed:

  • Plan for the profiles you need – this could be manual labour, technological, or even customer facing roles. You need to understand your company’s growth.
  • Design your job description – make it clear what you are looking for – exact skills, temporary or permanent, training being given? Make it as attractive as possible offering appealing working conditions and benefits. Experienced applicants will respond differently to opportunities than apprentices, so tailor it to your target audience.
  • Post it – job boards, social media, career offices in schools or colleges.
  • Hold interviews – remember, no discrimination! Remember to prepare the most appropriate interview method.
  • Offer the job – give a contract of employment / apprenticeship and any other relevant training or documents.
  • Sign the contracts – If you don’t have written contracts, an outsourcing company like Wurkplace can help.


Why is the recruitment process so vital now?

Poor recruitment can make or break a business. It’s important to get the recruitment process right in any business, in any industry. So finding the right people to do the job that the employee needs to be done is always a worry. This is no different for this sector. And especially now because of Brexit, we are in a unprecedented transition period.

The industry is facing an influx of financial investment recently, through the need for schools and affordable homes. But also in the private sector, such as from hotels and tourist attractions – especially in Scotland.

However, with Brexit the industry is seeing a shortage of skilled workers.

The current workforce is aging, with skilled workers such as plumbers being typically older in age.

There are ways to overcome this shortage. The aforementioned apprenticeships are made possible by growth in the sector with investments. This is a real potential for a long-term career in a secure sector.


Women in Construction

Another consideration is getting women into construction. This has always been an aim in the industry but it is more prominent and necessary recently. There are many companies that are now members of the Women into Construction scheme, which offer equal opportunities for female applicants.

According to research:

Just one in eight construction workers are women which is a shocking 12.5% of the total construction industry. At this rate it will take almost 200 years to achieve gender equality in this industry. Even with programmes and projects to onboard more women, there is still a long way to go to increase the diversity of women and girls working in the construction industry. Currently, there are 3% of women in manual trades, 5% of women in engineering, 8% of women in haulage and only 12% women at professional roles.

Construction in the UK will create over 168,000 jobs between 2019-2023. Which means that appealing to more women not only helps with the skills shortage, but also increases diversity in the industry.

There are several ways that employees can attract women in the recruitment process. This includes making them feel included in what many feel is a male orientated industry. Also, it is beneficial to have a network of support, conferences that target women and training. This kind of support is beneficial to any worker, regardless of gender. Finally, fight harmful stereotypes whenever possible, be non-judgemental, keep workers happy, and retain a good reputation.


What is retention in the Construction Industry?

Well, awkwardly, there are two things Retention can mean:


Retention Payments

Retention is the percentage of the sums certified for payment under a construction contract (typically 3-5%). It is held by the employer during the construction phase. The rest of the sums are returned at completion. This is primarily to safeguard against any possible defects, and has been present in the industry for over 100 years.

In theory, retention inspires efficiency and productivity for the construction project. With the result that the contractor and sub-contractors have their initial retention payment released on the basis that practical completion is achieved in a timely fashion.

The sector has made considerable progress since retentions were originally introduced. With better skills, training, products, relationships, and working practices all contributing to substantially better-quality outputs, and reduced risks.

However, long-term payments and late payments can have a damaging effect for small businesses regarding their cash flow but do not panic – the Government is tackling the issue including large businesses to report payment practises and policies to increase transparency. They have also introduced the Small Business Commissioner whose main aim is to support small businesses with payment disputes and providing information on better payment practices.

You can find out more information on this on the GOV website.


Employee Retention

Employee retention simply means keeping staff. If your staff are happy, they’ll stay. If they’re unhappy, they will leave. It’s important for companies to take this seriously, as it is much cheaper to retain staff than it is to hire someone new.

Whether it’s the recruitment process itself, or the training of the future employee, the recruitment and hiring process is expensive.

Employees don’t need golden handcuffs. So most employees aren’t interested in a pool table in the staff-room, or an expensive coffee-machine. You can make simple adjustments to improve working conditions without breaking the bank. Leading to higher employee retention, higher productivity, and growth within your business.

Wurkplace is here to help! We provide bespoke HR and Health & Safety solutions to businesses all around the UK.

Contact us by calling 0330 400 5490 or emailing for more information.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let Wurkplace Help You Today. Nothing Is Too Small or Too Big, We Have Experts Waiting to Help!Get Help Now!
Scroll to Top

let's talk!

If you need support, we have expert consultants waiting to help.