The Digital Age: How Contractors are Leveraging Digital Marketing to Attract and Retain High Potential Employees

  • Valerie Echter

Construction is an industry with an aging workforce.  Each year, we lose front line employees, skilled transportation officials, industry vendors, and iconic thought leaders to retirement.  As much as we would like to think we’ve got their shoes filled; we do not. 

Professional growth in construction is primarily through on the job training, with the chaos of the job being the best way to learn. For that reason, it’s been tough for the industry to see so many individuals within our workforce exit – taking decades of industry knowledge and skill — leaving many business owners up in arms as to how to speed up the learning process for their younger, less-tenured employees.

Many contractors have noticed the ripple effect of retirement on the industry and have decided to be at the forefront of construction workforce development.  They understand the importance of having highly skilled and knowledgeable leaders on their team doing the exact work they are called to do while performing in the capacity that suits them best.

Unfortunately, there has been a huge gap in the industry’s ability to recruit younger professionals into construction.  Let’s face it; setting traffic cones at 4:30 in the morning, working behind a screed all day, or enduring the monotony of operating a roller 12 hours a day certainly does not seem “glamorous” to many college graduates.  For that reason, it has been a struggle to get high-potential employees to apply for open positions.  Also, many construction companies are utilizing outdated recruitment methods like posting on job boards or attending college job fairs — which rarely result in finding the perfect candidate.

College graduates are smart and resourceful; they are not looking at job boards.   They are, however, flocking to social media for their job searches.  Additionally, family and friends are keeping an eye open for job opportunities and then “tagging” the jobseeker on employment posts or sharing job details with them in a private message.

Digital marketing offers many incredible benefits; particularly as a means of recruiting new team members into construction.   Some contractors have this figured out and are going “ALL IN” as it relates to how they use social media and other digital tools to attract new employees.  One example includes promoting sponsored posts on Facebook or Instagram.   When a company chooses to perform a sponsored post, they get the option to select a specific demographic to potentially see their advertisement.  If the organization is looking for an individual 18-25 years of age, who is a recent graduate, has interests in construction & engineering, and likes travel – they can select those demographics to pinpoint their target audience.  Once the ad goes live, the individuals who will see their advertisement are the people that fit that demographic!  Isn’t it amazing that we can crowd out the applicants that most-likely aren’t a good fit while focusing on those that have an interest in construction and the opportunities it provides?

Contractors who already have a larger social following will often stack their social content.  If they are looking to fill a superintendent or supervisor position, they may start with a job opportunity post on all their social channels (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter).  The next day, they follow it up with a post that describes the perks of working for the company, giving job seekers an inside look into their benefits packages, vacation policies, and Employee Assistance Programs (among other company benefits).  Next, they may create a social post that offers an incentive to anyone who refers a candidate that gets hired.  Following all those social efforts, they develop a blog post or company newsletter that highlights the position opening, company perks, employee benefits, and referral incentives — along with a link to apply  – making it incredibly easy for any candidate to follow their employment funnel.

Companies are also utilizing digital marketing to retain high-quality employees.  When employees are focused on deadlines and other stressors, they forget all the amazing aspects of their employer. To address the issue of complacency, construction companies are shifting their digital strategy from traditional “project” posts — choosing to recognize employees instead.  Whether it be their involvement with a community service project, a birthday, or work anniversary – social media is a great way to remind employees that they are valued. 

With billions of people utilizing social media each day, contractors have an amazing opportunity to grow their visibility, gain the trust of clients, recruit top talent, and develop industry recognition.  By bolstering their digital presence, many contractors are experiencing unprecedented growth.  LeadRevenue works with construction companies around the world, propelling them into the digital age.  Are you ready?

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