The construction industry in the UK relies heavily on the use of recruitment agencies to search for and supply construction candidates to satisfy the seemingly never-ending demand for the highest quality construction professionals.
Whether you are a small SME contractor or a large tier 1 national main contractor, the chances are that they all will have had to engage the services of a construction recruitment agency whilst on a recruitment drive.
Recruitment can be a costly endeavour for any business. Recruiting for job vacancies also comes with an element of risk. I was once told by one client that hiring the wrong candidate for a role within their business could cost them at least a 6 figure sum once induction, training and unsatisfactory performance with important clients was all added up. It is critical to get it right first time as much as possible – and looking at the value added and the opportunities created is surely more important than simply calculating the recruitment fee costs?
The primary advantages of using any specialist recruitment agency should be to save your business time, hassle AND money in a broader sense of things. I emphasise the “AND money” as when you’re presented with an invoice after a successful hire, it may not feel as though you are saving money. However, let me run through the 6 ways in which using a specialist recruitment consultancy may be advantageous to your business.
1. Attract the best talent
A good recruitment agency will advertise your vacancy as well as pro-actively searching and marketing your vacancy to suitable prospective candidates based on your requirements.
The benefit of this is that your vacancy is viewed by far more candidates than if you posted your vacancy independently. More importantly it is seen by a higher volume of relevant candidates.
Specialist construction recruitment agencies can draw upon a range of attraction methods, often coming at a high financial cost. They undoubtedly have access to a far larger pool of potential candidates than many construction companies, and are more experienced in identifying and filtering potential candidates.
Maxim Recruitment for example has access to a database of over of almost 35,000 candidates, many of whom who see Maxim as their preferred construction recruitment consultant and are willing to be contacted about vacancies we feel match their skills and career goals.
2. A prompt process
A construction recruitment consultancy can often speed up a recruitment process for a client if a need is particularly timely. For example, when a client has just been awarded a project and needs to fill a vacancy by the project’s start date.
Rather than wait for candidates to apply for the vacancy, recruiters will often know a host of good candidates that are actively looking for work at any one time. In these circumstances, the recruitment process can be significantly quicker than any form of reactive recruitment many clients tend to undertake.
3. Qualifying candidates
A good construction recruitment agency should be able to save any business considerable time by qualifying candidates on their behalf.
At Maxim Recruitment, we do this by filtering unsuitable CV’s and rigorously interviewing candidates to ensure they are a strong match for your job role in terms of:
- Relevant experience
- Salary expectations
- Legitimate motivation to join the business
- Have strong references from previous employers
- Fit the culture and dynamics of your business
Once this process has been completed, a recruitment agency can present a high quality shortlist of the most suitable candidates for a vacancy.
This can save senior management in a construction company considerable time, as almost the whole recruitment process can be delegated to the recruiter to carry out on your behalf.
4. A consultative service
Where the relationship between a client and a recruitment consultancy can really develop and thrive, is by the construction recruitment agency providing a genuine consultative service throughout the recruitment process.
Whilst many clients use recruiters purely to search and select candidates, there are a number of ways that a recruitment consultancy can help a construction business, including by providing:
- Market intelligence and trends
- Salary benchmarking
- Salary negotiation
- Reference taking
- Recruitment strategy
- Headhunting & Retained Search
A genuinely good specialist construction recruiter will have a strong network of good contacts within the industry and will keep themselves up to date on relevant specialist market trends. They can be a fantastic source of information and advice for clients
5. Share the risk
The industry norm is for recruitment consultancies to provide a rebate period for new hires. Typically, this is a limited period of time where the recruitment agency offers all or a percentage of their fee as a rebate to the client on the rare occasion that a new starter does not work out as expected.
Most of the recruitment in the construction sector is undertaken on a contingent basis. This means that there are no fees up front and the client is only charged a fee if the recruitment agency successfully fills the vacancy.
No other way of recruitment shares the risk of recruitment like using a recruitment agency does. You do not get your money back from LinkedIn or similar job sites if your job advert is unsuccessful or leads to you hiring a candidate that does not work out.
6. The advantages of retained search
Retained searches are often reserved for particularly hard to fill vacancies or senior appointments within a business.
This is where you pay a percentage of the expected fee up front to the recruiter and then in instalments at various stages of the recruitment process, before paying the final balance once the search has been successfully completed and your new employee has started work.
Due to the upfront fee and the locked in commitment from the client, the recruiter will often dedicate the vast majority of their time to the vacancy and prioritise it. The fact that there is an upfront fee, also allows the recruitment agency to invest in advanced and cost-incurring recruitment tactics to attract relevant candidates on the client’s behalf, as sharing the risk and making a mutual commitment to succeed almost always leads to a successful outcome.
This is particularly effective for roles that are looking for candidates with a very specific set of skills and experience and when there are a limited number of candidates in the market with such skills.
These searches can be particularly time consuming, often taking weeks, if not months to conclude and can save clients considerable time and money by outsourcing this search to a genuine sector expert.
While some larger construction businesses do have admin staff, HR departments and even specialist in-house talent acquisition or specialist recruitment staff that carry out recruitment tasks, not every skill set can be market mapped and talent pooled on a continuous basis.
The truth is that even the largest corporate construction and property businesses with large HR departments and dedicated recruitment staff regularly use recruitment agencies for both contingency and specialist headhunting and executive search assignments.
For some, the biggest objection to using a recruitment agency is the cost. However, when you factor in all of the time, wages, opportunity cost and dedicated advertising and marketing costs needed for internal staff to carry out the recruitment task, it is often cheaper and more effective to outsource the task to a specialist recruitment consultancy and get your new hire in post in a timely fashion. The cost of this not happening can be much higher than paying a fee for the right person to be in poste when needed.
Maxim Recruitment is a long established, specialist construction recruitment consultancy servicing the UK and international construction recruitment job markets. As experts in the field of UK and international construction and property recruitment we are the specialist recruitment agency of choice for a number of the best construction employers both in the UK and in major leading international construction locations like Toronto, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Australia, Dubai UAE and in Saudi Arabia.