Depending on your market, your seasonal peaks for construction may vary. Your workforce availability may be different in your area as well. However, there are a few constants in the construction industry every company can agree upon. One such common ground aspect of the business is the need for additional workers during seasonal upticks. Today, we're highlighting four tips for hiring those seasonal and temporary construction workers.
Plan Ahead of Your Peak Seasons
The key to being fully staffed with quality construction employees during your peak seasons is to plan ahead and start your process before your peak season begins. Allow yourself at least two months to prepare for recruiting, interviewing, onboarding, training, and solidifying your crews.
Know that you may struggle to find the right candidates and be prepared for turnover by building a backup list of potential hires. Don't wait and try to execute this process the week or two before your busy projects are scheduled to start. Create a timeline for yourself for each step of your hiring process. Allow enough time to fill your crews to capacity and complete all hiring documentation accurately.
Consider a Staffing Agency or PEO
To relieve yourself of the additional work and hassle of bringing on seasonal crews, consider partnering with a temporary staffing agency or Professional Employment Organization. Agencies will offer every service from recruiting to payroll and can be a time and money saver for a construction company with a seasonal influx. Instead of paying payroll taxes, workers' compensation insurance coverages, drug screens, background checks, and unemployment for your temp workers, place them through the agency and only pay the agency a percentage add-on to each workers' weekly pay.
This can protect you from long-term compliance costs of I-9 verification and W2s at tax time while also saving you a ton of money. The agency will carry all employment responsibilities for those workers and will be on call to send replacement candidates should you experience turnover. You might even find one or two seasonal workers who do such a great job that you choose to hire them on full time. Most staffing agencies offer free conversions for candidates who have worked temporarily for a seasonal period of time.
Consistency Among the Ranks
Remember when bringing on seasonal workers that the best practice is to treat them no differently than you do your full-time crews. Because it's temporary work, you may find yourself offering incentives, bonuses to complete the season, or other perks. Don't forget your full-time crews are loyal and may resent any special incentives the temporary workers may be offered.
Be consistent with your on-boarding process as well and make sure your short-term hires are being held to the same standards as your long-term crews. You'll find that with equal treatment throughout, your temporary workers will feel more included on the teams, thus presenting the potential for better productivity.
Safety & Equipment
In construction, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is a staple on the job sites. You know the importance of enforcing safety best practices with all your crews, so don't forget to reinforce the safety requirements with your seasonal hires. Because they have less experience working for you, your temporary staff will need to be trained on safety restrictions and codes of conduct on the sites. Consider creating a safety orientation specifically for your new seasonal hires to help coach them on how to identify unsafe practices, contingency planning, and required equipment before starting.
Harbor America and Your Construction Strategy
Many construction companies have needs to augment their working crews during the peak seasons. The most successful companies have solid plans in place for managing those influxes. Tap into to a few of these best practices mentioned here or contact us for more ideas on how to streamline your process. If you need a partner to review your current strategy and help save you valuable time and money, Harbor America can help. Call today to learn how!