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What is the best practice for internal recruitment in construction?

internal recruitment, Construction

The construction sector has had an above-average staff turnover rate for some time now. We estimate that the annual staff turnover for the UK construction industry is 21.4%. For employees 24 or younger, this figure reaches as high as 64%. Possible causes for this include lack of staff safety on site, and limited opportunities for career development.

This is where we can help. Too many construction companies do not have a sufficient internal recruitment process in place. So, what does a good internal recruitment process look like? We’ll be breaking down each stage of the recruitment process, and discussing how construction businesses can encourage their employees to stay and develop their careers.

What is internal recruitment?

Internal recruitment is the act of promoting an existing employee into a vacant role. Common types of internal recruitment in the construction industry include:

  • Internal promotions
  • Transferring employees across teams
  • Taking on apprentices as full-time employees
  • Retired employees returning for part-time work

Read more on the different types of internal recruitment here.

There are many advantages to internal recruitment, which has made it very popular in the construction industry. But how can construction companies hone the process and use it to their full advantage?

Develop an internal recruitment policy

This is the crucial first step. Having the policy fully in place before the process begins will ensure that it’s delivered as efficiently as possible. Drawing up a successful internal recruitment policy will include:

  • Deciding exactly which parties will be involved in the decision making process
  • Establishing clear guidelines for the person overseeing the process
  • Placing certain limitations on team managers, preventing them from holding their employees back from applying
  • Deciding the specifics of the interview process

Write the job description

When it comes to writing an internal job description, it’s vitally important that you’re as transparent as possible. Make it absolutely clear what the job is, what the duties are, and what the benefits of the job are.

Work together with your recruitment team to decide the person specification. If you can effectively communicate the type of candidate you want, you’re more likely to get an optimal pool of internal candidates.

Advertise the job internally

In every industry, internal vacancies can be advertised through:

  • Online message boards
  • Email
  • Internal social media platforms

However, in the construction industry, where little of the job is done online, it makes sense to advertise the opening on physical noticeboards as well. Make sure your team leaders inform employees of the opening. Above all, ensure that employees know who to contact if they are interested in applying.

Encourage employees to apply

A big reason for the construction industry’s high staff turnover is that employees feel undervalued. An internal recruitment process is a great opportunity to recognise the talents of your workforce.

Empower your team leaders to identify team members who they think would be good for the role. Encourage them to apply, and offer them as much support as possible through the application process.

Screen the candidates

Even though you may know the candidates already, it’s important to still carry out a screening process.

Talk to their line managers about their performance. Your business may also keep files that could indicate key performance factors. Do they have a history of lateness? Or a track record of mistakes on site? Remember, hiring underqualified people into senior construction roles could become a safety risk for your other employees.

Conduct a fair and comprehensive interview process

When recruiting internally, there is a danger that the interview process could be waylaid by bias. For example, if one of the candidates is a member of the interviewer’s team, they will have an unfair advantage. Even if the interviewer believes themselves to be fair, they may hold an unconscious bias.

Therefore, it’s important to involve a range of people in an internal interview process. Make sure that you’re equally transparent with all candidates on the stages of the interview process. To guarantee impartiality, some companies even bring in external recruitment experts to help oversee the interview process. These people will have no emotional ties to any of the candidates, so can give a fully professional opinion.

Provide all candidates with constructive feedback

If you’re not careful, rejecting an internal candidate could provoke them to apply to jobs elsewhere. To ease their disappointment, we’d strongly recommend providing all candidates with constructive feedback after the recruitment process has concluded.

For unsuccessful candidates, you can even suggest additional training courses or qualifications they may wish to undertake. The important thing is that they feel valued, and that you support their career development.

In a construction project, there are so many employees, it can be easy for workers to feel undervalued or unimportant. Your job as an employer is to remind them that every part of the team is important. Whether they’re tradespeople, machine operatives, or general labourers, your internal recruitment process needs to put the feelings and skillsets of your staff first.

A construction recruitment agency to find your next role or candidate | Welcome to PPR Recruitment

If you’re looking for your next profession, whether it’s temporary, fixed-term, or a permanent position, or if you require skilled, experienced, and reliable operatives, PPR Recruitment is your one-stop solution. Give one of our knowledgeable and friendly recruitment experts a call on 01895 80 81 88 for further information on the benefits of internal recruitment. For anything else, contact us online or send an email to info@ppronline.co.uk.