Outsourcing to a recruiter vs sourcing new staff in-house: what's best for companies in the construction sector?
There is no doubt that the UK’s construction industry is grossly understaffed. Building firms right across the country are struggling to fill thousands of vacancies, even though the financial rewards for construction workers are, on average, some £3,000 higher than the national average wage of £33,000.
And while the industry itself is the fourth largest employer in the UK outside the public sector, a recent report by the Chartered Institute of Building found that construction is often overlooked as a career. Just seven per cent of respondents said they would recommend construction as a career to their children or other young people.
Inevitably, attitudes like these, coupled with recruitment challenges, pose no small amount of headaches for the HR departments of firms large and small. A big company may have several specialist in-house staff who can advise on internal promotions and the sourcing of new staff and/or apprentices. But the smaller one or two-person run building company might be struggling to actively recruit new people while trying to run a business and stay competitive in tough economic conditions.
What to do? Well, despite time pressures there are several valid arguments for sourcing staff in-house. An in-house HR team (or, in smaller firms, one person who does a variety of office-based tasks including recruitment) will know the company back to front and have its best interests at heart. Their loyalty is to you, not a variety of other similar firms, and they’ll know the local market and, maybe more importantly, who in the company may be looking for a promotion or a sideways move.
And yet…keeping recruitment duties in-house can be an expensive business, especially in tough times. There are salaries to be paid, electronic equipment to be bought, desks to be set up. All well and good when the company is on the up, but when margins are tight, supply chains are disrupted and good workers – or any workers, for that matter – are hard to find, the cost of keeping someone employed might well outweigh the benefits.
Added to that is the fact that in-house recruitment staff might not have much in the way of a wider perspective. They may know something about local recruitment, but are they knowledgeable about where a bigger pool of talent may lie? Would they, for example, know how to bring in workers from Europe, navigating their way through visa restrictions in the wake of Brexit?
Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t. Certainly, though, a dedicated recruitment agency such as PPR would know exactly how to navigate this minefield, and plenty others besides. They will connect companies looking for workers with job seekers, focusing on matching skills and candidate experience to current vacancies.
Recruitment agencies save companies a lot of time and money. How? By taking on time-consuming tasks such as sifting through CVs, arranging interviews and answering calls and emails, and by already having candidates on their books that can be quickly matched with vacancies, doing away with an often long and expensive recruitment advertising campaign.
As mentioned, a recruitment agency will scour a variety of sources for the best candidates, reaching into a wide pool that may not be so readily available to the in-house recruiter. Imagination is key here, and recruitment agencies are good at thinking out of the box for talent that may not previously have been on the radar of the average construction company.
Recruitment agencies can also assist with salary expectations, understanding what is realistic in today’s market and how the salary offer might compare with competitors.
In short, using a recruitment agency offers significant benefits when compared to an in-house recruiter. There are significant financial and time savings to be made while harnessing expertise that may not be available at an in-house level. A good agency will get to know exactly what your core business is about, your recruiting needs, and where they are likely to find the right candidates. An agency like ours, which focuses on firms looking for construction workers, along with many other large installation or network projects, knows exactly how to target its audience and meet its client's expectations in terms of skill set, delivery and smoothness of operation.
For more information contact our friendly team by filling out our online contact form or call us on 01895 80 81 88 and we will answer any questions you may have.