The arrival of summer has brought with it a flurry of activity on construction sites across the UK – and for construction recruiters.
It started with a wave of new activity in March brought about by the gradual easing of restrictions and re-opening of the economy.
Huge construction projects will be springing back to life. Government investments in big infrastructure like the HS2 project will act as an impetus for sector growth.
Important headway is already being made. According to the Purchasing Managers’ Index for April, the reading for construction was registered at 61.6. Businesses have also reported an influx of new orders, rising at the fastest pace in seven years.
The Office for National Statistics reports that ‘monthly construction output grew by 5.8% in March 2021 because of growth in both new work (6.7%) and repair and maintenance (4.4%).’
Growth in the construction market continues
The pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns hurt businesses across all sectors. However, construction did fairly well considering the environment.
The sector was engaged in housebuilding as well as repair and maintenance work. Moreover, in the last few months of 2020, repair and maintenance output were above the pre-pandemic level, ONS reported.
The return of the construction business is ushering opportunities and fuelling demand for workers. Vacancies have escalated. As a matter of fact, this is the biggest increase in the demand for workers since December 2015.
REC cites the latest UK Report on Jobs with a rapid surge in both permanent placements and temp billings. Furthermore, this is the quickest pace at which the demand for workers has increased in over 23 years.
So, whilst businesses prepare to resume work and the industry shows burgeoning signs of a return to production and prosperity, construction recruiters find themselves in a propitious position. Businesses are looking forward to the summer. And the employers’ confidence in the market is driving recruiters to seek the best talent for construction firms.
Construction recruiters can step in to help
But even as the industry bounces back with massive job openings, there are new challenges for businesses.
Brexit and new immigration rules have affected the candidate pool. With many EU workers leaving for their home countries during the pandemic, the already tight talent pool has been made smaller. The new points-based immigration system has also contributed to skill and labour shortage.
This is where construction recruitment firms can step in.
Staffing firms can provide indispensable professional support.
Recruiters are valuable in helping companies understand and navigate the new regulations more efficiently. With their in-house talent pool as well as vast network and experience in hiring, recruiters can support construction companies’ search for suitable workers.
So, while the candidate market might seem slender right now, remember that the talent is out there. Proactive recruiters will likely be tapping into their experience and benefitting from technology support to hire smartly.
Recruitment software support for smarter hiring
However, several factors afflict industry recruiters.
Construction sector recruiters have always had the taxing job of managing worker availability. This issue is owing to the mobile and transient nature of the workforce.
And traditionally, recruiters have lacked the capacity to onboard workers easily into this sector.
Recruitment software like Voyager Infinity facilitates hiring efficiency. A good recruiting software system is central to improving recruiter competency and effectiveness.
The right recruitment technology partner can not only render recruiters efficient and productive but also cater towards quality candidate experience.
Our Voyager recruitment software bolsters a faster candidate sourcing, screening, and registration process. Well-written job adverts posted promptly to job boards provide precise information to applicants. Utilising an existing network of contacts is conducive to filling the candidate pipeline and deciding on potential hires.
A visual planner makes managing existing candidates and checking their availability for placements easier. Voyager’s candidate planner is colour-coded and easy to use. A quick search by geographic location pulls up suitable and available candidates. This qualifies recruiters to place candidates faster than their competitors as recruiters get swift and convenient access to the best candidates.
Overseeing compliance in construction is an additional challenge that prevails to this day. But with the help of a recruitment software system, important dates and compliance documents can be monitored easily. Recruiters find that renewal of essential documents and ensuring they do not go past the expiry date are convenient via the software’s compliance reporting system.
The application of recruitment CRM certainly makes communication, talent sourcing, market mapping, etc., effortless and more dynamic. More importantly, it reduces unnecessary admin work.
A prolific year for construction recruiters?
So with the lockdown measures easing and big construction projects on the pipeline, we can assume that construction recruiters will have a busy summer ahead.
The industry is gearing to get back on the job. And the pressing demand, even now, for a skilled workforce corroborates the sector’s eagerness to get all hands on deck and back to the grind.
Construction recruiters who partner with a good recruitment software system will quickly obtain experienced workers. They will not feel as hemmed in by the competitive hiring environment as most of their rivals will.
The construction sector is opening for business. Proactive recruitment agencies who are equipped to tackle this growth in the market should prepare to make the most of this opportunity.
Voyager Infinity and Voyager Mid-Office are software solutions that make Recruiters’ lives easier. Voyager Infinity is a CRM used by thousands of recruiters globally to source, nurture and maintain the relationships with their clients and candidates, and Mid-Office manages the entire Pay and Bill process (IR35 ready).