Construction Recruitment: What to Know When Hiring a Construction Recruitment Consultant

If you are considering hiring a construction recruitment consultant, then great – you will be able to outsource much of your recruitment costs to a third party! But while recruitment consultancies allow you to save time and money, you need to pick the right agency to get the best talent for the position.

With that, we will now talk a bit about the key things that you should know about when looking for a construction recruitment consultant.

Important Things To Know About When Hiring A Construction Recruitment Consultant

Know That There Are Several Types Of Recruitment Agencies

If you are looking to hire your first recruitment consultant or agency, then it’s important to realize that consultancies and agencies come in several types. More precisely, there are three – general agencies, staffing agencies, and executive agencies.

General recruitment agencies 

General recruitment agencies are specialized in a specific industry – in our case, this is the construction industry. These recruitment consultants or agencies are your go-to option if you are looking for entry- or middle-level construction employees.

Staffing recruitment agencies

Staffing recruitment agencies focus on temporary employees. Quite obviously, you would address such a consultant or agency if you have a one-time project that you need staff for. In fact, most construction employers probably are looking exactly for temporary employees, so stuffing consultants or agencies are likely to be the right choice for you.

Executive recruitment agencies

Executive recruitment agencies or consultants specialize in recruiting top-level candidates. Needless to say, executive recruitment agencies have hefty fees since it’s one thing to hire a simple construction worker and another thing to hire a top manager.

Most employers in the construction industry don’t need executive recruitment agencies or consultants, and there aren’t that many of them in the first place. However, if you are looking for top-level candidates, then know that you should address a specific type of employment consultancy.

Recruitment Consultancies Have Drastically Different Fees

The second important thing to know about when looking to hire a recruitment consultant is that hiring fees vary significantly from consultant to consultant.

Needless to say, higher fees imply better expertise, and more expensive agencies are more likely to connect you with a perfect match for your construction position. However, not every construction company has the budget to hire a “premium” agency, and besides, the position that you want to fill may not require outstanding talent.

With that, the first thing to do after you find a few promising agencies for your needs is to ask them for their prices. Throw away agencies that are too expensive for your pocket or your needs – this will reduce the number of candidate agencies that you’ll have to go through.

Pay Careful Attention To The Agency’s Terms Of Service

Terms of service is perhaps the most common thing that inexperienced construction employers forget or neglect to check.

As you probably know, hiring a recruitment agency implies some benefits – most importantly, time & money savings and access to a vast pool of talents in the construction industry. And though a recruitment agency will work hard to find the right candidates for you, you should remember that there are some responsibilities that you will have to bear as well.

These will be outlined in the agency’s or consultant’s terms of service. Check these out and don’t be lazy to go through them no matter how lengthy or complex they are – the terms will contain important information on fees, your obligations as a client, and some more minor but nonetheless important things (e.g. whether there are free replacements or partial refunds if the employee quits a few days after being hired).

The Recruitment Consultant Should Be Willing To Get To Know You

After the more formal stuff, you should pay close attention to your interactions with the consultant. 

As an expert in the construction industry, your consultant should be willing to get to know your business and its needs a little bit better. This would allow the recruitment consultant or agency to offer services that are more tailored to your project’s needs.

Not every recruitment agency will be willing to more personally approach your project. Some agencies are so sales-driven that they forget about what matters to their clients. This is more likely to happen with large, well-established agencies.

The Recruitment Consultant Should Have Expertise In The Construction Industry

This one is a no-brainer – you are in the construction industry, and the agency should be well-aware of the trends going on in the niche. This will allow the agency to better know who they should be looking for, ultimately bringing to you the perfect candidate for the job.

Also, don’t forget to check whether the consultancy is a member of relevant professional associations in your area. While this isn’t a must, it will add credibility to the agency.

The Consultant’s Track Record Is Extremely Important

You should make an effort to study the construction recruitment agency’s client list, as well as look for testimonials of their past clients and candidates. A good place to check would be social media. Besides, a good agency will be glad to provide you with a few references themselves.

A Good Consultant Will Share Their Search Details With Other Experts In The Business

No matter how experienced, individual consultants will have limited candidate contact lists. And rather than try to satisfy your needs with a subpar candidate from their existing contacts, a good consultant will get in touch with other experts in the industry to hopefully get a perfect match for your position.

Be Aware That Hiring A Construction Recruitment Agency Has Downsides As Well

Finally, remember that hiring recruitment agencies or consultancies – whether in the construction or any other niche – implies some disadvantages for you:

  • Lack of control over the hiring process.

  • Often rather high recruitment fees. In some cases, you may actually save more money by optimizing your in-house recruitment process than by working with an agency.

  • Recruitment agencies are weak at assessing cultural fit for clients.

  • The first impression of your company among your candidates will depend on your recruiter.

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