While the effects of COVID-19 and the numerous lockdowns are still being felt across construction, we are seeing the industry bounce back and grow. We may have had our fair share of uncertainty and disruption – with the worst hit areas being residential building and commercial construction - but overall, as an essential service, the construction sector has performed better than many other Australian industries.
While the timing of a full economic recovery remains outside our control, driven by government decisions and funding initiatives that will kick-start Australia’s post-COVID economy, business confidence has been high across construction and commercial new build projects. We’ve seen our clients continue to grow and recruit for strategic roles - and make the most of changing market opportunities.
However, the improving market conditions have highlighted significant skill shortages. The demand for talent has increased across permanent and temporary recruitment.
The war for talent
As the economy recovers, skill shortages will create some excellent candidate opportunities. This is because companies need to deliver works with local hires while Australia’s borders (internationally and domestically) remain closed.
Twelve months ago, candidates were risk-averse about moving roles, valuing job security due to the uncertainty the pandemic presented. Now, the reverse is true and confidence is high. The number of opportunities candidates can explore has nearly doubled. As such, they can compare their current role and make more informed choices.
This can make it harder to retain top talent as candidates are committed to multiple recruitment processes at any one time - and can benchmark remuneration and benefits.
This has put candidates in the driving seat, with more attention placed on recruitment processes than ever before. Clients are aware of the competition for top candidates and understand the impact that not filling roles can have on their bottom line.
There is also a trend of clients looking for other ways to fill resourcing gaps. We have seen an upward trend in contract positions, due to the uncertainty, upskilling senior mentoring, and workforce planning - just to name a few.
The (true) cost of recruiting in the current market
Hiring qualified professionals has become more difficult and competitive. This has put pressure on salaries, which are growing across the board for skilled workers. We’re also seeing a growth of overall recruitment costs.
Of course, there are commercial realities when it comes to remuneration. At CGC, we advise our clients to be mindful of the overall payroll and ask themselves if they can retain all staff salaries at the appropriate level to ensure they have the right diverse talent pool. There’s a necessity to maintain parity in any business, as even a small salary percentage change can have a huge overall impact.
Salaries are important. However, clients can differentiate themselves by highlighting other benefits that might be attractive. Consider highlighting your culture and describing star projects and future pipeline of work. Don’t forget your employer brand – what’s it like to work here? What are the benefits, perks, and work-life balance like? How supportive is management? Are there career paths and advancement opportunities?
Reducing risk by working with the right recruitment agency
Of course, every business wants to save money. The best way to avoid unnecessary costs and mitigate recruitment/hiring risks is with solid systems and procedures across the hiring process. With a few effective strategies in place, you can save your business time and money and still recruit top talent.
Many businesses are choosing to use a recruitment agency to help make the process run smoothly and ensure it remains cost-effective. As experts in finding the right fit for a vacancy, we understand that the true cost of recruiting is finding the ideal candidate in a reasonable timeframe.
Working with an agency like CGC Recruitment can help here. We can help you manage time, costs and risks – as well as support a strong recruitment process and tell a compelling employer brand story.
CGC is becoming more and more involved in workforce planning. We’re constantly reviewing the existing resources, ascertaining that the supply of workforce meets our client’s demands, and creating recruitment forecasts. For our construction contractor specialists, this is becoming paramount in managing multiple clients and projects in a candidate short market.
Construction workforce management is a challenging task. By combining proper planning, management, and tools, we can help clients eliminate the inefficiencies and delays of constantly looking for new staff. Our solid candidate pool, management, and client transparency provides a smooth, seamless approach to workforce planning and project continuity.
As businesses are reaching a critical mass of project work and staff utilisation, over the next 3-6 months we expect there to be a change in philosophy. We envisage that if the construction market continues to be inundated with work, clients will be more selective in the type of work they take on. As a result, we may see prices increase due to the full utilisation of contractors and a lack of bidding competition. In addition, clients may only want to only pitch for work that makes commercial sense.
About CGC Recruitment
CGC Recruitment is a specialist construction, infrastructure, engineering, and architecture recruitment consultancy. We view our clients as our partners and work closely with them to meet their business needs. We work with some of Australia’s largest construction brands through to specialist SME’s and boutique consultants. We have proven experience delivering permanent, contract and retained recruitment solutions, consistently providing the right candidates for the right roles at the right time.
If you have an active role you’d like to discuss or just want to talk to a specialist consultant, please contact us. Alternatively, you can complete our online client form and a member of our team will contact you.