Employers Of Choice In Construction Research Paper Examples
This paper delineates on employment of choice in the construction sector that is facing issues to recruit and retain the young and talented graduates. Construction industry is one of the prominent industries contributing in economy and employment. The work atmosphere, work ethics, work culture, terms of service, program for skill development and so forth are contributing in emergence of this issue. Hence, the construction industry is forced to compete with recruiters and employers related to other sectors. There are many factors that facilitate to retaining the graduates including salary, location of the company, culture, retirement package and integrated technology in the area of operation. The organizations engaged in the construction activities need to develop long-term and suitable strategies to attract the talented graduates. This is because that graduates seek the plans which help them to develop a healthy self-identity, as well as communication and prize teamwork. They like to be the part of the team for information regarding budgets and plans of the company. Graham & Sons Construction can be presented as good example which used to take initiatives, measures, philosophies, ideas and processes suitable for development and graduates. It believes in teamwork and constantly strives to integrate people of diverse background. Training and development is also needed to be integral part of different sectors which plays a vital role in retaining the employees.
Construction industry is one of the mainstream sectors in almost all countries of the world that provide most of the employment opportunities. The construction sector in the U.K. has provided employment to over two million people accounting for around 8% of the GDP. Construction industry is declared as the fourth largest industry in Australia in terms of offering employment, and it employs 9% of the workforce of the country. These figures represent those employed directly by the construction industry, and if the figures of those employed in the dependent industries are combined, the proportion of employment in this sector will increase significantly. (What Do New Graduates Want.., 2015)
However, the industry is hard put to recruit graduates, and retain them. Now, the question that arises is what should be the work atmosphere and work ethics? What should be the work culture, terms of service, and program for skill development that can attract graduates in this industry and retain them, too? To address the needs and expectations of the graduates assume great significance. Also, the construction industry needs to compete with recruiters and employers from other sectors in attracting bright and talented youths (What Do New Graduates Want., 2015).
It is imperative to know the needs and expectations of construction graduates from a construction company. The surveys conducted show that graduating construction management students accord the highest priority to upward movement in positions while working in a construction company. Next in priority is the stability of the company and its management which construction students desire in their employer of choice. They want the company to be committed to professionalism and having a training program for the recruited employees. Besides the financial strength of the company, its safety records are under scrutiny of the students. The job must not be mundane or boring as construction graduates in particular look for challenging tasks. The location of the company, and place(s) offered for working, company's culture, and philosophy are attributes that they desire in their employers of choice. In addition, its commitment to integrating technology in the area of operation, and retirement package are also accounted (What Do New Graduates Want.., 2015).
Construction graduates further look for company's profit sharing plan and flexibility in the work environment. Of course, salary and perks that they want to be incommensurate with that offered to graduates from other disciples by companies operating in other sectors. Company’s plan for the continuation of employees’ education, leave policy, variety in projects, client base of the company, size of the company and projects, and job titles are some other considerations that construction graduates look for. (What Do New Graduates Want.., 2015).
Employment opportunities in the construction sector have been increasing tremendously worldwide. However, a majority of employers (56%) reported difficulties in recruiting and retaining those recruited, and it is a worldwide phenomenon. There is no specific dearth of employment opportunities for top graduates. The demand for talented graduates far exceeds the supply. Hence, organizations engaged in the construction industry, have to evolve suitable strategies to attract top graduates and retain them. They also need to develop a pool of well-qualified graduates who can be employed and retained in order to get their contribution in the attainment of the company's goals for an adequate period. (Sedighi and Loosemore, n.d.).
Youths of today are the future and the future of the construction industry. They constitute around 80 million people of ages 10 to 30; how many of them would like to work in the construction sector is the million dollar question. Many have called them Generation Me, Generation Y, and the millennial generation, but each of these terms points to the same group. Eighty million being a big number, it appears that recruiting a 10-year old ten years from now would be an easy job, but it is not so. The competition to engage or employ them is intense among different sectors. The young like to be unique which helps them develop a healthy self-identity. They crave for communication and prize teamwork. For young graduates, communication implies collaboration, and thus, they do not like to be treated like only followers or executors. They have an expectation to be a part of the team who need to be informed about the budgets, the path chosen, and how the company wants to go about it. For them, communication also implies systematic and regular training programs. On the job training provides young graduates with a sense of belonging to the company, and helps them continue with the company. Thirdly, communication needs to be through the social media. The young like to be communicated through the network of social media which is likely to be the most important tool of recruitment in the future. It is not through wall posters or newspaper advertisements, but by Facebook and LinkedIn that recruitments are possible easily (Johnson, 2013).
Hence, analyzing how construction companies can attract young graduates to the construction sector, it is felt that communicating with them is the first step. They like to feel cared for and be involved. Communicating means companies provide them with a clear career development paths, explicitly explain policies, procedures, and on the job site rules. It also implies providing regular job training and opportunities for career development, particularly through mentoring and workshops. Promotion of technology in the construction sector is the second most important step to attract young graduates to seek employment in this industry. They enjoy the use of technology and are happy to keep abreast with newer developments in consumer electronics, internet technologies, personal computing, and mobile communications. That's why; they have been more often referred as Techno Generation, which speaks volumes about their comfort level in the use of software, devices, and online networks. As per sources, technology, flexible work days, and other job satisfying parameters can be highly effective in recruiting and retaining young graduates in the construction industry. Salary and wages, though important, take a backstage. Hence, the construction companies can advertize what technologies they are using? They need to take pictures of employees using tablets, lasers, and CAD software and post those pictures on their websites, blogs, and social media networks. A recruiting team social media focused can be of immense help. Emphasizing people over-production could be the third-step construction companies can promote to attract young talent and retain them for a reasonable period. The young of today has a different mindset than that of the old generation people. They prize flexibility and independence and dislike micromanagement and rigid schedule. The construction companies need to instruct their recruiting team to use the phrase “we want you to have a life” during the job interviews at least three times (Johnson, 2013, p: 8). As a fourth step, construction companies need to develop new recruitment strategies. It is estimated that existing workforce in the construction sector in America will be replaced by 2020, and the companies have to handle this paradigm shift strategically, and not reactively. A new recruitment strategy may include naming of a talent director, identifying places from where best recruits can be had and setting standards for candidates. In addition, it includes developing a thorough interview and evolution process, providing a job preview, and understanding the particular role of social media as a tool of recruitment. They like to work hard, but they may not be punctual, and may like to take a break to take a call, respond to a message or the likes. Construction companies will have to train recruiters to be direct, and not to indulge in abstractness. Questioning by the prospective employees should not be construed as challenges but as requests for clarifications. Targeting of the right group is the fifth, and last step construction companies may adopt to recruit graduates and retain them, too. Construction companies should target high schools, community college, or junior college for candidates. Identifying candidates from high school at an early stage will facilitate their training and grooming for the assignment ahead. Many students even in the U.S. do not want to pursue studies beyond a certain point, and like to engage in pursuits that may provide them rewarding careers. Also, candidates from rural settings can be targeted as rural kids know to work; simple and plain. There is a thumb rule for construction companies to pick those coming from farms as they know to rise early, attend to duties responsibly, and be punctual. (Johnson, 2013).
Now, the question arises whether there are companies that are following these innovative ideas and are successfully running their enterprises? We take, as an example; a construction company named Graham established in 1926 as P.W. Graham & Sons Construction which successfully survived the economic crises of 1930s and is in the sound position with annual revenues exceeding $1.9 billion as of 2012. The initiatives, measures, philosophies, ideas and processes adopted by this company are delineated henceforth. First, it is a dynamic, profitable, and growing company having a clear cut path to the goal. The team effort is its specialty, and it constantly strives to integrate people of diverse background and places into a team which executes and delivers company's big construction projects. It offers a life-long career and security of the job. It being an employee-owned company exudes confidence in the employees who develop a sense of belonging. It offers exciting projects and career opportunities with various project types at varied safe locations in and around the North America. Competitive compensation and other benefits including salary and perks are other attractions of the Graham construction company. Employees are immensely benefited by a continuous program of training and career enrichment. All its mechanisms are technology driven and conducive to the young graduates. The organizational culture and values are of very high standards, and welfare of employees is paramount (Graham Construction., 2015).
It offers extensive training program to the employees throughout their stay in the company. It keeps its employees abreast with latest developments in the construction industry, and technological fields and their applications. Workshops, seminars, and on-job trainings are the hallmark of the company (Graham Construction., 2015). There are many such companies offering training and learning programs to their employees.
Training and development constitute an integral part of other sectors, too. Retail sector, banking and insurance sector, automobile sector, telecom sector, pharmaceutical sector, hospitality sector, and IT sector, all have an extensive program of training for their employees. Hence, they are equipped with the latest developments in the sector. In so many sectors like IT sector, there are classroom training programs, seminars, and workshops, but in many others such as in hospitality and construction sectors on-job training is the most prominent. Particularly, in the software sector, there is a direct proportional link between investment in training and development and market share. That is why; there is adequate emphasis on training and learning in IT and such other sectors. However, there is a certain basic difference between construction and other sectors. In the construction sector, prospective employees need to be picked early for trainings and on-job experiences. (Training in Software Company.., 2015).
There is a state-licensed vocational trade school meant for the construction industry in the U.S. namely Construction Industry Training Council of Washington (CITC). It imparts training in the state of Washington. It offers state-approved construction apprenticeship programs in construction, ten construction training programs, and several other education courses. It also imparts educational courses for license renewal, skill assessment, targeted skill and task training up gradation, and performance verifications for field professionals engaged in the construction sector. It helps standardize the career path of the employees of a company, or even an individual who is in the look out of career enrichment. The ten apprenticeship programs are a highly effective in churning out well trained and a well-rounded workforce for the construction company. Employers participating in apprenticeship programs experience higher productivity, lower turnover, and less duplicity of work on their projects. CITC can help a construction company or an individual to succeed. It has been helping people and firms in the construction industry since 1985. (Construction Industry Training Council of Washington, 2015). There are several other institutions in the U.S. and even in other countries catering to the training and apprenticeship needs of employees, professional, and companies in the construction sector.
Construction sector is one of the biggest employers of workforce worldwide but is hard to put to recruit and retain it as young, bright, and talented graduates are attracted towards other sectors for their employment. With the change in times, the expectations and needs of the youths have gone tremendous change, and the construction sector needs to adapt to those changes. The new graduates are hard working, but not punctual. They prefer to take breaks to attend calls, to reply SMSs and the likes. They need a challenging task and a clear path for their development. Training and skill development, communication and participation, and flexibility are some of the attributes desired in their employer of choice. This being technology and media savvy, construction companies need to use them.
Construction Industry Training Council of Washington, (2015). CITCWA - Construction Industry Training Council of Washington. [Online] Available at http://www.citcwa.com [Accessed 25 Mar. 2015].
Graham Construction - What Makes Graham An Employer of Choice. (2015). [Online] Available at http://www.graham.ca/Careers/What-Makes-Graham-An-Employer-Of-Choice/default.aspx [Accessed 25 Mar. 2015].
Johnson, M. (2013). Attracting Young People into Construction Field Positions. [Online] Available at http://www.awci.org/pdf/Attracting-Young-People-Into-Construction-Field-Positions.pdf [Accessed 24 Mar. 2015].
Sedighi, F. and Loosemore, M. (n.d.). Defining employers-of-choice in the construction industry from a graduate perspective. [Online] Available at http://www.irbnet.de/daten/iconda/CIB_DC27115.pdf [Accessed 25 Mar. 2015].
Training in Software Company, Information Technology Training Program. (2012), [Online] Available at: http://www.naukrihub.com/trainings/training-scenario/it [Accessed 25 Mar. 2015].
What Do New Graduates Want in an Employer? - ConstructionEducation.com. (2015), [Online] Available at: http://www.constructioneducation.com/what-do-new-graduates-want-in-an-employer [Accessed 25 Mar. 2015].
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