Perhaps one of the greatest pitfalls of hiring is depending too heavily on the resume. This is particularly true in the construction industry, where the best workers may not have a polished resume (or even a resume at all). Hiring solely based on a piece of paper is a surefire way to miss out on some of the best candidates or – potentially even worse – onboarding someone who is incompetent or who could otherwise bring down the team’s productivity and morale.

So, what should you be looking for instead? In this article, we will go over three things that are arguably more important than the resume.

Look for personality traits

This is something that you will probably need to discern in a phone or in-person interview. Keep in mind that many skills can be learned on the job, particularly hands-on construction tasks. Things like having a positive attitude or being proactive are much more important. If possible, have multiple team members speak to the candidate during the interview – from a manager to a coworker – this will give you a fuller sense of the applicant’s true character.

Listen to interview answers

Having background experiences listed on a resume is one thing, but you must ask questions and see how they actually talk about these experiences. This will provide more insight into the role that the individual played in previous positions. Keep in mind that candidates can rehearse answers. If you feel like this is the case, do not be afraid to dig deeper. Candid responses will be much more valuable for your evaluation.

It would be best if you also were sure to ask about previous managers and coworkers. Listening to how someone talks about their past teams can give you an idea of what sort of team player they would be.

Ask for referrals

Instead of sifting through tons of resumes to try to find your next great employee, consider asking your star team members for referrals. You should reach out to individuals who embody the particular qualities you are looking for in a new hire. Chances are, one of your team members knows someone who would be the perfect addition to your team. To sweeten the pot, consider offering a referral bonus – this could be a monetary reward for any successful hire which lasts a certain period of time.


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