The pressure on hiring managers to fill the voids left when talent moves on, particularly top talent, can be intense. If the vacancy remains open for too long in the construction industry, the lost productivity, revenue, and extra work can become overwhelming. As a result, critical mistakes are often made in the hiring process.

Mistake 1: Using an outdated job description. The job that your former team member vacated may not match the job that they were originally hired for. Over time all positions evolve. Tasks may be transferred to different team members or new skills are incorporated to match the workflow or to leverage an employee’s unique skill set.

Solution: It is imperative to review the original job description.  Then determine, based on the evolution of the position and the current needs of the specific team, the new clearly defined objectives of the job and what traits are most important in a new team member.


Mistake 2: Being too selective. Too many hiring managers are seeking a person that does not exist. The list of traits, experience, skill, and education is so long and specific that there is simply no one that can meet all of the expectations.

Solution: Cast a wide net and utilize a referral program to find someone who may fulfill the objectives of the position and will be a good cultural fit for the organization. Remember, the role of the job may continue to change, due in part to the unique combination of skills and experience that this new employee will bring to the table.


Mistake 3: Skipping steps in the hiring process. Because time is of the essence, it’s easy to become enamored with a candidate and skip background research. The most skipped step is conducting reference checks.

Solution: If after the initial phone interview, you decide that you would like to have a face-to-face interview, start the corresponding background information process. Look at their social media for any red flags and ask for references.


Mistake 4: Talking too much in the interview process. There will be a number of different topics that you will want to cover with a potential candidate, but trying to cram in every last detail will only serve to overwhelm everyone involved.

Solution: Treat interviewing like sales and allow the candidate to not only sell you, but to sell themselves on their fit for the particularly position and company culture. Be prepared with relevant questions and provide great answers, but remember that they should be doing the majority of the talking.


Mistake 5: Too many cooks in the kitchen. While it is important to have feedback from others in the organization during the hiring process, particularly from those who will be working closely with the new hire.  However, this can slow down the process or cause bias. When this happens, you may miss out on great talent.

Solution: Input is helpful, but there should be a structure and process to ensure that you do not lose talent based on the bias of another manager or because the process takes too long while you try to form a consensus.


By being aware of and actively avoiding these common hiring mistakes, you will not only help your construction company fill vacancies more quickly, but add new talent that will be great, long-lasting hires.


Photo by Eric Prouzet on Unsplash