Business Growth

Construction Hiring: A guide for builders hiring construction workers

The skills push is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, more students are choosing the trades and construction industry as demand rises, but on the other, you have to find the right skills and person for the job. Choosing anyone because you have to fill a role can do more damage than good in the long run, as a poor pick can affect your work quality and reputation. 

Your business rep and customer satisfaction are essential to building a business that will thrive and last. Empty spots in your team can hurt, but it’s better to take the time and care when finding a new crew member. 

Fortunately, the right people are out there.

How to Find and Hire Construction Workers

Construction hiring in the industry's current state can seem a bit daunting. Skills shortages and company collapses have workers worried, but that doesn’t mean finding the right fit needs to be an uphill battle.

Finding construction workers can be a smooth, efficient process with the right plan, preparation and tools. So, let’s start with the basic steps to putting your job out there!

Identify your Hiring Needs

You might be thinking, ‘My hiring need is that I need to hire someone’. But what kind of worker do you want to hire?

This is a vital first step before you put your postings out there, as your recruitment efforts will be most effective when they’re properly targeted. A bit of planning and foresight goes a long way. 

This isn’t just what skill you need to fill, but the kind of experience you’re looking for. Are there other skills that would make a potential candidate a winner, like experience with particular software or an additional licence? Knowing what you must have and what is preferred will make the entire construction hiring process smoother and more effective.

Many decisions in the following steps and strategies will depend on what kind of needs you identify here. 

Post a Job Ad

After identifying your construction hiring needs, the next step is to get job ads out there. There are plenty of recruitment sites out there that you can use, such as Indeed, Seek and Jora. There are also multiple construction boards out there with different options to find your next employee.

Effective job adverts will be clear about the kind of worker you need, what skills are required and what skills are preferred.

We’ll cover more about creating and posting effective job advertisements later in the article. 

Review Applications and Shortlist Candidates

Depending on your job posting, you’ll attract different numbers of candidates. The rule of thumb is the more senior a role, the fewer applicants you’ll receive overall. The fewer skills and experience required, the more applicants.


To help with this, it’s important to consider ‘must-haves’. This ties into the first step of considering your hiring needs. Some applicants will be applying for anything that falls somewhat under their skillset or might have some experience but not with the specific role you need.

To review a lot of applications in a short amount of time, refer to what you need and create a ‘must-have’ list. This can be as long or as short as you like, but consider what you absolutely need in a new team member and put that on the list. The preferred skills and experience can come after. 


Get your must-have list and check applications to it. If they don’t have the requirements, discard them. If you need to find the right fit, sometimes you must slash and burn to get to the good stuff.

After a first pass, take the remaining applications and review their other skills and experience. This is when you can start selecting stand-out resumes and good resumes to offer interviews. Look for additional skills and experience. If they have volunteer experience, this can indicate a good team player.

Once you have the chosen applicants, it’s time for the next step.

Interview and Screen Candidates

While resumes and applications give you a rundown of a person’s skills and experience, the interview is where you can ask the necessary questions and meet candidates face-to-face.

It’s also the perfect time to tell if a person will be a good fit in personality. Depending on the role, you might be looking for a new team member who will mesh well with the rest of the crew or a no-nonsense professional who can work independently.

If you have many potential employees or are hiring for a sensitive role, conducting pre or post-interview screenings can boost your knowledge about a candidate. When you read applications and resumes, you'll already be screening grammar, experience, and professionalism.

Other screening tests include reference checks, background checks, and pre-employment testing.

Offer Competitive Compensation

Construction hiring is a competitive field. There’s lots of demand and a skills shortage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also be competitive. Offering too much can affect the rest of your team; be reasonable and leave negotiations to the later steps.  Leave both parties some wiggle room!

Be clear about the compensation package you’re offering and the salary range applicants can expect. Transparency is key in construction hiring; start off on the right foot with potential employees and display that you’re a trustworthy and reliable employer.

You can negotiate with your candidate if you’ve found a fantastic fit after the construction hiring process. 

Strategies to Find Quality Construction Workers

Those steps are the basic rundown on how to find an employee, but we’re talking about construction hiring. Challenges and benefits are unique to construction and the trades, and the most effective construction hiring will take advantage of industry opportunities.


Effective Job Ads and Construction Boards

As mentioned above, consider your construction hiring needs for this position. Want someone with specific skills? Make sure you state what these skills are in your job ad! It doesn’t need to be a requirement, but ‘preferred skills’ go a long way in finding the perfect fit. 

We also brought up construction job boards; these boards can be an excellent resource alongside regular job sites. Construction boards will ensure applicants are there with purpose and experience in the trades. 

These include:

CJ Australia

A job board featuring construction work across Australia, alongside civil engineering and mining roles. They charge $198 per job post.


A leading job board that connects companies with tradies, technical workers and labourers. They charge $150 per post, plus GST.


A board consisting of both tradies and companies: they offer jobs, career development opportunities and their own community notice board. They charge membership per month at $99 plus GST.

Offer Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are an investment in the future of your business. Not only do you get another employee, but you can teach them the skills from the ground-up. Apprentices might not always fit the team or be right for the role, but that’s the same with any worker you might hire. 

Apprentices won’t only be learning and working their way up, they’ll be acclimating to your team, your projects and your work processes. They’ll become a fully-fledged professional, knowing how your business runs and already being part of the crew. 

When you find the right fit, and an apprentice finds their niche, that kind of working relationship is extremely valuable. People appreciate when others take a chance on them, and when it can be difficult to retain or find workers, having a previous/current positive working relationship can do wonders in employee retention. 

Use Referrals

An overlooked but great resource in construction hiring is your current team. Everyone has their own network of friends and previous workmates, so tap into those networks!

Working with your mates can be the best part of the job at times; aside from personal benefits, the benefit to your business means a new employee will already feel comfortable with your team.

Referrals aren’t the most consistent leads, but the hires they result in have high long-term retention rates.

Build Your Company’s Branding

As a business owner and tradie, you’ll have seen dozens, if not hundreds, of brands and logos during your time in the industry. Branding is important; it is your public and professional face and stands out in networks. 

Having a strong company brand also benefits your team. When projects end or a worker decides it’s time to move on, having a company with a great brand on their resume helps them in the future. It means stronger networks for you and the team. Working with trusted brands helps everyone, so it’s a win-win.

Work with Construction Recruiters

There’s big business in recruiting, and the same goes for construction hiring. A business has a lot going on, so outsourcing recruitment to professionals is a common strategy to take the pressure off.

Recruitment agencies will do the outreach, posting ads and screening candidates. Of course, what you want an agency to handle is up to you. Recruiters can be an excellent resource for the initial grunt work of finding and screening applicants, leaving the cream of the crop for interviews. 

Tips for Retaining Skilled Construction Workers

This article has mentioned retention a few times already. Any business owner knows that it’s one thing to get a customer or employee, but it’s another to retain them.

Now that you’ve put the work into effective construction hiring, the next step is providing the kind of role that encourages worker retention. 

Provide Competitive Compensation and Benefits

As we covered in the construction hiring process, offering a competitive compensation package is vital to succeed in hiring the best fit for your team. It’s just as important to ensure that your workers are being paid properly and in a timely manner. Following a contract displays that you’re treating your employees respectfully and professionally, which can go a long way in retention and reputation.

Benefits such as private health, mental health support and wellness programs can boost and secure your employees and provide them security. Performance bonuses give workers a tangible boost to reward their hard work, while bonuses like free lunches or gym memberships are weekly/daily boosts.

Offer Career Development Opportunities

Motivated and ambitious employees are looking to improve, not just in the day-to-day, but to develop their career and future opportunities.

By providing opportunities for career development, you display that you’re invested in the future of your workers. The long-term is just as important in construction hiring and retention. 

Create a Positive Work Culture and Environment

Work is work, and the trades mean early starts, long hours and plenty of hard work to go around. But that doesn’t mean the work environment has to be hard, too. Work culture is important; it doesn’t mean making employees participate in corporate ‘bonding’ exercises or anything, but ensuring everyone is treated with respect. 

The importance of safety goes beyond the personal health and protection of workers; safe workplaces feel better to work in. Your team might grumble, but they need to know someone has their back and does care about their safety.

Ensure that issues and mistakes can be brought up without fear of management or affecting the work. Your team needs to understand that workplace safety is everyone's responsibility on a job site, not just safety inspectors. This means a place to report and that incidents are responded to in a timely manner. 

Provide Job security and Stability

Look, construction hiring sucks for everyone. It’s annoying to find a new role, and takes time to adapt to a new worksite, business and workmates. Sometimes, people are keen to move to their next role and are excited about the search, but the simple truth is most of us would rather feel secure in a job we like. 

High turnover rates and insecurity can be a vicious cycle; employees might feel like they always need to be looking for a new role in case they lose their current one. This can be different in temporary roles or independent contracting, as tradies there come with the knowledge that they have short-term roles.

The latest insecurities in the construction sector affect everyone.

Using the advice above can provide your team members with some relief. Career development means they feel like they have flexibility and won’t stagnate in their role, a positive work culture can bond a team, and safety shows that you care about their jobs. Benefits and competitive compensation show you have a long-term interest in retaining employees.

It all comes together to form a picture of a company that looks to the long-term rather than the short.

Utilising Technology in Construction Hiring

There’s a lot that goes into effective construction hiring. Following these steps can take a lot of work, and thanks to tech, we can streamline much of it.

The JobsInConstruction board mentioned above has its own app, allowing you to use it on your phone. Many job boards and recruitment sites have online apps and digital services, allowing you to quickly create and post effective construction job ads for talent to see. 

With plenty of job boards, ads and online recruiters, you can use digital services and software to boost your reach and brand.

Securing and Nurturing Construction Talent for Long-Term Success

A growing business needs a solid team behind it. Construction hiring isn’t just about finding the best but retaining them and investing in their futures. Your business future is key to that!

Utilising tech such as AroFlo’s construction management software means that all your employees can access timesheets, reporting and schedules from their phones. Effective invoicing and time tracking means your team will feel secure that your business fits them.

Now, get out there and find some talent!

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