Grow your business: getting the right people

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As our industry inches closer to recovery, many builders and subcontractors will be looking to the future, and thinking about the number of people they might need.
We know there’s going to be a skills shortage, and cracks are already starting to appear in areas of higher demand, namely Auckland and Christchurch.

We take a look at how you, as an employer in the construction industry, can ensure you get the right people to grow your business over the coming building boom.
For some, work is already starting to build up, and the decision to hire a new apprentice is becoming more appealing. But a lot may have changed since you last put on an apprentice, so where do you start?

You can start by calling the BCITO on 0800 422 486. We now offer a dedicated job-matching service which puts young aspiring tradespeople in contact with employers.
When you call, a team member will want to discuss your staff requirements — such as experience, and whether or not they need their own tools — in order to come up with a profile of who you’re looking for.

We can then search our database on these requirements to see if anyone matches. If we can, we’ll contact the job seeker and get them to contact you directly. It will be up to you, the employer, to interview and decide whether the candidate is suitable for the job.
However, you need to consider that in some areas most apprentices with on-site experience have already been snapped up. As the industry gets busier, the reality is that employers will have no choice but to hire people with less experience.

The upshot of this is that you get your apprentice to do things the way you want them done — no bad habits to break! The BCITO will, of course, continue to market the industry to youth to ensure the best people are available.
There is also a host of things you can do to ensure you get job applications. A lot has changed in the communication world in the past few years, so here are some options worth considering:

Personal connections
Many will do this anyway, but it’s worth mentioning. The chances are you know someone who knows someone who needs a job. Once you have someone on site, the BCITO can send out a training advisor to set up formal training.

Online advertising
Recent BCITO research has shown that about 90% of our apprentices use the internet every day. So if you’re going to advertise, make sure you do it online.
seek.co.nz is the most popular site in New Zealand, but trademe.co.nz is catching up, with its recently-launched jobs section. Most HR people these days say you need to advertise on both web sites to cover all bases.

Traditional advertising
This is becoming less popular, and certainly doesn’t get you in front of a national audience. However, it can still be effective in regional areas, targeting local people.

Unconventional methods
Here’s where the power of social media can work for you. Tweet your job, or put it on Facebook. If you don’t know how, ask your kids, nieces or nephews! You can also post it on the wall of the BCITO Facebook page — just search BCITO in Facebook to find us.

This costs nothing, and you will be amazed at how many responses you will get. Bear in mind that getting a job application is one thing, but finding the right apprentice is a different matter altogether.
In the next edition of Building Today we’ll look at the types of questions you can ask your applicants to ensure they’re after a career, not just a short-term job.