A construction company’s HR department faces multiple HR tasks daily, like recruiting new employees, retaining and engaging existing ones, and providing up-to-date training and benefits—all while maintaining compliance. This is a big job considering companies in the construction industry must comply with strict government guidelines that regulate safety and workforce management or risk paying huge fines. Luckily, construction HR professionals and administrators have access to tools and techniques that can help solve construction HR compliance issues.
The Issue: Not Paying Employees for Earned Overtime. The US Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division enforces regular and overtime payment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA maintains that employers must pay workers at least the minimum wage for all hours worked, as well as time and a half for overtime, while keeping detailed records. If done manually, compliance can take a huge amount of time and not getting it right can lead to costly errors. Fines for unpaid back wages can be more than $100,000 to $200,000-plus and that’s on top of any civil and punitive damages for FLSA overtime violations. Clearly, these are issues to avoid.
The Solution: Accurately Tracking Employee Time. A time tracking app will help aid construction HR compliance by ensuring your employees are always paid for every dollar they’ve earned, including overtime. Time clock apps digitally track the hours your employees work, and they can automatically send the data to your payroll system. Time tracking apps don’t fudge numbers, go home for the weekend without submitting their hours or depend on a human to decipher sloppy handwriting. The data is secure and accurate. Maintaining compliance is easier and takes less work on your part when employees are required to digitally sign off on their hours, including overtime hours.
The Issue: Not Completing Required Safety Training. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has 15 high-level categories for general safety and health provisions under construction’s US Code of Federal Regulations. OSHA’s construction rules and standards must be followed by all construction companies to maintain worker and site safety. Both new and seasoned employees must comply with standards and stay up-to-date with training, regulations and certifications.
Construction employees work in the field and gathering them together for training can be a logistical nightmare. And often the content isn’t engaging, so no one participates and you can’t validate that everyone has taken the training or signed off on it. But this training is vital to maintaining safe and compliant worksites. In the last quarter of 2021, OSHA fined one company more than $1 million for safety violations and others in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Solution: Using an LMS to Offer Accessible and Engaging Training. A learning management system (LMS) gives construction companies needed flexibility when it comes to workplace training and maintaining construction HR compliance. An LMS is used to both house and deliver training, and it can work on a computer, kiosk or mobile device. Employees can complete required training and update certifications from their mobile devices or computers 24/7, and the LMS records completion and any certifications. For OSHA safety requirements specifically, companies can pair their LMS with approved trainings developed by industry experts, such as ClickSafety. These courses are already OSHA-approved and are automatic updated. Plus, they are available in other languages to ensure workers receive the most impactful training. .
The Issue: Maintaining EEO Compliance and Recordkeeping. Recruiting candidates requires a lot of work including evaluating what skills and qualifications are necessary for the position, developing an accurate job description, advertising to the right candidates and sorting through applicant resumes. But on top of simply finding quality workers quickly, federal government contractors must comply with standards set by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) including developing an Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) and keeping detailed records for all applicants and hires. The challenge lies in the fact that your construction HR team not only has to make sure they are following the rules, but they also must track updates and ensure all job postings include the required wording. If you’re not following OFCCP rules, you won’t be rewarded with government contracts and your bottom line will suffer. Plus fines for worker discrimination can be upwards of $300,000.
The Solution: Using an ATS to Accurately Post Jobs and Track Applicants. The right applicant tracking software (ATS) will automate many of the construction HR hiring compliance procedures construction HR professionals need to follow. It should include a voluntary self-identification questionnaire for AAP reporting, track good faith recruiting efforts, store all candidate information and update all required forms like W-9s. HR software should also automatically include any EEO taglines in job postings, ensuring they’re never accidentally forgotten. An ATS enables you to not only organize your recruiting tactics across multiple channels but also helps reduce risks and stay compliant. Automating these manual processes allows recruiting and hiring managers to spend more time with construction candidates and less time with paperwork. An ATS that can track and group applicants based on skills and qualifications can streamline and significantly expedite the hiring process, giving your construction company a competitive edge during the labor shortage.
If you don’t currently have HR software solutions like the ones mentioned above (Time Clock App, ATS and LMS), now is the time to upgrade and take advantage of the right technology tools for construction HR. Manual processes that still use paper are not only slower than digital but they’re a security and compliance risk. Your employees’ data is full of sensitive information that with a manual, unsecured process could easily get lost or fall into the wrong hands. Consider a modular system that can scale with your company so you’re only appealing to your CEO and CFO once for the investment.