The winter’s harsh weather is (hopefully) in the rearview mirror. In addition to daffodils and baseball, this also means construction companies are ramping up their recruiting and hiring efforts in preparation for the busy season.
Getting new hires up and running quickly can mean the difference between a successful project completed on time and an extended project deadline or even a potential loss of business. After offer letters have been signed, onboarding new employees is the next step to a successful construction season.
Offer letter to onboarding
New hires—especially Millennials—want the onboarding process to begin right after they sign their offer letter. They often expect to complete paperwork before their first day. They prefer to complete all necessary paperwork online in a mobile-friendly format, instead of traveling to the office or job site to fill out all the paperwork manually.
New hires, especially Millennials, expect to complete onboarding paperwork online, in a mobile-friendly format.
A digital or online process saves hiring managers time, as well: You don’t have to schedule individual paperwork appointments. There is a smaller risk for mistakes or misplacing paperwork, and, when their first day hits, all paperwork is in the bag, so new hires can begin training right away.
Paving a path to success
The first few days of a new job are usually consumed with meeting other team members, getting a lay of the land, and learning how to succeed in a new position.
It’s crucial that managers spend time setting realistic goals within the first few days so new hires can start adjusting and working towards those goals. Goal-setting helps retention significantly: Employees who receive a well-structured onboarding program are 69 percent more likely to remain with a company for up to three years. Retention, in turn, saves companies time and money down the line.
Sharing responsibility for their safety
One important goal is to complete safety training during the onboarding process. Safety is a priority on any job site, so ensuring new hires know what to do in certain circumstances is essential to lower the risk of injury.
There are roughly 150,000 construction site injuries reported per year, with falls making up most of those injuries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are roughly 150,000 construction site injuries reported per year, with falls making up most of those injuries. Another study by Pinnacol shows that over half of workplace injuries involved employees who were on the job for less than a year. Managers should commit themselves to demonstrating safe practices and procedures by providing the time and resources new hires need.
Whether managers opt into instructor-led group training or individual training, creating a culture of safety with regular training opportunities within the first year can help mitigate injury and safety risks. Allowing employees to take ownership of their learning can also make a big impact. When new hires are given the leeway to complete their training within a specific time frame, it signals that personal responsibility and leadership are incorporated into the culture of their new workplace.
Creating a culture of safety with regular training opportunities within the first year can help mitigate injury and safety risks.
What is more, employees given autonomy early on will perform better in the long run because they’ll take more ownership of the decisions they make on the job site.
While safety training protects construction workers from unnecessary injury, compliance protects construction companies from costly fines. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) exists to ensure federal contractors adhere to non-discriminatory practices in all aspects of the employee life cycle.
At the post-hire stage, new hires must be given the opportunity to complete a voluntary self-identification form. That is the case even if they’ve already provided the information during the application stage. With an onboarding platform that incorporates OFCCP compliance, federal contractors can rest assured they’re using the latest version of new hire paperwork and that they have followed the correct procedures in hiring and onboarding.
In it for the long haul
Onboarding has long-term effects, including job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Obviously new hires don’t need frequent tours of the job site. Still, considering half of all hourly workers leave new jobs within the first four months, it seems clear construction companies should plan for a longer onboarding process to help retain their crew.
Onboarding has long-term effects, including job satisfaction and organizational commitment.
Regular progress checks, supplemental training courses, and periodic social gatherings can all be incorporated into the onboarding process to engage new employees. Data shows that a year-long onboarding process can increase new hire retention by 25 percent—but every manager should develop an onboarding plan and length that works best for his or her company.
With the right onboarding solution, construction companies can look forward to firing on all cylinders throughout the busy season. There are many benefits to an online, mobile-friendly employee onboarding platform that can help both managers and new hires and boost your bottom line.