Have we reached a candidate crisis point in the house building sector?

So many companies are looking to recruit but struggling to find people to even interview let alone offer a job to.

I was recently in touch with a land manager who was forced onto the job market because his employer went into administration. Within three days he had received 25 approaches about similar jobs with other businesses!

That’s how imbalanced the jobs and available candidates relationship currently is. There simply aren’t enough experienced people to fulfill the sector’s expansion plans. Just look how much effort companies put into trying to keep people at resignation knowing how hard they are to replace.

So how can you respond as a hiring manager with a vacancy in your team?

In essence, you need to identify someone who could do the job you have vacant rather than someone who is doing the job right now.

There are two alternative ways of doing this:

  1. Firstly, look for someone in your competitors who is ready to step up to your job, for example, a really good Sales Manager who wants to be a Sales Director. You are offering a new challenge, a better salary and career progression. You are appealing to anyone with career ambition.

  2. Secondly, look for someone outside of house building but in a related sector. They could be in a planning consultancy, a main contractor, a ground worker, local authority, the list goes on. You are offering a new challenge, a different environment, and in many cases, a better salary.

With either of these options you need to think more about skills and less about experience. Start by identifying the skills of high performers doing the job you’re looking to fill. What is it that makes them good at what they do? Now construct interview questions which test candidates on these competencies. 

The extra time and effort at this stage will be rewarded with fewer open vacancies and better performing new starters as you recruit more people from less obvious sources.