The construction industry has been battling with the labor and skills shortage, and it will only continue to get worse before we begin to see a new generation of talent entering the workforce. With an already limited talent pool and the increasing pressures to be more inclusive in hiring processes – here are some ways organizations can expand their reach and networks in order to access and attract fresh diverse talent. 

Set Goals For Your Team When It Comes To Diversity.

To be more proactive and increase your access to diverse talent, companies can set targets or goals on a quarterly or annual basis for their outreach. One way to do this is to advocate that a certain percentage of every candidate slate have some diversity representation. But, if your talent pool or network does not have sufficient diversity talent or representation yet, then make it a priority to seek out and speak with one to four diverse candidates per month. Recruiters are constantly networking and sourcing new talent every day, make it a common practice to identify diverse talent and build relationships with them even if you don’t have an immediate need or role available. Putting in the effort and time to build authentic relationships in the beginning, will not only help create a more diverse pipeline but one that is already engaged and trusts you.

Prioritize Experience and Skills Over Career Pedigree In Your Sourcing

When it comes to attracting and sourcing diverse talent at any level, construction companies must prioritize experience and skills more heavily than professional career pedigree. Focus your search for talent on the necessary skills and qualifications, instead of prior company history or career trajectory. This will yield a different list of viable candidates from the very beginning. When a construction company is trying to expand its reach and access to diverse talent, it will need to change the way in which they seek out and approach talent to deliver different results and candidates than past attempts. Cultural fit will always be the driving force behind a successful hire, and fit is not entirely dependent upon a specific company a candidate has worked at in the past.

Reframe The “Not A Good Fit” Excuse. 

When a company arrives at two finalist candidates – one which possesses diverse attributes in comparison to the other candidate, a company will sometimes choose the non-diverse candidate citing that “the other candidate would not have been a good fit.” This is a challenge that many organizations must overcome in order to be more inclusive and drive forward their DEI initiatives. Instead of using “not a good fit” as the deciding factor, construction companies should reframe their thinking from “Cultural Fit” to “Cultural Add” and ask themselves,

“How can this candidate add to our culture, process, and approach and bring new ideas to the team that we are currently missing?” 

Once an organization can get past this unconscious bias barrier and begin to embrace diversity as a piece of their culture, then diversity will begin to flourish across the organization. Diversity talent will know other like-minded candidates and peers within their networks and can serve as a talent magnet for future recruiting and talent pipelining efforts.

Allow For Diverse Talent To “See Themselves” In Your Organization. 

In recruiting, seeing is believing for a lot of candidates. When it comes to DEI, Candidates may view donations to minority organizations and public statements as performative and inauthentic and assume that the intention behind DEI isn’t a driving force or value within the organization. To adjust this perception, diversify your language and imagery across your marketing channels (social media, website, recruitment marketing, landing pages, job descriptions, benefits, candidate resources, etc.), to be more inclusive. Choose images that show a diverse team and use language that demonstrates a meaningful commitment to your DEI efforts. This will allow for diverse talent and candidates to truly be able to “envision themselves as a part of the organization” and align with your EVP, mission, vision, and values.

About The Author. 

Jeff Raymond (, President and Founder of Raymond Search Group (, is an industry-leading recruiter specializing in Construction and Real Estate, Engineering, Architecture, HVACR/R, Building Automation Systems, MEPF, and Manufacturing. Jeff is known for delivering the top 5% of industry talent to his clients with unrivaled efficiency and network. Clients and candidates alike rely on Jeff as a trusted advisor through his recruiting expertise and industry insight.

Jeff earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Management, and Operations from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is experienced in the construction industry and is Procore certified in multiple areas. He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, ASHRAE, the Institute of Refrigeration (IOR), and The OSHA Education Center Association.