Your construction recruiter has one job: finding candidates who are the right fit for your company. Of course, you’ll want your new employee to have the aptitude and skills for the job. Hopefully, anyone taking on a key position shares a similar construction philosophy.

If you’d like to attract and retain top-notch talent, you’ll have to do some work on your end, too. Today’s workers are looking for more than a job. They want to work for an organization that will help prepare and train them for the future.

The construction job market is booming in states like Florida and Texas, and workers are flocking toward open jobs. How can you make sure your employees stay with you?

That first step begins with the construction company leader.

The one thing construction recruiters wish you’d do now

Replacing employees is costly and time-consuming. If you’ve made a good hire, you are better off mentoring new employees to become key players in your company.

If you don’t already have a mentor program, start one now. Mentorship combines being an advisor, a coach, a cheerleader, an information source. Mentors are selected for their vast institutional knowledge. The premise is simple: match a recent hire with a mentor who can guide the new employee and nurture their development.

A new trend is the creation of mentorship opportunities before hiring a candidate. Two unique mentorship programs stand out:

  1. “Preconstruction Readiness Program”

High school seniors looking for an alternative to college are encouraged to enroll in this mentorship program to learn about the construction industry in general. Mentees visit construction sites, learn basic blueprint reading skills, safety practices, and explore job opportunities.

  1. “Train to Gain”

This mentorship program was created for subcontractors needing help with multiple aspects of contracting, including training, safety, field management, and business development.

Nurturing construction candidates and small business subcontractors benefits the workers and the general contractor hiring them. These two programs have increased the number of job-ready construction workers.

Mentoring vs. apprenticing or interning

Does your company already have an apprentice or internship program? That’s great, but it’s not the same thing as mentorship. A mentorship offers an employee access to an advisor and coach.

Who can be a mentor? Look for an employee with vast institutional knowledge — maybe a senior employee who will be retiring soon.

Once you match your mentees with mentors, be sure to:

  • Establish goals, including a start and end date
  • Encourage weekly meetings, preferably in an informal setting
  • Put an anonymous feedback system in place so you’ll know how to adapt as employees’ needs change.

Mentoring programs excel when they have loose-tight connections: build the program within specific parameters but allow for flexibility as needed.