Contract Surety

New Hires? Training Tips



Lucky the owner behind a growing construction business that is not having trouble training and retaining a solid team of employees. Retirement of baby boomers, the tight labor market, and a plethora of civic builds has made staffing for the go forward a big challenge. Industry experts share tips for success.


An Investment of Time and Money

Gone are the days of random hiring because things got busy and help was needed. It’s essential to take the time to really think through job descriptions and the hiring process, as well as to consider what you can offer to get an edge on the competition for workers in your region. Solid health insurance, including coverage for families, flexible scheduling and opportunities for professional development are all high on the list of benefits workers are seeking. Demonstrably promoting a culture of workplace safety is also critical. But evening doing all this does not guarantee the retention of new hires. Given the complex layers of challenges involved in building the workforce of the future, commitments to training and investment in both technology and opportunities for workers to learn to use it are key to having employees stick with you for the long haul.


Of course, training new workers requires time and patience, but consider the rewards as summed up by one successful builder:


I have an assistant who did not know what a “header” was when he was hired. That was over a year ago, and he is now solely responsible for managing the quality of doors installations and framing. It took time, patience and sacrifice on my part. But I was able to train him to where he is now. It’s all worth it, knowing I can delegate some of my responsibilities to him without concern. People in the building industry often don’t want to take the time to train new people. They get frustrated when someone doesn’t know what they are doing. But if you set a training regimen in place and find someone who is good at dealing with others, training new hires can be something extremely beneficial to any contractor.


As training progresses, it’s also important to recognize progress. Consider for example that a Monster survey last year uncovered this bottom line: half of workers gave notice because they felt underappreciated. In construction in particular, there’s the likelihood that in addition to the boss, project leaders, more seasoned workers and clients might be making life on the job unnecessarily unpleasant for newbies: 


Sending nasty emails if you make a mistake. Threatening to charge your boss thousands of dollars if you can’t finish as fast as someone else promised you would. Getting yelled at for materials being late, when you didn’t even order them. 

These are all scenarios that play out daily on a construction site….If GCs can understand the overall need for younger — or newer — tradespeople in the industry, and help make it a more enjoyable environment….we would see a lot more retainage and interest in the industry….Let’s get excited about training new people, welcome them to the industry and show them how rewarding the trades can be.



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