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Hiring Quality Employees in the Post Frame Industry/Trades

Where There's a Problem, There's a Solution

A leading concern the post frame industry is currently suffering from is hiring and retaining quality candidates. Although there are several workforce development issues, there are bountiful solutions, as well. Discover helpful tips on finding and keeping your next employee.

Solving Hiring Problem in Post Frame Industry

1. Say Goodbye to the Stigma

Problem: Stigma with Construction & Production

Solution: Education

Problem: In a world where college is seen as the ideal next step following high school, it is clear the trades are becoming less "popular" in today's society. In fact, over the years our cultural outlook on these jobs has become one of a negative nature; society has deemed we not aspire for these careers... At MWI, we say otherwise.

Solution: In the words of Rural Builder Magazine, "Years of cultural mischaracterization have led generations of potential workers to believe that work in the trades isn't rewarding, doesn't provide good living, and is generally undesirable." Of course, we can not change this stigma in a day, but we can work to educate potential future employees why this characterization is false.

  • Rewarding: After Covid struck, it is becoming more and more evident how truly important these jobs are - after all, we are essential workers. What could be more rewarding work than work that is labeled essential?

  • Good Living:

    • Again, while Covid brought massive disaster, it did show the benefits of the trades and manufacturing. When you are working on your recruitment strategy, remember to discuss the true stability this industry has to offer.

    • Another major overlooked benefit to this lifestyle is the ability to begin investing in a 401k plan earlier.

  • If you utilize Bank Rate to calculate the production associate putting 9% of their annual earnings into a 401k plan at the age of 18 (after graduating high school) with the national average of 4.2% employer match, the production associate will have earned $1,759,016 by the time they are 65 years of age. See the Production Associate Report below.

401k Calculator - Bankrate
.com Productio
Download COM PRODUCTIO • 247KB

  • Meanwhile, if the college graduate began contributing the same amount after graduating and paying off their student loan, they have earned $771,741 by the age of 65. (Same employer match, raise & 401k return rate applied as the production associate.) See the College Grad (Bachelor's Degree) Report below.

401k Calculator - Bankrate
.com College G
Download COM COLLEGE G • 235KB

(For both reports, a 3% annual raise was calculated. The average annual pay increase is 3-5% according to Investopedia. Also, an annual return rate of 7% was applied to both 401k calculations (average is between 5-8% according to Smart Asset.)

  • Desirable: This factor is highly dependent on the atmosphere of the company itself. Several post frame companies invest in human resource efforts to keep their employees happy. Working in production or construction does not equate to a poor atmosphere. See the section below on Retention for more information on how to keep your employees satisfied with their work experience.

Production Associate VS College Grad 401K worth

2. Hire Outside the Pool

Problem: Diluted Pool

Solution: Get Creative

Problem: Today, it seems like everyone is hiring, and the pool has run dry. So what now?

Solution: Well, it's time to get creative.

  • Hire Outside Your Regular Pool

  • Explore Different Advertising Strategies

    • Ever flipped through the local newspaper's classified section only to notice, "HIRING BONUS" ad after ad after ad?? Although it may be a beneficial tactic for some companies, perhaps it is not the most effective use of your budget. Brian Turmail suggests targeted marketing on Facebook or social media. He states, "The cost of entry is relatively low, and the platform is user-friendly."

Finding Creative Solution for Hiring Problem in Post Frame Industry & Construction

3. Retention

Problem: Retention

Solution: Focus on the Future, Build Relationships & Establish Value

Problem: There is nothing more frustrating than spending the time and resources to hire and train a new employee only to have them quit after a few days or a couple weeks.

Solution: The best way to keep an employee is to make sure they feel comfortable with the present state of their work life, and they are satisfied with their future role/opportunities at the company.

  • Focus on the Future

    • If you want employees to stick with you for years to come, you need to make sure you are both on the same page regarding the future from day one. But how do you go about that?

      • First things first, start with the interview. It may be old school, but asking where an interviewee wants to be in the future can really help you understand their future with the company. Are they looking for pay increases solely or do you they want to work toward a promotion? Do they see themselves in a managerial position in the future or would they prefer to stay at the level they are applying? There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. However, if your candidate wants to become a manager, and you know the company will not allow them the growth to that position, you may take the risk of hiring an employee who will leave the company for an opportunity elsewhere. The moral of the story is make sure you are both on the same page.

  • Build Relationships

    • Building relationships is the core connecting strategy to employee retention. An employee who feels unwelcome by their department or crew will be far less likely to stay with the company. After all, you spend 8+ hours per day with your coworkers; so for many, finding a welcoming team is essential to their work life. But how do you go about that?

      • The AGC has a culture of care program that provides resources that can aid in inclusivity.

      • Another great idea is to introduce new hires to people who started in that position and have worked their way up or who have simply switched roles (example: office position who became a production lead or associate).

      • Another way to generate a welcoming atmosphere is to designate a mentor of sorts. Referral programs are a great push to get an employee to look after a new hire. If the referral program offers an incentive to the referrer 6 months or a year after the new employee arrived, the referrer will be more likely to assist the new hire and make them feel welcome.

  • Ensure Value

    • Overall, your employees just want to feel valued - not only as an employee, but as a person. There are several ways to show your employees you appreciate them and value their hard work. Of course, bonuses can assist with the appreciation factor, but everyday interactions are a major factor. Positive reinforcement, especially from a supervisory level, will encourage your employees and highlight their worth. Finally, a generous work-life balance will ensure your new hire understands you value them not only as an employee but as a person, as well.

Construction Team walking together

Although hiring and retaining quality employees is difficult in the post frame industry these days, there are several tactics to explore in order to increase your hiring/retention stats. Make sure you are educated about the benefits of your workplace and share them with potential employees, get creative with your human resources strategies and implement retention policies to entice your next hire to stay with your company for years to come!

For more information, check out our sources: Bank Rate (primary source), Zip Recruiter (primary source), Credible (primary source), Ames Tribune (secondary source), Rural Builder Magazine (secondary source), Smart Asset (secondary source) or Investopedia (secondary source).


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