The Great Recession of 2007-2009 hit the construction industry hard and unexpectedly. Aside from the financial downfalls and loss of jobs, the lack of being able to find work within the industry caused construction as a whole to lose many experienced, hard-working contractors that found work in other fields, never to return. In 2010 construction spending totalled $816 billion, hitting a staggering 10 year low.

The impact of this recession has yet to vanish entirely. It’s unlikely that those hit by it will return to the field to exercise their skills once more, but the situation isn’t hopeless – there are budding contractors emerging in the field every day. Your job as a construction firm is to reach out, engage them, and retain them so they feel valued, challenged, and respected in the workplace.

The online recruitment process has been made much easier with the effective nature of inbound marketing. Half of the world’s population is online, and let’s be honest, this number is undoubtedly going to grow over time!

First, let’s dive into the topic of using social media marketing platforms for the purpose of seeking out up-and-coming talent in the industry, along with how to target them. This method of recruiting hasn’t been as popularized as it should be in the construction industry, but with the number of worldwide social media users expected to reach 3.02 billion in just two years, it’s very likely that your next employee is online.



This online social networking platform may seem like an odd choice for recruiting new candidates but is a step in the right direction when it comes to making personal connections with prospects. In construction, you need to ensure your contractors are reliable, committed, and focused. Utilizing Facebook to funnel people with the right attributes to you is a great way to cut out the getting to know them stage, and find the exact demographic you’re looking for, with just a few keyboard strokes.

Facebook is also just another place to advertise. Utilizing job posting forums, which we’ll get to later in the blog, is both great and effective, but impersonal. It can also be like taking a shot in the dark, in the sense that you’re waiting for contractors to come to you, rather than going to them.

First and foremost, Facebook allows you to target. Ad-targeting expands across many categories and gets very specific. This allows specific results, and for you to find the exact contractors you’re looking for.

I’m sure we’ve all been “victims” of a Facebook ad before; many people report that when they’re performing online searches, watching television, or simply conversing about something, Facebook often delivers that ad to their news feed. It’s scarily accurate, but it works.

Facebook allows you to target candidates by selecting preferences in a wide range of categories, such as:

  • Country
  • State/Province
  • Region
  • City
  • Postal Code

Specifying these fields will narrow your search to your area, making it easy to shortlist candidates that are close by.

You can also make a specific search for:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language

Without getting into the full extent of the micro-targeting Facebook allows, it gets even more specific than that; you can target based on education, work experience, even interests. Let’s say some have expressed interests in architecture, construction itself, design, or business – all of these will correlate with what you’re looking for, and help to optimize these candidates for maximum visibility.



When it comes to business networking, LinkedIn is like the promised land. The network was built for just that, and largely consists of professionals, executives and employees looking to network and share content. Another group that accounts for a large percentage of LinkedIn users is those actively looking for employment. In fact, 4 million LinkedIn users identify themselves as contractors on the platform.

Many recruiters both post jobs on LinkedIn and look for potential talent residing in the platform. Let’s say you’re looking to fill a few contractor roles, and do some scouting. There are a few key things that can be scrutinized about a user’s profile, which will be helpful indicators as to whether or not they’re actively looking for work.

Even more exciting than that, LinkedIn has introduced a filter that allows recruiters to easily see who is looking for contract work and can query to find who is looking for full-time, part-time, or one-time contract jobs. This new development is called Contractor Targeting.

To indicate that they’re actively searching for employment, members have the ability to leverage the Open Candidate feature so you, the recruiter, will know that they’re looking. This is as simple as them clicking a button in their settings, which privately notifies recruiters of their availability. This is a discreet way for contractors to keep themselves working, and recruiters to identify very interested prospects.

LinkedIn’s Open Candidate feature is now being used by over 3.4 million members.

Here are the other key indicators that should be looked at during the scouting process, when the time comes to examine user-profiles and determine how serious they are about getting work.

  • How much of their profile is filled in?

If a candidate is trying to be noticed, chances are they’re going to lay the groundwork to try to stand out. Take a look at how complete their profile is, how many connections they have, whether or not they’ve listed their previous places of employment along with their job titles, and any other relevant information.

  • Look at the quality and amount of their contacts

As we said earlier, the quantity of connections is good, but quality matters, too. If they have strong business connections, executives, managers and any other field personnel, this indicates strong networking skills. This doesn’t sell a candidate necessarily, it just speaks for their character and work ethic.

  • Look into their interactions with others

What, exactly, are they doing with their time spent on the platform? Are they involved in construction-related groups and discussions? Do they share content relevant to their niche, do they comment on the content of others and engage in conversation?

Looking into these areas will give you a sense of their professionalism, level of intellect, and experience within the industry.

Looking into their profile is just a micro area to focus on when it comes to handpicking the right candidates out of the crowd. You can also use advanced search, which will give you a shortlist of potential contractors, qualified for the role based on LinkedIn’s helpful SEO.


Develop Strong Local SEO

This is important for all businesses and industries, but when it comes to recruiting contractors, being easily found online serves a higher purpose.

Like we’ve mentioned earlier in the blog, contractors are online, open to recruitment, and actively looking. While you’re looking for them, in their spare time, they’re often looking for you. Being optimized in a Google search will generate that increased visibility for you, and better direct potential contractors with the experience and qualifications you need.

Here are some tips for building a strong local SEO so you can be easily found, and make sure the competition doesn’t reach your prospects first.

Just remember, Google’s algorithm changes 500-600 times in just one year alone! This means that any SEO strategy requires constant maintenance and tweaking. What works online one day may not work the next – in order to hold your spot in the initial results, you must maintain your website, and always be open to improvement.

Having a completed website will be reassuring to contractors considering your company, and having a strong SEO strategy will ensure that a well-designed website is visible to them.


Establish Autonomy and a Line of Communication 

Project management tools can really aid communication and autonomy in the workplace. According to a survey conducted by Statista, the most popular categories of the 197 billion apps downloaded in 2017 were:

  • Tools
  • Communication
  • Productivity

There are many highly rated productivity and task management apps specifically tailored to construction to choose from. You can make these available to all supervisors and contractors so everyone is kept in the loop, and can easily communicate about all projects and tasks. Some of the top ones include:


Assign tasks to all contractors across all jobs, which will notify them of the assignment

  • Monitor quality of work
  • Reopen or close jobs as it becomes relevant
  • Leave notes or highlight problem areas
  • Easily remove information from certain projects or devices to maintain security

Mobile Inspection

  • Create customized checklists
  • Score and rank your checklist to analyze trends
  • Link customers to inspections to avoid paperwork

These social tools promote inclusion and communication in the workplace. When contractors feel vital to the process, they work harder and commit for longer.

The independence offered doesn’t have to be over the top, but contractors appreciate being trusted and respected on the job. No employee enjoys micromanagement, so try to give them their working freedom, while establishing communication throughout so everyone is in the loop.

Instead of being told what to do and how to do it, it’s best to describe the job at hand and communicate with your contractors about what they believe the best course of action may be. You’re working with experienced individuals that have completed a range of projects, and different perspectives and input are always valuable. When their voices are heard and their opinions utilized, employees are more likely to be committed to the company, and always perform their best work. If they feel they can talk to you about alterations, issues, and potential problems, you’ll be creating a healthy, open work environment in which they can thrive!


Market Yourself Locally

In addition to the previously mentioned inbound methods of targeted search and search engine optimization, your construction company should be utilizing online job posting forums and local ads to convey job opportunities to locals in need of work. Indeed is currently the most popular job posting forum in the world with 250 million monthly visitors, is widely used in all industries, and would be a great start. Aside from this high volume of users, Indeed also adds nearly 10 jobs every second!

The age of in-person resume delivery is over and has been moved into the online realm. Indeed is always using advanced search engines to crawl websites and add more relevant job listings to their site, all completely through organic search.

Here were the best job sites in 2018. Let’s quickly break them down by main functions, identifying the strengths of all.


This website is a great job search engine, but the real benefit of it is the transparency it provides. Glassdoor provides information on the ins and outs of the role being written about, including salary, company culture, benefits, management, and more.

Transparency and honesty are important for recruitment; whether the majority of posts are positive or negative, contractors will receive honest insights about the company.


Here’s the popular networking platform again! This approach is great because it allows you to network more freely within the confines of the platform, rather than simply filling out an application, or submitting a resume.

The networking is what makes LinkedIn so unavoidable when it comes to using the platform for job search. You have the potential to connect with hiring managers and employees and make lasting connections. As mentioned earlier, you can always use the Open Candidate feature to let nearby employers know that you’re completely available for them or to set up your next project if your current one is coming to an end.


Last but not least, the online job posting giant! Indeed is great in many ways, and one of the best things about it is it costs absolutely nothing to use.

Interestingly enough, Indeed also does a great job of crawling other pages in search of job listings on other websites, and lists them to give the best results to the searcher. Indeed also offers advanced filtering, location filtering, and for you to craft a resume within the platform.

As an employer, it’s a great idea to utilize at least one or all of these platforms to increase visibility for your listing, and make sure your candidates have an easy time finding you!

In the construction industry, you can’t be too careful with how you recruit your team, given high turnover rates and the need for skilled labourers. You want to do a thorough job planning your recruitment strategy, all to retain hard-working individuals and help them to grow the industry with you.