What to look for in workers as well as what you can do to find the best construction team.

So, you are finally getting the ball moving on a big project, and it’s time to start hiring a team. Or maybe you are already a commercial contractor company looking for more workers. Either way, you need people to work construction, so what should you look for? Anyone can swing a hammer right? Well, even if that were true, there is a big shortage of construction workers across the US right now, and there will be for the forseeable future. You probably won’t have as much choice as you think you do, so you need to make the choices you do make count.

The best way to learn about someone is during the interview process, so we have compiled some interview questions and answers that you should be looking for. It’s not set in stone that these have to be answered during the interview only, they could be email correspondance, a phone call, whatever. The point is that you find out this information before hiring someone.

What to learn about your workers before hiring them

What is the worker best at?

Before hiring someone, find out what her/his specialty is. Your site will be far more efficient if you hire people to their strengths. So, it’s a good idea to ask questions like: “What is part of the construction process are you best at?” Or “What construction job do you have the best results with?” You should get specific answers like window installation, roofing, and working with concrete.

However, someone’s opinion may not add up to reality. Don’t forget to ask for specific past examples in which the worker excelled at his/her favorite job.

Of course, when you are hiring, hire people whose favorite work is what you need done the most.

What is his/her range of skills?

You may hire someone as a general contractor and find out that he or she is a ropes access technician and can work at heights on your project doing specialized work like welding. You may find that your workers are certified for a much wider range of jobs than you were initially hiring for. This is good because it can save you money on hiring subcontractors for specialized jobs.

 

Ask questions like: “What skills are you certified in?” Or “Do you have any skills not mentioned on your resume that you can bring to this project?” “What are you comfortable with?” is another good one, as you will find out if your worker can handle cramped spaces or heights.

 

What experience does the worker have with PPE and following safety rules?

Construction is inherently more dangerous than most other work. You obviously want to hire workers who can account for their own safety and be responsible for the safety of others. Look for people who know how to follow the laws and use safety equipment properly.

You can ask things like: “What experience do you have wearing X PPE?” (PPE stands for personal protective equipment). Or “How would you act in a given dangerous situation?” Your first goal in asking questions like this is to make sure that the worker has experience and will follow regulations. The second reason to ask these questions is to find out how she/he does risk assessment. Will this person try using heavy equipment after an ice storm? Will he/she understand what parts of a construction site need to be shut down in extreme cold/heat/humidity?

Blueprint reading skills, do you have them?

“Can you read blueprints? If so, how comfortable are you doing so?” Is a great interview question. Not only can you get a good answer, but you can certainly follow up and test it by showing the worker a blueprint and asking him/her to read it accurately.

This skill indicates good previous construction experience and critical thinking skills.

What about mathematics skills?

Construction often involves math skills. Calculating the quantity of cement to fill a foundation or the amount of time it will take to complete a project based on the time it has taken to finish one part of it involves some critical thinking and math skills. “How good are you at math?” Or a specific math question pertaining to your project is a great way to start that conversation.

For a great list of interview questions, check out Esub’s list for hiring a better team.

You can help yourself too

When hiring a team, there are certainly things you can do on your side alone to make it easier. The quality of the people you put together isn’t based on their own skills, personalities, and experiences alone. Here are some ways to ensure you get the best team before you even start talking to anyone.

Plan ahead

Don’t start hiring at the last minute. The longer you have between when you start hiring and when the project starts, the more time you have to assemble the ideal team.

Be clear with what you want

If workers know exactly what is asked of them, then they will be happier on the job, more prepared, efficient, and safer. During the interview process, you should make it unquestionably clear what specific job you are hiring someone for. Is she/he a foreman, project manager, general contractor, or specialist? What will his/her responsibilities be exactly? Make sure you know this information so that your workers will too.

Be competitive in your offer

This means you should not only offer competitive pay, but also room for advancement. If you are hiring general contractors, let them know about programs in your company to progress, specialize, and eventually manage projects. On top of that, if you want better more professional workers, offer better, more professional pay. You get what you pay for.

Ready to start your project?

If so, Reliable Commercial Construction is here to help. We have a 200 plus person team of experienced construction contractors ready for projects of any range. Visit our site and check out our previous accomplishments, or ask us for advice about your project. We are ready to show you our unrelenting quality of service.