The benefits of involving executive search firms in the construction industry

Written by Luke Grice on November 13, 2019

Many organizations in the construction industry are not fully aware of the benefits associated with involving an executive search firm. Executive search firms utilize sophisticated methods and assessment techniques to source candidates that could not otherwise be reached.

In 2018, new construction in the United States was valued at 1.29 trillion US dollars, an increase of around 788 billion since 2011, with the residential sector a key driver of the pick-up due to low borrowing costs and wage growth continuing to increase demand for more housing units. In general, the US construction industry continues to grow, becoming one of the most robust and competitive in the world. The continuous growth of competition in the market is contributing to the level of pressure faced by C-Level executives as they battle to secure $MM deals. 

The need to hire and retain the best possible individuals is now more important than ever and it’s no secret that this can sometimes be a daunting and expensive task. The underlying issue in the construction industry tends to be the lack of skilled individuals available for hire – something that’s affecting the industry on a more global scale.  

Identifying the problem

A good executive search firm will always work closely with the client to understand the fundamental requirements behind the position. If the recruiter believes there’s a problem with the position, they will help to identify this and advise what should be changed. One of the biggest issues recruiters tend to face when approaching candidates about a position is the salary range. If the recruiter does not believe the salary reflects the seniority of the position, they will advise you on where they think it should be at.

Harrison Frazer has been successful in identifying a range of problems for our construction clients in the past. One of the main issues we have identified relates to the compensation package offered for the position. We have successfully consulted clients and provided them with insights into the expected compensation for a particular role which resulted in the placement of a candidate.

An outside view

A business within the construction sector tends to specialise in one area – constructing homes, bridges, offices, airports etc. Internal talent teams and hiring managers tend to focus heavily on what has worked in the past, a decision that can be unwise in an ever-changing marketplace.

An outside view can be beneficial to organisations within the construction industry, especially when trying to secure new contracts in areas that the business would not usually specialise in. This can also present candidates who possess a different skill set whom can lead the business in a different direction. Such a method may be beneficial when looking for guidance on a newly created executive role.

A good Executive Search firm will approach your search with a fresh perspective. It’s about finding a talent solution to foster your company’s success and then knowing where to quickly find, engage and bring that talent to you for consideration.

The “hidden talent pool”

In-house recruitment teams tend to typically focus on speed and efficiency over potential – individuals who are actively seeking new opportunities are already located in the area. This approach eventually leads to sourcing an individual, but this individual may not be the perfect match or posses the desired skill set or experience.

An internal attempt to reach a wide scope of talented individuals at a senior level can become expensive and time-consuming. The involvement of an executive search firm increases the chance of finding that perfect individual who is not particularly looking for a new opportunity and is not actively applying for roles. These organisations tend to have developed long-lasting relationships with candidates based all over the country. 

Harrison Frazer has been successful in placing construction candidates in the majority of larger states. Through years of work and dedication, we have been able to develop relationships across the Construction & Engineering and Real Estate & Homebuilding sectors.

Access to retained search services

More senior roles are filled by retained executive search consultants than any other recruitment process, according to Gated Talent.  Retained search is a much more effective and rigorous approach which tends to provide a richer pool of talent. On retained searches, Harrison Frazer utilises a dedicated research team who thoroughly research the market, providing every candidate who qualifies for the position. This talent pool is then narrowed down, providing the client with a shortlist of candidates whom might be of interest to them.

Managing the hiring process can become a challenging task. Executive search firms manage the process for you – taking the majority of the weight of your shoulders. Harrison Frazer manages the process from the first stage – arranging interviews, collecting references and even offering follow-up calls after placement.

To summarise, the best recruiters will take time to understand the business and it’s needs and ensure that the candidates that they provide possess the skills to drive the business forward whilst also fitting into the existing culture.