The Role of Construction Staffing Agencies in Building Strong Teams in the Pacific Northwest

Some call it “The Great Resignation.” Others call it a “workforce crisis.” Nicknames aside, the skilled labor shortage that dominated an employment landscape ravaged by COVID in 2021 has rolled on into 2022, and there are no signs of it slowing down. Consider these numbers from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • There were 10.6 million vacant job openings in the U.S. — a record high — at the end of November 2021. That means that if every unemployed worker started a job tomorrow, there would still be more than 2.5 million unfilled openings.
  • That’s because there is less than one available worker for every job opening. The ratio of 0.76 available workers per opening is the lowest it has ever been. The historical average, for context, is 2.7 workers/opening.
  • An overwhelming number (94%) of state and local chambers say businesses in their area are finding it difficult or very difficult to find workers.

Construction companies, in particular, face a talent shortage. According to research from Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the construction industry needs to attract an estimated 546,000 additional workers on top of the normal hiring pace to meet the labor demand. Fortunately, construction companies in the Pacific Northwest have a solution – working with a construction staffing agency.

What are the Core Functions of a Construction Staffing Agency?

Construction staffing agencies help companies find staffing for temporary, temp-to-hire, and permanent roles. If your staffing agency doesn’t currently have an employee on file that fits the job requirements you’re looking for, they’ll promote your opportunity on job boards, websites, and social media. From there, they’ll help you set up interviews and vet candidates. Once you’ve decided on a candidate, your agency will make an offer with the pay and benefits you specify.

How Do Staffing Agencies for Construction Contribute to the Building of Solid Teams?

In-house recruiting is critical, but sometimes construction staffing needs arise that call for reinforcements. Relying on luck to fill the extra positions associated with these needs isn’t a great idea, but developing a long-term relationship with a staffing agency could be a great solution. Here are six ways your construction staffing agency can help strengthen your team.

Match Candidates with the Right Skill Set and Experience

Construction staffing agencies are keenly aware of the different roles that comprise a build team:

  • A foreperson to take charge of large groups of construction crews. Obviously, leadership skills and management experience are desirable here.
  • A superintendent, or site manager, is responsible for day-to-day tasks on the job site. Attention to detail is critical in this position.
  • Project engineers who design new projects or facilities on site. A staffing agency can help you identify engineers who can grasp your vision and turn it into viable blueprints.
  • Schedulers ensure that all projects are kept on track. Using a construction staffing agency to find a scheduler can ensure that your hire has experience in developing project timelines and keeping everyone on task to meet deadlines.
  • Skilled labor roles call for employees who are experts at their craft. These could include carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders, and other specialists.
  • General laborers at your job site may not be specialists, but they are critical in providing the muscle to get jobs done. Filling these roles requires casting a broad net, but your construction staffing agency can help you quickly screen applicants to fill out a quality roster.

Have an Extensive Database of Construction Professionals

Staffing agencies rely on recruitment databases – searchable storehouses of jobs, contacts, applications, candidates, notes, and communications. At each step in the recruitment process, from lead generation to hiring, recruiters gather detailed information about your company’s opportunities and the candidates who have expressed an interest in construction. No matter how often you need to hire, your agency’s database continues to fill with viable candidates while refining the information available on each candidate.

Significantly Reduce the Time to Hire

With a construction staffing agency at the helm, you have a quick, efficient, and repeatable process from posting to offers. Not only does this help you fill critical positions quickly, but it also frees you from the administrative hassle of conducting a candidate search.

You won’t just save time with a staffing company – you’ll also save money. If you have a need for staffing that isn’t necessarily permanent, working with a staffing agency could allow you to bring on temporary employees that don’t come with costs like benefits and employer taxes.

Offer Flexible Staffing Solutions to Align with the Fluctuating Needs of Construction Projects

As mentioned earlier, construction staffing agencies use repeatable processes. But they also provide the agility to help you manage changing talent needs. If your company sees a spike in activity during the holidays or some other seasonal window, working with a staffing agency can save you the time and cost of filling the same positions yearly. And if you have a sudden, specific need for skilled labor due to shifting project requirements, construction staffing agencies can fill the gap.

Provide Trained Workers to Maintain a Safe Working Environment for Construction Companies

As a construction firm, your company’s critical priority is maintaining safety at job sites. Worksite accidents can result in devastating injuries and costly project delays. These incidents can tarnish your reputation and devalue your brand in the long term.

Construction staffing agencies are keenly aware of how potential hazards could affect temporary employees. They have a vested interest in promoting worksite safety – to keep their client businesses’ projects running smoothly and to protect the welfare of the employees they prefer. Partnering with a construction staffing agency that takes workplace safety as seriously as you do can help you mitigate the inherent risks of construction. Here’s how.

  • Pre-screening – Construction staffing companies prioritize safety from the beginning with laborious pre-screening. Staffing professionals vet applicants for dependability, experience, and safety history. Only qualified candidates make the first cut.
  • Safety training – One of the keys to maintaining a safe worksite is constant communication and consistent training. Construction staffing agencies are active participants in these processes. That’s why they regularly provide ongoing training and general safety information to the employees they recruit for a construction assignment. Topics covered include quickly identifying hazards, properly using equipment, using personal protective equipment (PPE), and adhering to safety regulations. Beyond initial training, staffing agencies commit to safety training to the next level by organizing briefings on ongoing potential risks that specific projects entail.
  • Verifying certifications – There are almost as many construction worker certifications as different worksite tools. They include the OSHA Safety Certificate, Forklift Safety and Inspector, Operator Certification (for saws and drills), Overhead Crane Operator, and many more. In addition to the pre-screening process, construction staffing agencies have specific tools to verify the certifications candidates claim to hold quickly.

Staffing Agencies Offer Continuity by Offering the Same Workers over the Course of the Project

Staffing needs in the construction industry can change from moment to moment, whether due to changing project specs, expanding work orders, or even unstable economic conditions. Staffing agencies offer you the flexibility of adjusting headcount to meet your changing shifting needs.

But there’s also something to be said for maintaining a stable roster of employees throughout a project’s lifecycle, and construction staffing agencies are up to the task. Just let your agency recruiter decide whether you prioritize candidates willing to participate in a long-term project or prefer staffing with maximum agility in mind.

Struggling to Find Quality Construction Talent?  Connect with a Top Temporary Staffing Agency in the Pacific Northwest to Build Your Dream Team

Construction deadlines are no joke. Missing inspection dates, facing cost overruns, weather delays – and shortages of qualified or reliable workers frequently cause all these issues. That’s why builders, contractors, and other companies depend on Opti Staffing when they need a construction temp agency that can quickly provide the people they need.

Since 1999, we have worked with companies to provide employees who fit their corporate culture and bring the skills and experience needed to impact the organization significantly. Want to learn more? Start here.