Headhunters in Construction / The importance of managing the need for employees, as well as the need for a job!
The use of what is referred to as, a headhunter (employment agency), in the construction, design and engineering industry has become an extremely popular and necessary process for both employers and employees.
Why is the use of a headhunter necessary and often unavoidable?
1.) Not all construction companies are capable of having their own HR departments, which constantly identify candidates, as well as evaluate company personnel requirements. The headhunter performing as an independent consultant becomes a valuable tool for any company.
2.) Theoretically the headhunter has the ability to solicit all of the perspective applicants that may be qualified and available for various positions. Each headhunter’s specific ability is used as the basic calling card of the various competing headhunters. Each one will identify their specific ability to service your employment needs, as well as perspective candidates for a job.
3.) It is easier to allow an independent and focused entity, the headhunter, to assume the responsibility of filling positions with qualified individuals.
4.) The majority of individuals that are seeking employment will use this rapidly expanding industry engaged in the headhunting business.
5.) The ability of soliciting candidates from around the country, via the internet, has caused the business of personnel placement to explode. Without the guidance of a headhunter, it is virtually impossible for a small or even large construction, design or engineering company to become acquainted with all of the best personnel for the job.
A few words of caution to employers.
Although the use of headhunters specializing in the construction industry will initially appear to be the method of finding the correct individual, every employer should carefully determine which headhunter is the proper representative for the company. Care should be taken to decipher the various techniques and seductive methods that the selected headhunter will use.
1.) Analyze and review the various radio and television ads that will identify the ease and degree of success that the specific employment services uses. Try to contact other companies that have had headhunters find personnel for them. It is always better to research the industry, prior to deciding which specific headhunter you will use.
2.) Analyze and review all of the internet advertisement identifying the application processes and data basis that are used by each employment service to find the proper candidates for your business. Try to actually speak to an individual from the employment service to attempt to establish a personnel contact with the company.
3.) Be prepared for a bombardment of candidates, once you have signed up. Attempt to discuss the types of candidates that you require as well as your business culture that the employee will need to fit into.
4.) Define the various selective processing systems and filters that are being used to select the proper candidates for your use. It is important to identify any unknown filters that the employment agency may use to select the candidates for your employment requirements. If you have no age restrictions, or the salary restrictions are incorrectly filtered, there could be a number of viable candidates that are not presented to your company due to inaccurate filtering and selection processes.
5.) Analyze and compare the fees and costs that will be incurred by the selection of an employment agency. Remember this is all based upon how much money can be made by the employment agency and each one will use different techniques to obtain that money.
A few words of caution to the perspective job seeker.
Although it will appear that the use of the internet will broaden your ability to introduce yourself around the country, care should be taken, regarding the various and seductive methods the employment agency industry will use on you, as the perspective job seeker.
1.) Sensibility must be maintained during the initial excitement generated by the barrage of positions initially available. You must understand that the sooner you select a position, the better financially for the employment agency.
2.) There will be a continuous generation of propaganda, by the employment companies, to keep you interested and to keep you sending your resume out. There will normally be several opportunities for you to submit your resume. Patience is a virtue when interacting with the employment agency at this point in your search.
3.) Do not become overly excited about the repeated communication by the companies regarding how many times your resume was viewed, how many opportunities are available out in the marketplace, etc. Always remember that this is a very competitive business and each specific employment agency, must keep you interested and entertained.
4.) Remain aware of the build-up in excitement as well as the proposed opportunities presented by the employment agencies as they attempt to obtain more and more money. As with the employer hiring the employment agency, the employee will also be seduced into bigger and better job selections, better placement of your resume, etc. Any technique that can be used to obtain more and more of your money. Be aware of this!
In general, both the employer and the job seeker must realize the following regarding the use of computerized employment agencies.
1.) Each employment agency is out to make money. Although this is an obvious statement, in the internet employment marketplace, the use of the internet allows the making of money, without any of the so-called leg work. Remember, the role of a headhunter used to include the necessity to personally contact each perspective employer and employee. The personnel interaction was the principal method of obtaining a position and phone calls, lunch meetings, etc. were common place. This is not the case in the internet headhunting business.
2.) The more resumes that are being reviewed by the employer, the more positive propaganda are transmitted to the employment seeker. However, the dilution of the marketplace by countless resumes and job offers will quickly indicate to both the employer and the employee the meaning of the phrase “lost in the numbers “of the entire process.
3.) The employment agency will use computerized filters to sort the resumes received. Although they will normally deny the use of general filters, filters are used. It is imperative that the employer using the agency find out about the filters and the selection processes. It is extremely difficult for the job seeker to find this out.
4.) The employment agency will indicate to you, the employer, that only the filters that you request will be used. This claim must be fact checked by the employer. Again, the use of filters and processes to select the proper candidates for the position are initially all computer based. Therefore any special individual that is attempting to get through the initial filtering will have difficulty if they do not comply with all of the analytical requirements. Remember, the personal characteristics of an individual will not influence the initial filtering process. This, in many cases, can be a detriment to a job seeker as well as the employer looking for that special person.
5.) On both sides of the equation, the employer and the employee, the constant attempts to move you up the ladder of status within the employment agency will be promoted. Dependent upon the individual agency, the use of levels of importance may be identified by the use of bronze, silver and gold, or moderate, advanced and premium. Whatever the identification, the idea is to seduce you, the client, whether as an employer or employee, to spend more money to move up the ladder. The interesting thing about this process is that the yearly membership for the job seeker is always the “best buy”. Hopefully the job seeker will not require the use of a full year membership if the employment agency is adequately performing their job.
6.) The internet and the use of email and the electronic media have deteriorated the employment process to a computer controlled numbers game. This fact must be realized by both the employer and the employee looking for a job.
7.) There is normally, no real personal, involvement with a candidate, until the computerized process has run its course. This is a very important concept to understand. Therefore if you do not fall into the age filtering category, you will never be called, if you do not fit into the salary filtering category, you will never be called. However, as with all analytical filtering processes, you could miss the mark by one year or one thousand dollars. Does this miss, make you not suitable for the position, or does it necessarily fit into the “not interested “category for the company looking for that correct individual? No, of course it does not, however, neither you nor the company will ever know this has occurred, because the analytical filter, kicked you off the field, before the first snap of the ball!
Now that we have briefly summarized the current headhunter, employment agency dilemma, what steps can be taken by a construction, design or engineering company to more intimately and successfully fulfill their employment requirements?
1.) On a constant basis, continually look for, and solicit individuals that you might want to employ. Develop a data base of individuals that could be contacted, if the correct employment opportunity presents itself.
2.) Understand that the best method of identifying competence and dedication is by watching the individual at work. There is no better method of filtering and processing the credentials of an individual than by watching that person in action. Resume’s, project lists and the ability to properly interview is usually not as representative as watching that individual perform a function for another company.
3.) Be bold, and ask for resumes and private phone numbers from all individuals that you may have an interest in, and add this data to the database for the company. I am sure that you all have database data for subcontractors and suppliers, do the same for perspective employees.
4.) Inform your employees that they all should be on the lookout for good individuals. It is very important that all employees are on the lookout for their replacement in the company. This stimulates competition and instills a sense of accomplishment and success throughout the company. If an employee is afraid of finding someone else that performs better than they do, then maybe that employee should be replaced by another more fitting applicant?
5.) Develop a culture within the company, that the future success of the company, and everyone involved, is the selection and employment of the correct people. To build a company will require intelligent and ambitious employees; these individuals should be sought after and convinced to join your successful company.
6.) Try to develop an extremely positive culture for all of your employees, which will generate an overall desire for others in the industry to be a part of your organization. Make your company the best place to work by stimulating the advancement of current employees and creating nothing but a positive and energetic atmosphere.
7.) Focus on the individual, not the resume. Watching a person within the work environment is the best method of properly selecting a future employee. Discuss the goals of each individual that you can make contact with. It is important not to generalize on age, salary, culture, etc. Some of the most interesting and successful employees will never make it past the initial filtering process of the computerized agencies. Diversity is the key to success!
8.) Understand that a future employee could excel in your culture, even though the resume or even their paperwork trail does not fully support that individual. It is imperative that all employers understand the variety of possible employees that are in the marketplace and attempt to make contact with as many as possible. Numbers will provide opportunities and employers must generate their employment interests, by constantly promoting the company and looking for that special person.
Now that we have briefly summarized the current headhunter, employment agency dilemma, as well as the steps that the employer can take, what steps can be taken by an individual that is looking for employment with a successful construction, design or engineering firm.
1.) Always try to maintain a professional attitude, and perform whatever job you are currently doing, in the most professional manner possible. You must understand that your abilities are constantly being judged and evaluated. You will never know when that perspective employer is watching, and calculating your value to their organization.
2.) If you are already in the construction, design or engineering field, be constantly on the lookout for that company, which you would like to work for. There are many types of companies, company policies, company objectives and company values. The culture of all companies is different, and the proper placement within a company must be carefully evaluated. Be aware of what others in the business say about a company, and visualize yourself in that company.
3.) If you are unemployed and looking for that job, review all of the relationships that you might already have. Are there any relationships, which could insert you into the employment situation that you would like? What personal or professional relationships or friendships, have you developed that could assist you, in your attempts to find work? This is not a time to be shy or coy, it is important that you get your name out into the industry as a person needing a job!
4.) Try to stay visible in the industry. Whether this is by attending social functions, eating at the proper restaurants, or simply being active in the construction community. It is essential that you make yourself known and continually contact others and promote your ambitions. It is not a bad idea to actually create a business card that you can leave with individuals that you meet, to allow them the ability to easily find your contact information.
5.) Create a private website that you can post your resume and past projects on. The use of a private website is extremely impressive, and can provide the ability for any potential employer to access your information. In addition, a private website will identify your ambition as well as your creativity when it comes to problem solving. The ability of an individual, when discussing you to another person to indicate your website is invaluable for contact information as well as personal information.
6.) Find a private, personal employment agency, which actually spends the time to get to understand your employment needs, as well as understands who you are. It is vitally important that you do not fall into the overall computer generated employment agency data base, that simply makes you a number without even meeting you. The personal touch is very important in the employment marketplace. Understanding the needs of an employer and creatively connecting the proper job seeker with that employer must be a human experience and not simply a analytical filtering process.
Although the creation of the computerized employment agencies, or headhunters, allows access by employers and employees to the entire world, this is not necessarily the best for either party. The dilution of the old fashioned methodology of the headhunter mentality, of personally knowing the individual that is seeking a position, and understanding the actual companies that are in need for specific employees unfortunately is a thing of the past. I have been placed in my career, by some of the most sincere and caring individuals that have placed me with companies that needed my expertise and I needed them. Unfortunately this individual focus and specific placement individuality is a thing of the past, we all need to find a happy medium that will place individuals in positions that they will succeed at.
The current method of computer generated applications and placement, will not achieve the goal of successful placement of the individuals based upon human characteristics and employer cultures.
It is important that both the employer and the job seeker understand the limitations of the current methods of resume sending and interview scheduling. For success, the process must be made more personal and more consistent with understanding the employer’s culture and how it relates to the personal characteristics of employees.