If you're in the construction industry and looking to hire or be hired, there are several characteristics you should know about that make someone a valuable member of a construction crew. Head contractors need teams they can depend on to do the job right and further their company goals.
Sure, they want someone who can swing a hammer, tile a floor and do all the technical tasks the industry demands, but anyone looking to develop and sustain a professional, efficient and successful business is going to require employees with a whole lot more than construction know-how. Here are four essential traits all construction workers should possess.
1. Communication skills
When they're on a jobsite, construction workers represent their company, especially if the business owner is not always present. As construction is one of those processes that property owners don't necessarily understand but in which they are personally invested, clients may often press the team members for updates or explanations. It is critical for contractors to be able to communicate in a clear and professional manner in order to keep the customers in the loop and stress-free.
At the same time, since the manager likely can't be at every site all the time, they too will want frequent reports on progress and any complications that arise. Hiring employees who will be proactive in filling them in saves them a lot of time and effort in staying on top of the crew.
This particular characteristic is relatively easy to spot and should come across quite early on in an interview. If you're the one looking for talent, pay attention to the demeanor of your interviewees throughout the interaction, noting if they are straightforward, articulate and engaging. If you're on the other end of the interview, do your best to demonstrate strong communication skills, which you can showcase with effective listening, body language and confidence. Remember, being communicative doesn't mean rambling endlessly; it means making relevant conversation that signals to your interviewer that you are invested in the dialogue.
2. Open to feedback
We're all human, so instead of focusing on finding employees who won't make mistakes, managers should seek out individuals who will be receptive when their mistakes are pointed out. Pride has its time and its place, but in business, things run a lot more smoothly with employees who are prepared to hear, accept and implement feedback.
Construction is an industry in which clients can be quite particular about the final product, so even if the workers have done their jobs by the book, their employer may have to direct them to make certain changes to please the customer. In those instances, they will be grateful to have employees who are capable of rolling with the punches and will be inclined to trust them with more responsibility down the road.
3. Team player
Teamwork is an essential component of the construction sector, critical to both the success of the projects and, even more importantly, the safety of everyone on the jobsite. The ability to work well with others – which requires patience, open-mindedness, humility and, once again, communication – can be the difference between doing a good job and a perfect job, and it can also prevent oversights that result in serious damages or injury. While one highly skilled worker on their own is a great asset, it simply doesn't compare to the efficiency of a collaborative and synergetic team.
4. Totally dependable
Often in the construction sector, the client will have to meet the contractors onsite. Every good business owner knows that the customer's time is something to be valued and respected, so it is imperative for all employees to be punctual and reliable. This means showing up to jobsites on time (10 minutes early can't hurt either) and with the correct equipment.
Construction workers who aren't at the right place at the right time cost their managers the effort of tracking them down, as well as the customer's satisfaction, which can diminish future business prospects with the client and anyone with whom they share their experience. This one's a no-brainer – if a candidate turns up late for an interview, the red flags go up.
Knowing the ins and outs of the construction trade is just one component of being a quality contractor. Potential employees must also exhibit these four skills that are fundamental to the success and expansion of a construction company. With a team of workers who can communicate appropriately with clients, gracefully accept and apply feedback, work smoothly with one another, and be counted on to follow through, the sky(scraper) is the limit.