Tag Archive for 'Construction Industries'

3 Secrets to Hiring Top Construction Talent

Attend the education session “Top 10 Secrets to Successful Hiring” on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at CONEXPO-CON/AGG.

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Top talent looks for career opportunities differently than they did a few years ago. This is largely attributable to technology. People have more access to information about job openings. There is also an increased level of employer transparency.

Websites like Indeed and Glassdoor have become quite influential. If you have a company with more than 100 employees, you’ll have an online presence whether you want one or not. Regardless of the size of your company, your online reputation has to be positive, which requires ongoing management. Some construction firms still don’t recognize this fact.

It’s also important to recognize the fact that traditional job postings aren’t as effective as they used to be. Studies have shown that job candidates often abandon the application process if it takes more than a few minutes. Part of that is because most postings are written from the employer’s point of view as opposed to the candidate’s, and we’re all moving at lightning speed today. The other part is that many employers fail to respond to job applicants in a timely fashion. As a result, people have been conditioned to distrust the traditional job posting and application process. Also, top performers no longer need to search job postings because industry connections contact them on a regular basis about solid career opportunities.

Construction firms can still attract top talent to their companies. They just need the right mindset and hiring process that accommodates today’s changes in candidate behavior.

We have assembled a list of top secrets to hiring top talent in the construction industry. Here’s a look at a few of them.

SECRET #1 – TREAT RECRUITING LIKE MARKETING AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Think about all of the planning and effort you put into client acquisition and retention. The same should be done for your employees. This takes commitment and consistency in doing the right things, such as proper outreach and follow-up, maintaining a strong brand and company culture, and creating career paths your employees and candidates can see. Finally, treat candidates exactly like prospective clients during your interview process.

SECRET #2 – BUILD A TALENT PIPELINE

It’s not enough to just put up a job posting or help wanted sign when you have a position to fill. Construction companies should be constantly building their talent pipeline.

To build a pipeline of future candidates for general labor or trades positions, it’s important to establish relationships with local high schools, technical schools and colleges. It’s also helpful to participate in workforce development programs in your area. In non-union areas, it is wise to consider an apprenticeship program.

With respect to office and management positions, there is competition for top talent. The first thing companies should do is “mine” the contacts of their employees. For example, ask your estimators to identify who they know to be good estimators. Collect their information and enter it into an applicant tracking system, or something simpler such as a Microsoft Outlook database or Excel spreadsheet.

After the list is developed, create some sort of communication mechanism, such as a quarterly company newsletter you can email to prospective employees. Let these people know what is going on with your company and the great projects you are working on. The goal is to keep it newsworthy while also creating some excitement around your company and culture.

Another good tactic is to connect with people on social media. For construction companies, Instagram and LinkedIn seem to be the most effective. A company Facebook page is also worth considering. Establish company pages that are regularly updated with newsworthy, engaging posts. Again, this takes commitment. But once you build up a community, you can start to post job openings that generate interest from top talent.

One other good tactic is to connect with your vendors, suppliers and consultants. They likely know people with the expertise you seek and can help you spread the word when you are looking for top talent.

SECRET #3 – CREATE BETTER JOB DESCRIPTIONS

When I speak to construction company leaders, I usually tell them to ditch the traditional job description. Most are fraught with “hiring bias” and prevent companies from attracting the best candidates for a given job.

For example, we had a client who was looking for a staff accountant to handle accounts payable, as well as prepare union payroll and reporting. The person writing the job description wanted to ask for at least three years of accounting experience, as well as an accounting degree from a top university. I immediately saw a disconnect.

I talked with the client about the most important performance outcomes of this position. The client cited the ability to meet deadlines, accurately enter information into the system, create accurate reports, and obtain the necessary approvals in a timely fashion. None of those essential performance outcomes really required three years of accounting experience, much less an accounting degree. So why did we want to limit our candidate pool to that? We could be missing out on some very detail-oriented people with great clerical and time-management skills.

I always advise clients to make a list of the top five or six performance outcomes a new hire must deliver in order to be successful. This is a road map to not only making a good hire, but attracting top performers to your company in the first place.

WANT TO LEARN MORE SECRETS TO SUCCESSFUL HIRING?

Be sure to attend my session at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020, North America’s largest construction trade show. It’s being held March 10-14 in Las Vegas. Visit CONEXPO/CON-AGG for more information.

AEM Elects 2020 Officers, New Directors

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) announces its 2020 officers as well as directors elected to the AEM Board of Directors and AG and CE Sector Boards at its recent annual business meeting. 

Chair Jeffrey Reed, President & CEO, Reed International/VSS Macropaver

2020 AEM Officers are:

  • Chair Jeffrey Reed, President & CEO, Reed International/VSS Macropaver
  • Vice Chair Steven Berglund, President & CEO, Trimble Inc.
  • Ag Chair Jerry Johnson, President Farm, Ranch & Agriculture Div., Blount International Inc.
  • CE Chair Rodney Schrader, Chairman & CEO, Komatsu America Corp.
  • Treasurer Todd Stucke, Sr. VP Marketing, Product Support & Strategic Projects, Kubota Tractor Corp.
  • Secretary Dennis Slater, President, AEM

AEM officers and directors come from an industry cross section and work on behalf of all member companies to provide strategic direction and guidance for the association’s initiatives in areas including public policy representation, market information and equipment statistics, trade shows, product safety and technical support.

“AEM benefits from the support of our member companies and the leadership talents of our Board members, and we greatly appreciate their active participation,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “Their engagement and contributions help ensure that we deliver quality results as we continue to build momentum for the equipment manufacturing industry and offer the best possible services and programs for members.”

Directors elected to the AEM Board of Directors: 

  • Ted Bojanowski, VP Sales and Marketing, Parker Hannifin Corp.
  • Grant Godbersen, VP Manufacturing, GOMACO Corp.
  • Michael Haberman, President, Gradall Industries Inc.
  • Jerry Johnson, President Farm Ranch & Agriculture Division, Blount International Inc.
  • Philip Kelliher, VP Americas Distribution Services Marketing, Caterpillar Inc.
  • Leif Magnusson, President, CLAAS of America Inc.
  • Ray O’Connor, President & CEO, Topcon Positioning Systems Inc.
  • Brad Olson, Vice President, Two Rivers Marketing 
  • Austin Ramirez, President & CEO, Husco 
  • Jeffrey Reed, President & CEO, Reed International/VSS Macropaver
  • Todd Stucke, Sr. VP Marketing, Product Support & Strategic Projects, Kubota Tractor Corp.

Directors elected to the AEM AG Sector Board:

  • Grant Adolph, COO, Buhler Industries Inc.
  • Kim Boccardi, VP Marketing, Titan International
  • Fernando Cuccioli, Exec. VP Cluster Americas, DeLaval Inc.
  • Charlene Finck, Div. President Producer Media, Farm Journal
  • Gene Fraser, VP Global Sales & Marketing, MacDon Industries Ltd.
  • David Gilmore, Senior VP Global Marketing, Ag & Turf Div., Deere & Co.
  • Jerry Johnson, President Farm, Ranch & Agriculture Div., Blount International Inc.
  • Darryl Matthews, Sr. VP Natural Resources, Trimble Inc.
  • Brian Nelson, President & Chairman, HCC Inc.
  • Viren Popli, President & CEO, Mahindra USA Inc.
  • James Wessing, President, Kondex Corp. 
  • Jeremy Yoder, COO, DISTek Integration Inc.

Directors elected to the AEM CE Sector Board:

  • Brian Bieller, President & Regional GM, Dynapac
  • Mary Erholtz, VP of Marketing, Superior Industries Inc.
  • John Grote, Global VP, Sales & Marketing, Grote Industries Inc.
  • Willie Harbert, VP Sales, Eaton 
  • Robert Mortensen, President Off Highway Div., Husco 
  • Frank Nerenhausen, President, JLG Industries Inc. 
  • Ray O’Connor, President & CEO, Topcon Positioning Systems
  • Rick Rodier, Group VP, Construction Businesses, The Toro Company
  • Ingo Schiller, President North America Operations, Tadano America Corp.
  • Johannes Schulze Vohren, Exec. VP Sales & Marketing, Wacker Neuson Corp.
  • David Thorne, Sr. VP Worldwide Sales & Marketing, Construction & Forestry Div., Deere & Co. 
  • Patrick Weiler, President, Weiler

AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers, with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry in the United States supports 1.3 million jobs and contributes roughly $159 billion to the economy every year.

Learn more about AEM at www.aem.org.

DEWALT® Introduces ToughSystem® 2.0 Radio & Charger

DEWALT® announces the ToughSystem® 2.0 Radio & Charger (DWST08820), delivering powerful 360° sound and durability. Available in November 2019, it’s the first product in an upcoming relaunch of the original ToughSystem product line, first announced in 2011. More information will be available on the rest of the line in early 2020.

Features of the ToughSystem 2.0 Radio & Charger include Dynamic Range Control that gives users the optimal sound for indoor or outdoor use, via selectable settings. It incorporates four integrated, high-performance full-range speakers, an active subwoofer, and passive bass resonator, all driven by a 55W RMS amplifier to provide audio clarity. Compatible with all existing ToughSystem and future ToughSystem 2.0 modular storage solutions, the radio interface is intuitive and with robust stacking and locking side latches it’s easy to assemble and disassemble.

Integrated Bluetooth® connectivity enables the radio and music from mobile devices to be controlled remotely via the DEWALT Sound Systems Android™ / iOS® operating system mobile apps. A 2.1A USB port is included on the radio for mobile device charging while a large compartment on top provides storage and protection for a battery, phone and the included AC power cable. The radio is also fully compatible with DEWALT 12V MAX*, 20V MAX* and FLEXVOLT® battery platforms (batteries are sold separately). Not only can the radio run off DEWALT batteries for cordless operation, it can also charge DEWALT batteries when it’s plugged in via the optional AC power cable.

With a wide top handle, the radio is engineered for the jobsite. It’s IP54 rated for dust and water resistance and its construction is reinforced to withstand daily use in tough conditions. The radio also features a large, full color LCD motion-flipping display, rubberized keypad, and touch-sensitive buttons. Available where DEWALT products are sold in November 2019, the ToughSystem 2.0 Radio & Charger (battery and charger are sold separately) is the perfect solution for jobsites, workshops, and vans.

*With respect to 12V MAX – Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 12 volts. Nominal voltage is 10.8. With respect to 20V MAX – Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. Nominal voltage is 18. With respect to 60V MAX – Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 60 volts. Nominal voltage is 54.

The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by DEWALT is under license. Android is a trademark of Google LLC. IOS is a trademark or registered trademark of Cisco in the U.S. and other countries and is used under license to Apple Inc.

FEATURES & SPECS

FEATURES

  • Listen to live radio or stream music from your Bluetooth® enabled device
  • Color LCD display and touch screen capability
  • Works with and charges DEWALT 12V MAX*, 20V MAX* and FLEXVOLT® batteries. Batteries not included.
  • IP54 rating
  • 55W RMS amp, 4 Full Range Speakers, 1 Active Subwoofer and 1 Assisted Bass Resonator for loud, high quality sound
  • Large compartment to store your mobile devices
  • USB charger (2.1A) and AUX port
  • ToughSystem® Compatible
  • Dynamic range control for indoor and outdoor environments
  • App gives you full remote control

SPECIFICATIONS

  • HEIGHT 15.21 IN
  • SYSTEM 12V MAX* , 20V MAX*
  • TOOL WEIGHT 15.2 LBS
  • WIDTH 21.645 IN

4 Steps Before Deciding What Works Best for You

Editor’s Note: When a new technology is introduced to the market, you can’t help but think, “will this give me a competitive advantage?” Unfortunately, the answer won’t come from the sales person or tech expert you’re contacting.  Only you can determine whether a technology is the right solution for the challenges you face.

Tauhira Ali, senior manager of construction technology at Milwaukee Tool is speaking about this very situation at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in March. She says that your competitive advantage does lie within construction technology, but there are certain steps you have to take in order to tap into this advantage. If you would like more information about Tauhira or her session, please feel free to reach out.

Attend the education session “Gain a Competitive Advantage Through Construction Technology” on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at CONEXPO-CON/AGG. Register now

It happens more and more now. A new technology is introduced to the market and you think, “Will this give me a competitive advantage?” The answer won’t come from a salesperson, tech expert or trade magazine. Only you can determine whether a technology is the right solution for the challenges you face. Here are some steps to take before investing resources in technology that you think will give you a competitive advantage.

1. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM

“Before you can solve a problem, you need to identify it,” says Tauhira Ali, Senior Manager of Construction Technology at Milwaukee Tool. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your  current workflow and how will this change in the future? How do your processes compare with the competitive environment you’re working in?

Chances are that your challenge doesn’t exist in a silo so don’t keep your problem-solving effort in one either. Is it a process challenge? Equipment management? Productivity? Safety? Ali suggests empowering employees to better understand innovation and share their insights.  In that way you are more likely to find solutions that employees want to work with. “Focus on people and tasks. Know who you are and what you need,” she says.

2. INVESTIGATE

After you’ve identified the problem, start investigating. Technology solutions are rarely bought off the shelf these days. You need to get educated on products and solutions. Fortunately, there are many sources of information on the Internet including articles, podcasts, videos. “Find the leading suppliers in your market and invite them to help you solve your particular problem. Be vocal about what you want,” Ali says. “You are the customer, explain your needs. Tell them what your deal breakers are. While you are learning from them, they are learning from you.”  

Construction technology startup companies received $1.05 billion in investment from venture capitalists in the first half of 2018, a record high. Startups and well established companies can introduce you to something you are unaware of such as wearables to improve safety or the latest in drone technology. Convey your high standards and insist the provider you work with share or exceed that standard.

3. FIND THE OPPORTUNITY

Assess the benefits of any solution suggested. Does it fit within your existing processes? Does it offer a more efficient process? What gains will you see and when? Can you test it on a small scale before implementing something more robust? Again, know who you are and establish a process that works.

Investment in technology can bring unforeseen advantages. It can make talent recruitment easier, bringing in skilled people who use data to assist with in-house and on-site decision making. The best people are attracted to companies that are innovating and outpacing their competitors. They see growth opportunities for their careers. Ali previously created technology solutions and assessed business viability for products and platforms in the automotive and aerospace industries before joining Milwaukee Tool. “The construction industry is so ripe for innovation today and in the future of how we build,” she says.

4. PREPARE TO IMPLEMENT

Clean your house. New technology will work better within a strong foundation. That means documented processes, streamlined tasks, proven methods, and vision. It doesn’t need to be complicated, just clearly communicate how work is done and why. Define what success looks like so your progress can be measured. Be flexible. Pivot when necessary.

Market trend reports can help in assessing competition but don’t forget the value of peer groups who are not competitors. “Face-to-face communication at association meetings and trade conferences is always valuable,” says Ali.

Why Recruit Veterans

Beyond Workforce Development, Workforce Solutions

by Julie Davis,

Association of Equipment Manufacturers Director of Work Force Development.

Are you tired yet of pulling from the same employment pool? If the answer is yes, then you are ready to explore the new world of veteran recruitment. If you think that you’ve tried it, it doesn’t work for you or there is no one to recruit in your area, then you simply aren’t up to date. 

Why recruit Veterans?

Many companies find veterans to be more productive employees with lower turnover rates when compared to their nonveteran counterparts. Additionally, their past military background can give veterans distinctive capabilities and perspectives that can add insight and diversity to your team’s problem solving. Employers can also qualify for up to $10,000 in federal tax credits per veteran. 

There are multiple state and federal organizations that exist to connect employers with veterans. Many of them work with veterans before they leave active duty to ensure they have skills that can plug immediately into the workforce. Furthermore, just because you may not have a military base located near you is no longer a reason to exclude veterans from your search. Organizations looking to place veterans into employment include working to get veterans back to their home states if that is what they are looking for. Taking a few extra steps could mean providing a veteran the opportunity to truly come home.

Veteran Retainment

Approximately 40 percent of veterans leave their first job out of the military within a year of being hired. The transition can be challenging but there is some common sense, yet very real ways that you can position your company to retain your veterans. 

First, define what your motivation is to hire veterans. Then identify what skills, attitudes and experience would benefit your organization the most. (If you are not sure, simply find your best current employee in that position and identify their skills, attitudes and experiences.) 

Decide what a successful veteran hiring program for your organization looks like. Are you looking for just one or is this going to become a regular program? 

Identify the service branches, ranks and occupational specialties you might like to target. Don’t know? That’s okay because there’s multiple ways to connect. You could reach out to your state or local Veteran’ office and talk with someone or here are some great website you can connect with:

Understand the basics
https://content.iospress.com/articles/work/wor01987
(A brief introduction to military workplace culture)  
https://www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/docs/em_termsLingo.asp 
(Common Terms) 

Difference between the branches 
https://www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/mil_structure.asp

Difference between officer and enlisted ranks 
https://www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/docs/em_rank.asp

Civilian to Military Occupation Translator
https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/civilian-to-military-translator.aspx?frd=true

While building your veteran’s program, don’t forget to tap into your secret weapon – any veterans you are currently employing. Get their thoughts about skills and areas of service that might be a good fit. Don’t forget to ask them what about working for your organization might appeal to a veteran. After all, they have stayed with you! 

There are multiple employment organizations that will connect you with veterans. A few of my favorite include:

Hero’s MAKE America (Provides 10 weeks accelerated skills training for manufacturing)http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/Initiatives/Military-and-Veterans/Heroes-MAKE-America/Heroes-MAKE-America.aspx 

Hire a Hero
https://www.hireheroesusa.org/hire-a-veteran/ 

Bradley-Morris, Inc. (Specifically for Skilled Technicians)
https://www.bradley-morris.com/military-recruiting-firms/field-service-technician/

Orian Talent
https://www.oriontalent.com/military-job-seekers/enlisted-technicians/

Lastly, don’t forget that to retain your veteran, you may want to consider having some supports in place to make their transition smooth. Connect them to existing veterans in your workplace, let them know about opportunities for professional growth and advancement, and consider engaging current veterans in creating the program to ensure its effectiveness. 

Veterans who are coming out of service where they have worked with heavy equipment may be a perfect fit for the construction, agriculture, mining, utility or forestry industry sectors. Don’t let taking a few extra steps keep you from your next best hire.