Almost every day, I see restoration companies posting openings on industry Facebook pages like the Rebels, NORRP, RIA Young Professional Restorers, and others. With the economy thriving, construction and restoration companies across the U.S. are growing, and all vying for top talent to fill a number of roles, especially as project managers and estimators on both the mitigation and reconstruction sides of the business.

According to the Associated General Contractors of America, 13,000 construction industry jobs were added in June alone. Altogether, the construction job market has added 282,000 jobs since June of last year, marking a 10-year high for the industry. But just because that many jobs have been added, doesn’t mean the spots are easily filled.

In the restoration industry, companies are quickly finding the best candidates who come through their doors are receiving multiple offers from other companies. Plus, they are receiving offers quickly. The old adage of “hiring slow” is great in theory, to be sure you are hiring people who are a good fit for your company’s culture – and have the right skills, but moving slowly can cause great candidates to walk away or accept another offer. When that happens, with the candidate market so tight and job market so hot, it can take days or weeks for a new, equally qualified candidate to come along. The simple truth is that candidates in today’s job market often have their pick of where they want to work. With today’s unemployment rate at 3.9 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is nothing short of a candidate’s market.

So what can you do to attract and retain talented team members for your company? Start by keeping the ball rolling once you have a good candidate engaged. Ask tough questions during the interview process, and don’t wait to call references or set up second interviews. Be clear from the beginning about the hiring process, and keep the candidate updated throughout to help keep them engaged. An open dialogue from the beginning will help you stay aware of what the candidate is looking for, and if they are fielding offers from your competitors.

Happy hiring! Thanks, as always, for reading and supporting R&R! I’m looking forward to seeing and meeting many of you at Preparing to Respond in October!