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The Importance of Human Resources in Construction

September 18 2017 - When it comes to the construction industry, implementing and keeping track of human resources policies is often much more difficult than other industries. Due to the nature of construction, HR professionals face a lot of challenges when implementing and enforcing policies. In this industry, HR is an especially important department; not least when it comes to finding skilled craftsmen from an often limited talent pool. For HR professionals, a thorough understanding of recruitment, training, and retention is essential for running an effective human resources department in the construction industry.

#1. Lean Talent Pool

One of the biggest challenges facing HR professionals in the construction industry is that the industry often requires a specific skill-set that may be difficult to locate. HR professionals working in construction must search for and recruit qualified, experienced applicants on a project-specific basis; since each project may be different, finding the right people for the job will often take a lot of time and effort to achieve. This is often made even trickier by the fact that construction projects typically begin at short notice once a tendering bid is won. Due to the nature of the industry, construction companies usually only bring in contractors once they are sure that they have secured the contract. For HR professionals, this can mean searching a lean talent pool for the right applicants in a short period of time.

#2. Industry Training

Once the right professionals for the job have been found, it's then the job of the HR department to ensure that they are properly trained in respect to the specific requirements of the contract. The HR department will need to implement important policies for continued training, whether this includes the use of project-specific machinery and equipment, health and safety training, or obtaining specific types of certification for projects such as green building. Even when working with applicants who have obtained an online civil engineering degree, it's vital for the HR department to ensure that any additional certificates and training programs specific to the project are completed.

#3. Employee and Contractor Retention:

Due to the nature of the construction industry, it can be difficult for HR professionals to ensure the retention of contractors and employees. For example, a civil engineer graduating with a respected online MCE degree may find various employment contracts for several projects one after the other, rather than settling into a career with a single employer for a prolonged period. Since the construction industry tends to work on a project-by-project basis, employee retention can present more of a challenge to the HR department than in most other industries. HR policies for employee retention should focus on incentive-based bonuses when project milestones are reached, along with project-based incentives and benefits such as accommodation, vehicles, and allowances for tools and equipment. Financial reimbursement for any required additional qualifications may also be offered to encourage better retention of construction employees.

#4. Safety

While all places of business will pose some sort of risk of injury, even minor ones, the risk is increased in construction. It can be an extremely dangerous place to work, so HR professionals have their work cut out for them to make it as safe as possible for employees. HR needs to ensure that certain protocols are in place, safety methods are updated to reflect any changes, and that everyone adheres to these rules.

HR inside the construction industry is unlike many other industries, with a unique set of challenges to be faced.

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