Nailing your face-to-face interviews and the offer process is key to the right heavy civil, heavy highway, and commercial construction talent your firm needs.
Read on for our special tips on how to conduct a great face-to-face interview and nail the offer process.
Promote Your Company
Mistakenly, most companies choose not to proactively “sell” themselves during the interview process.
Rather than let the candidate do all the work, it’s wise to share some of the benefits they get once they make a move to your company.
During the interview, you want to showcase your firm’s successes objectively, different departments’ achievements, showcase your company culture, and highlight some of the facts that others have had by working at the company.
These can be more substantial bonuses based on the employees’ longer tenure, specific advances made by your staff, and company-sponsored awards available to your team.
When setting up the face-to-face interview, personally contact the candidate to make sure they know the time, date, location, and most importantly, who all will be interviewing them. Some firms will have an agenda, get this information to them well in advance of the interview. You may want to let them know about the anticipated dress requirements.
If you are flying in the candidate, make sure you cover all of your bases, from the airline, rental car, hotels, etc. If you want them to rideshare from the airport to and from the interview, tell them. If you plan to pick them up at the airport, make sure everyone has each other’s cell numbers to identify each other at the pick-up.
Be Prepared for the Interview
First and foremost, make the prospective employee feel welcome. Have a plan for the interview. Allow the candidate to talk; they are meeting with and are interviewing you and your firm as much as you are interviewing them.
Have the job description in front of you and the others of your firm that are in the interview. Go over the duties and responsibilities in detail, allowing for feedback from the candidate. Identify the true opportunity for the candidate. Discuss the firm’s culture and what separates you from the competition.
Allow the interview to take on its own “legs.” As this candidate may be coming on board with your firm, you want the discussion to flow as free as possible within the confines of your agenda. This will allow you to see if the chemistry is right with you and them.
Ask the candidate where they are at in their search – if there are other offers on the table, and if there is a time frame that you need to be aware of for them and their decisions.
When concluding the interview, it is advised to let them know that there are other candidates that you are considering and establish a date on which you will get back with them with questions, comments, and an offer.
Keep the Offer Competitive yet Straightforward.
Given the competitive landscape of the heavy civil, heavy highway, and commercial construction talent market, we recommend submitting a competitive offer to help you land top talent in the industry.
With a competitive salary and benefits package, you stand a better chance of doing away with hiring hold-ups or rejections.
Ideally, you want the offer letter to specify:
- The job title should be identified.
- The start date needs to be established.
- The weekly salary offered, equals out an annual amount.
- Bonuses – layout your firm’s bonus program, how it is calculated, what it is based on, and when it typically pays out. Most companies’ bonus programs are not guaranteed and are based on company profitability and individual performance. Other factors come into the equation, such as the firm’s safety record or the specific project’s success/profitability. Be transparent with your potential new employee in this area.
- Benefits such as medical, dental, and vision - These need to be put in writing, including the eligibility period and an explanation of the specifics of each benefit. Typically, this is in the form of a separate benefits summary, complete with the employee’s costs for the actual premiums and associated co-pays, deductibles, max out-of-pocket costs, and prescription costs. Attach these documents to the offer.
If you have an “opt-out” policy regarding the benefits package, be specific.
- We recommend that you have a policy that if the employee’s spouse works and there is a benefits plan with their firm, that they exercise that plan.
- Benefits like life insurance, volunteer openings, retirement accounts, and flex accounts, and health savings accounts (HSA) need to be spelled out.
- Paid vacation time, sick leave, and paid time off (PTO) need to be identified and when they begin to start accruing.
- Retirement accounts such as 401K plans need to be identified, when they are eligible, how much the firm matches, and the vesting period for these matched funds.
- If the position comes with a company-provided vehicle or vehicle allowance, be specific with that plan complete with disclaimers that the employee maintains a valid driver’s license and provides approved liability car insurance with company acceptable limits.
- Relocation. Many employees will require relocation. You need to put your best foot once again forward to capture top talent. Sit down with the prospective candidate and identify the total costs to move. Start with getting quotes from 3 national movers, shipping firms such as “Pods” or U-Haul, include expenses such as travel on the road to start the position, temporary housing, boxes and packing materials, and flights for the family/spouse for house hunting or just to be connected every three weeks or so until the move is completed.
- If the position will include extended travel, how much do you pay for subsistence per day, per week, or month for housing and meals? Is there a mileage minimum for the project from a home base that sets off these expenses?
- If there is extended travel, how often does the firm get their traveling employees back home? Every two or three weeks, and for how long?
- The offer needs to add a statement that the position comes with laptops, cell phones, and credit cards.
Set a Timer
Setting expiration dates on the offers you send out will help you get a commitment from the prospective employee and onboard them faster.
Without a timer on the offer, hesitation may creep in, and you may end up losing top talent to this.
What’s the best timeframe for this? About a week should do the trick. If you’re confident about the odds of success, then you can give shorter offer expiration periods.
Keep Close Contact
This is usually the moment of truth.
Just because you made an offer to a prospective civil and commercial construction hire doesn’t mean the job is done. There’s still more that can be done between the offer acceptance date and the start date.
In this period, it’s necessary to be in close contact with new hires. Keep them posted on vital developments at the company.
Just Stay Connected.
Once you’ve formally made the job offer and they accept it, you should try to support them in their decision and new role.
Let them know how glad you are that they are ready to get on board. Since you already touched on the topic of counteroffers during the interview, there’s no need to worry much about this at this point. Still, it’s great to remind them about the verbal and written commitment they shared.
Do you need help with your interview process? Contact G. Peterson Consulting Group for specialized heavy civil, heavy highway, and commercial construction recruiting services and support from the initial to the final stages of your hiring process.