Gaining a Competitive Edge with HR
By Jaimie Carrera, HR Manager, CFO-Led Consulting Services
The expected outlook for the construction industry beyond 2022 hints at a challenging but favorable environment. That’s welcome news for a sector that overcame numerous hurdles in the past two years, including adapting through unprecedented times during a global pandemic and a recession. During that time countless projects had to be delayed, which increased turnover. Although the construction industry experienced multiple headwinds, it continues to make a considerable recovery.
Around the world, construction companies are undergoing significant changes and adapting to new rising trends that are causing them to reach out to HR for help. Specifically, companies are struggling to find qualified workers, maintain worker safety, lower workers’ compensation costs, and reduce employee turnover. To address these challenges, companies are outsourcing HR services.
At its core, HR technology revolves around integrating different systems used for critical processes, such as human resources and customer relationship management. HR departments within construction companies are increasing investments in digital assets to prepare to shift toward connected construction capabilities. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Construction companies today should focus on implementing HR technology, seeing their projects through to completion faster than ever before.”1 This shift from traditional HR operating practices to innovative and efficient processes has led more businesses to follow this trend in today’s market.
The Competitive Edge
Keeping track of construction projects while implementing HR policies can be difficult due to the changing nature of the business. Notice periods and related issues make managing HR strategy a challenge.
Necessary HR processes and procedures can help leaders make positive changes within their company. Human resource professionals can ensure issues relating to forecasting, hiring, worker safety, employee benefits, and retention are handled more efficiently and effectively. With HR support, companies can expedite internal procedures, such as job costing and running certified payroll reports. This allows employees to reach the job site early and complete projects sooner than expected.
Whether a company should fully outsource HR functions or just enhance the current tools and processes in place depends on the maturity level of that company’s HR department. Outsourcing HR can deliver many of the benefits of HR at a fraction of the cost of a full-time hire. As a result, outsourcing is a strong option for smaller employers struggling to decide if they can afford to build an HR function.
Integrating an experienced HR team into the management structure not only offers construction companies a turnkey human resource department, but it also provides peace of mind. Don’t let scale hold you back from realizing the benefits of a professional, well-trained HR function. By embracing HR-related solutions and technology, the construction industry has certainly gained a competitive edge.
Critical HR Roles
People are the most valuable asset in the construction industry. The success of every project depends on the dedicated workers and experienced management team who work together to complete their jobs on time. Increased adoption of HR technology is one positive outcome of the many challenges the industry has faced. HR professionals will work with management to better align the organization to the company’s mission and recommend effective business solutions.
According to Construction Executive, “Technology is having a transformative effect on every aspect of the construction business, a trend that will only continue to grow in 2022 and beyond.”2 HR plays a critical role in overcoming challenges and achieving business goals. By applying HR best practices, professionals can considerably transform the quality of the workplace for both employees and employers.
- Allen, J. G. (2017, July 20). Outsourcing HR gives contractors a competitive edge [web log]. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://www.gnapartners.com/resources/news/why-contractors-should-consider-outsourcing-hr.
- 1. Ambegaonkar, R. (2022, January 6). The Role of HR in the Construction Industry [web log]. Retrieved June 2, 2022, from https://www.ny-engineers.com/blog/the-role-of-hr-in-the-construction-industry.
- Deloitte. (n.d.). 2022 Engineering and Construction Industry Outlook.
- Holtmann, A. (n.d.). 6 Key Construction HR Management Issues — And How Technology Can Help. Viewpoint Blog. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://www.viewpoint.com/blog/6-key-construction-hr-management-issues-and-challenges.
- Lofgren, L. (2022, August 10). Compare The Best HR Outsourcing Services. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://www.quicksprout.com/best-hr-outsourcing/.
- Perucci, D. (2020, March 31). Roles and Responsibilities of HR in a Construction Company [web log]. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://www.bamboohr.com/blog/hr-in-construction-companyconstructionindustryishighlyregulatedrequiringHRLaborStandardActandotherlaborlaws.
- 2. Tappel, C., & Chamberlain, K. (2022, January 13). Overcome top construction risk challenges in 2022. Construction Executive | Welcome. Retrieved August 25, 2022, from https://constructionexec.com/article/overcome-top-construction-risk-challenges-in-2022
- Tayer, G. E. (2015, March 5). HR Challenges in the Construction Industry [web log]. Retrieved May 25, 2022, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/hr-challenges-construction-industry-strategic-hr-agent-sphr/.