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By Joann Seltzer
June 5, 2017
Energy, innovative thinking, and focus are just a few reasons why managers are eager to hire millennials. In fact, despite the bad wrap millennials often get, hiring managers see the potential and are actively searching for new campus recruits. The secret is they aren't looking for just anybody. They want to find those workers who share their enthusiasm and are ready to learn.
The future is bright in construction with a 10 percent job growth anticipated by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and that growth is apparent at top companies.
Turner Construction Company plans to hire 800 new workers this year, and just recently hired 400 campus recruits, Rosemarie Demonte, the vice president of talent management and acquisition for Turner Construction Company, said. PCL Construction Enterprises, Inc. plans to add 450-500 workers to its staff in 2017, Stacey Bledsoe, director of human resources, said. With plenty of hiring ahead, these ladies know exactly what qualities workers need to succeed in the industry and share the secrets to finding a successful career in construction.
Managers are willing to make an investment in their employees through training and continuing education, but first they need to ensure the workers will be a good fit for their company and its culture. Managers want to know that employees will have a good work ethic, are loyal, and hardworking.
Here are seven secrets to standing out and landing a career that is as challenging as it is exciting.
Typically when managers are looking at millennial resumes they want to see examples of a recruit taking initiative or filling a leadership role. Managers will be less impressed if it is determined that an organization was joined just to so it could be added to a resume. Once workers are hired, taking initiative can also lead to more interesting and advanced work assignments.“We will give you as much of a challenge as you can handle. That's going to vary from person to person,” Bledsoe said.
Workers need to be curious and enjoy learning because training is a regular part of the job not only for those new in the industry but even for those at the top, Demonte said. Companies make a big investment in training and continuing education so they need workers with a true passion for construction. Education is a two-way street. While more experienced employees will share their work experience with millennials, millennials bring new ideas and technology skills they can share to help educate their co-workers.
In the construction industry employers are looking for people who want to move up within the company. Once a person gets beyond entry level, they will be doing more than just sending emails. It's important that they know how to communicate with others whether that be their boss or a client. They need to be able to clearly and concisely articulate what they need, Bledsoe said.
Internship or co-op experience is a plus; we also like to see if they have tried different things and know that this is what they truly want, Bledsoe said. Education is important, but really good work experience may elevate someone with a 3.0 GPA above someone with a 4.0 GPA because it's about more than just grades, Bledsoe said.
Teamwork is the crux of everything done in construction. Project work is often out in the field, outside of an office setting. Workers must be able to work in teams, engage others, and draw energy from that. Those are the qualities that would stand out based on how they articulate their position, Demonte said.
When it comes to leadership, people need to demonstrate the right behaviors to others and develop as they move along, but it's about more than that. It's about the ability to bring out the best in others and recognize the talents that others share, Demonte said. It's about the ability to not only improve your own skills and learn from your mistakes, but to also help others to improve.
Builders have a passion for construction. Millennials joining the ranks need to have that passion within them and bring it with them to the jobsite. “It's embedded in all we do,” Demonte said. Passion must be evident in perspective employees because this energy is contagious.
There are plenty of qualities millennials need to bring with them to the jobsite, but there is also a mindset they need to leave behind. “I think the idea around there being a work/life balance is a myth. There is a give and take. You have to be able to give in order to take,” Bledsoe said. Essentially they need to understand they will get what they earn.
Millennials with an appetite for learning, a passion for construction, and exuding these seven qualities are on the path to a lifelong career in construction and managers are happy to have them.
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