State of Recruiting in the Building Industry – TZR President, Mark Fisher’s 3 Key Takeaways

Smart civil architect engineer inspecting and working outdoors building side with blueprints. engineering and architecture concept.

I’ll get straight to the point: We are navigating one of the most dynamic employment markets that I have seen in 25 years.


  • COVID impact
  • Work From Home / Hybrid / Onsite
  • Salary escalation
  • All-out war for top talent

1. Current Employment Economy

Let’s start by taking a look at the current employment economy through three lenses: Economic, Social and Financial.


The market is incredibly dynamic with the lasting impacts of COVID, most notably the transition from 100% office work to work-from-home/ hybrid schedules. Salaries continue to rise as employees take advantage of the competitive market. As it stands, in many sectors, demand for qualified talent is still higher than the available supply.

Economists largely believe a downturn is coming, but how that looks is anyone’s guess. Even with industry-wide adjustments, organizations in this industry remain resilient. And while hiring has declined year-over-year by 29%, the search for qualified talent is still a challenge for key roles and production floor laborers, alike. 


COVID led to an enormous shift in workplace expectations, creating a professional environment where working on a hybrid schedule is becoming the ‘norm’. Add to that the reinvigorated focus on work/life balance and we are seeing a job market where flexibility is near the top of many jobseekers’ priority list.

Additionally, companies are putting more resources into diversity, equity and inclusion (D,E&I) efforts – a priority for HR departments and recruiting projects.


While flexibility is important, compensation is the #1 priority for job seekers. With inflation and the rising costs of real estate, salaries need to adjust – but many companies are not meeting this demand. This is leading employees to look elsewhere for higher pay; adding to the already tenuous issues of supply and demand mentioned above.

2. Recruiting in a Candidate Driven Market

Navigating this dynamic employment market can be challenging. In times like these, having a proactive ‘people strategy’ can set you apart, giving you a leg up on recruiting and retaining top talent. Demand for jobs is high and labor is in short supply. The more specialized the job, the greater level of scarcity there is for the right talent to fill those roles. 

TZR’s Recommendations for Recruiting in a Candidate Driven Market:

  • Focus on your company’s brand/reputation
  • Write clear and compelling job descriptions
  • Develop a thoughtful interview strategy
  • Know the laws
  • Be transparent
  • Communicate with candidates throughout the process
  • Make sure your interview process is efficient

And be sure everyone involved in the process has a clear understanding of the difference between a top candidate and a top performer.

A top candidate gives a great first impression; they are prepared, on-time and confident. They start with a strong handshake and they are poised and articulate throughout the process.

You are looking for a top performer. Someone competent, motivated and accountable. They have a balanced ego; they are flexible and take initiative without putting others down on their way up. A top performer can identify and solve problems and implement change, all while getting the rest of the team onboard in an authentic way.

3. Retention

When it comes to retention in the current market, it’s all about internal mobility. Most of your current workforce likely got there by pursuing an increase in pay. With this in mind – remember you could lose them for the same reason. Most people consider leaving their current company before pursuing a change internally simply because the idea of doing so isn’t presented to them.

A lot of attention tends to go toward the idea of a promotion, but mobility – offering different opportunities within the organization in order to develop skills – is a valuable option to your workforce. Companies with high internal mobility rates retain their employees 60% longer than those where mobility is low.

Internal mobility paired with upskilling will keep your top talent engaged in your organization. Identify those that you really want to keep for the long-term and put a plan in place to address this – bring them in on special projects, pay above market comp, fast track their growth, develop a leadership plan, etc. Top performers want to feel that they are making an impact. Giving them the chance to feel heard goes a long way in retention efforts.

Don’t hesitate – your competition isn’t dragging their feet on securing top performers.

Ready to start recruiting top talent or just need to connect on next best steps? Connect with us today.

Get the latest from TZ straight to your inbox.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.