Document Detail

Title: RR200-11 - Attracting, Recruiting, and Retaining Top Quality Construction Leaders/Managers
Publication Date: 5/1/2005
Product Type: Research Report
Status: Reference
Pages: 104
Ariaratnam, Barger, Arizona State Univ.
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Attracting, recruiting, and retaining top quality construction leaders/managers to the engineering and construction industry is an onerous task facing many construction companies throughout the United States. Unwanted employee turnover is costing companies over $140 billion annually in recruiting, training, and administrative costs. The engineering and construction industry faces stiff recruiting and retention challenges in the years ahead because of demographics, changing expectations among potential employees, and image issues. Today’s industry leaders, although unable to influence demographics, can plan and implement a proactive response to the aging U.S. work force, changing expectations among younger workers, and industry’s image.

In an attempt to improve this challenge, the Construction Industry Institute (CII) chartered the Attract, Recruit, and Retain Engineering and Construction Leaders/Managers Project Team (PT 200) to explore the problem and to provide solutions that can be implemented by companies throughout the industry. Such a program, CII believes, could mean big gains for the industry by enhancing the real and perceived advantages of careers in engineering or construction management. The timely development of this program, to promote a career in construction and to market the advantages of becoming a construction leader/manager, carries enormous gains for the construction industry. The deliverables from this program provide the tools necessary to assist the construction industry attract top individuals and to facilitate companies in structuring an internal program to retain them.

To accomplish the objectives of this program, research was divided into different phases. First, a comprehensive literature review was performed that examined the current best practices being employed by relevant industries that can be transferred over to the engineering and construction industry. Second, an in-person employee questionnaire was conducted to gain better insight into this segment of the construction industry. To gather pertinent information about attracting, recruiting and retaining top quality construction leaders/managers, 272 in-person employee interviews were conducted at 24 owner, engineering, and construction companies across 11 states that represented different segments of the industry. Data from these questionnaires were examined and will lay the foundation for determining the proper strategies for developing the human resource best practices program.

An employee’s decision to join, stay, or leave their employer can appear highly individualized but when a large enough sampling is considered, valuable trends appear. Not surprisingly, PT 200 found the most important attraction and retention factors are competitive compensation and benefits. But close behind comes better career path definition, continuing education and training opportunities, greater coaching/mentoring, and more recognition for a job well done. PT 200 prepared a brochure over viewing current recruiting and retaining issues (CII Implementation Resource 200-2) and a brochure (CII Implementation Resource 200-3) that can serve as a checklist for organizations interested in a self-assessment of their recruiting and retaining efforts.