We have a saying in the construction industry you may have heard of: measure twice, cut once. While that refers to double checking your work – particularly before you do something you can’t just click “undo” on – it also highlights the importance of proper planning in construction management. That includes lining up any workers you’ll need well before you’ll actually need them on site.
Here in the Northeast, winter is the slow season when it comes to construction. That means by the time the ground thaws and spring rolls around, construction companies and project manager are eager to get construction projects underway. This can sometimes lead to not only competition for equipment and supplies, but also for talent. That’s why a key part of project management is hiring workers as soon as you know you have a project on the horizon.
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to line up any contractors and subcontractors you will need for your project. Otherwise, you could face delays if the folks you want to hire are already booked with other jobs. Subs with a good reputation tend to land jobs fast – especially if they have a specialized skill or trade. If you wait until the last minute you could find yourself needing to hire someone less qualified or having to pay a much higher fee to book the subs who do still have availability, which will drive up construction costs.
Spring and summer is the peak earning time for contractors and subcontractors. Because of that, you may occasionally encounter a sub who backs out at the last-minute because they find a better-paying job at another company.
One way to prevent workers from bailing on your projects is by using contracts. Not only does this set expectations regarding the scope of work, it also helps prevent misunderstandings down the road. Some items you might want to include are:
- A detailed summary of the work to be performed.
- A description of any specific materials to be used, or features to include.
- The total contract cost, or a description on how the price will be calculated.
By putting contracts into place now with any contractors or subcontractors before the season slips into high gear not only will you lock down the talent you need, but should a dispute arise, you will be in a much better position to resolve it quickly and favorably to your business.
Still Short-handed? Try a Staffing Agency
If you are still struggling to find enough qualified workers, try reaching out to a talent staffing agency that specializes in construction jobs. They will have access to a pool of skilled workers and can even help companies find workers during the busy months. Working with a staffing agency can be particularly helpfully to handle any unexpected labor needs, such as a sub who cancels at the last minute. Staffing agencies also take care of all the HR paperwork, such as:
- Background checks.
- Tax witholdings.
- Workers’ compensation insurance.
Tapping into an agency to hire contract positions can also free up key personnel at your company so they can focus on other projects.
If you could use some help planning and scheduling your next construction project, give the team at Preferred Construction Management a call. By utilizing the critical path method (CPM) system, we can provide scheduling services from the planning process through the monitoring and tracking of a construction schedule.