It’s not unusual for construction industry professionals to work for several different companies over time. Good employees move from job to job based on a variety of factors, such as layoffs, poor working conditions such as lack of focus on safety, or simply better opportunities.
This can lead to candidates being in transition. Candidates that are in transition may submit resumes which feature long gaps in employment, short stints at several employers in a few years, or an inconsistent message. Each of these things will typically raise red flags about a candidates’ ability to do the job, or stay at the company, if hired.
Should you hire a candidate in transition for your construction role?
First, let’s define what a “jumpy” resume means, because in the construction industry, recruiters hire at a variety of levels and for a variety of skill sets. If someone has ten years of experience, and has been with 5+ companies, that’s a jumpy resume.
A jumpy resume also doesn’t quite convey one’s successes. For example, some candidates can’t prove they actually completed projects they were hired for, and others bounce around, working in a variety of subsectors of the construction industry.
When presented with a candidate with a jumpy resume, try to ask pointed questions that reveal why they’ve jumped around so much. The more information you have, the more comfortable you’ll be with hiring, or not hiring, the candidate.
A construction professional who has not been employed with a construction firm for longer than one to two years is typically concerning. But, hiring managers for construction companies should remind themselves that there are talented candidates looking for work that fall in this category. By considering someone with checkered employment history that is filled with short employment stints, companies can find a rising star who appreciates their new opportunity.
When interviewing a candidate with short employment stints, ask the job seeker what they learned from each experience. Even if a job seeker stayed at a job for 6 months, they should be able to articulate what led them to move on and what they learned from that experience.
Perhaps hours were not as consistent as they had hoped. Maybe the commute was too far or the company didn’t focus on safety and quitting was the best option. There are a wide variety of factors and each candidate has a different story.
Even if there are sizable gaps in their employment history, or if the candidate has been out of work, or out of the construction industry, for a while, you will want to take a look at their total accumulative experience. For the construction industry, a candidate with 3-5 years of industry experience is an ideal target.
When a candidate has applicable construction experience, it’s much easier to look past the red flags like a jumpy resume or employment gap.
Atlantic Group Construction Recruiters
Does your hiring pool need a boost? At the Atlantic Group, our mechanical and construction recruiting division has over 75 years of experience. Learn more about our approach to construction recruiting and contact us today for more information.
Meet the Author and Team: