Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) companies never have it easy. Always in the spotlight due to the strategic nature of most of the projects they work on, they face many roadblocks along the way. From segmented and siloed data to spread out stakeholders, varied workforce, changing demands, and other challenges come in the way of successful and profitable project delivery. Add to that the ever-shrinking profit margins, bid award inconsistencies, and scheduling inefficiencies for even greater pain. But if there is one challenge that is in sharp focus in the EPC industry today, it is the inability to hire skilled people fast enough.
A mix of problems confronts EPC hiring. For one, 2020 forced many sub-contractors out of business, forcing many general contractors to self-perform many construction tasks. As construction work has surged, this has meant a sharply increased need for labor and specific talent. Companies will have to hire from a smaller pool too as many estimates are that the people who left the construction industry during the pandemic-led recession, don’t intend to return. The impact is already being felt. A report by the US Chamber of Commerce revealed that 88% of contractors were finding it hard to hire skilled labor. Other reports are that over the next 4 years, the industry will find itself short of 2.2 million workers.
Let’s take a look at how the methods EPC companies rely on for hiring may be making things harder for them and how that could be changed.
The hiring challenges of EPC companies
EPC companies have long been relying on point solutions to track applicants in the hiring process. Some of these are free apps or glorified MS Excel spreadsheets. In many cases, even that level of sophistication is absent. Obviously, these solutions are not tailored for the EPC industry: they are generic and designed to work for any recruiter, in any business or industry. This is a massive problem as well as a lost opportunity.
Since the EPC industry is highly dependent on trained labor, just any applicant tracking solution cannot help you in efficiently recruiting or managing your applications. Since you aren’t looking to hire just anyone, but skilled and licensed technicians or electricians, generic point solutions simply won’t work. Here’s looking at some of the unique hiring challenges that EPC companies face regularly:
- Traditional point solutions do not have the ability to match resumes based on jobs and previous project experience
- The lack of integration with onboarding solutions tends to delay the onboarding process. Since resources cannot work from day 1, EPC companies end up losing out on client billability and project timelines suffer
- Poor (or no) integration with timekeeping systems stops time from being entered for day 1, again leading to loss of billability
- No integration with HRIS and Payroll Systems makes candidates’ first paycheck a lengthy process
- Additionally, moving resources across sites is very difficult when there are disparate systems for recruiting, time entry, and project accounting
The need for a better Applicant Tracking System
One of the key assets of EPC companies is its labor force. Although there is a boom in the demand for skilled resources, the constant shortage in supply makes recruiting an uphill battle. Compounding the problem is the over-specialization of skills within the industry, which makes even finding the right people to interview a tough task. Finally, many systems actually delay the hiring of great candidates, making landing a qualified candidate even more of a challenge as they are scooped up by competitors.
Given the hiring challenges of the EPC industry, what companies need is a modern, industry-specific Applicant Tracking System to attract, engage, hire, and retain the trained labor and niche talent to drive their business towards the pinnacle of success. A modern system can deliver the capabilities you need to overcome common industry-specific hiring challenges as well as deliver the candidate experience your applicants deserve.
A modern Applicant Tracking System can deliver several benefits to EPC companies; it can
- Overcome the generic nature and over-engineered complexities of traditional HRMS solutions and streamline complex people management processes in the construction industry
- Customize hiring and onboarding field terms, labels, and workflows to meet the needs of the EPC industry
- Tap into data from previous projects to identify people with specific skills who may have worked for the company and make it easier to create a ready target list of specialists to reach out to for current project needs
- Deliver capabilities to efficiently manage hundreds of unions and minimize errors from manual processing of data for all reports and compliance
- Automate the hiring process with predictive HR insights and solutions for mass hires, eliminating paper and multiple spreadsheets
- Simplify payroll administration for thousands of employees spread across different sites and locations, including baked-in complexities like Union and Certified Payroll for Federal and other government projects
- Automate key processes while modernizing Time and Attendance tracking for remote worksites
- Integrate with any Time and Attendance system you use
- Integrate with every HR system, allowing for easy data sharing between systems that enable companies to recruit skilled craft labor
- Constantly track hiring trends and seamlessly navigate significant seasonal staffing fluctuations
- Offer insight into how candidates are moving through the recruitment process and allow managers to make the right decisions at the right time
Achieve your hiring goals with ease
Construction contractors and EPC companies know how tough it is to hire skilled labor. Finding people with the right skills is getting increasingly challenging, paving the need for a modern and capable Applicant Tracking System. Integrating seamlessly with a range of onboarding, time-tracking, and HR and payroll solutions, a modern system can ensure you have all data and end-to-end visibility you need into your hiring process.
From pulling from a database of successful past employees, to sifting through resumes, to scheduling interviews, enabling seamless onboarding to accurately tracking time, accelerating the payroll process to tracking day-to-day worker activities – a modern Applicant Tracking System can deliver all the capabilities you need to achieve your business goals. And it can do so quickly. In an age where multiple EPC companies are looking to hire from a shrinking talent pool, the ability to quickly identify the right people, connect with them, and close a position quickly can become a significant competitive advantage. If along the way, you are able to deliver a professional, seamless, and elevated candidate experience, it also increases your chances of rehiring the best talent when you need it.
*** If you want to seamlessly achieve complex people management goals, our dedicated team of experts is just a call away. Contact us today and allow us to build a tailored Applicant Tracking System for you, so you can tackle common hiring challenges, optimize the recruiting process, and have resources with the precise skills needed to deliver large-scale projects on time, every time.