Over the last decade, corporate staffing processes have become entirely digital. In fact, the internet has become the most universal resource for sourcing and securing talent in the United States. Employers and job candidates alike, have experienced rapid efficiency gains in time, energy and cost. Positions are posted with specific job specifications and experience requirements. Candidates then respond based on their qualifications, capabilities, and potential fit. Through each phase of the staffing process, (sourcing, attracting, screening, evaluating, and hiring) online tools have made things drastically more accessible and easier. A recent survey by PEW Research Center indicated that 90% of recent job seekers have researched jobs online, and 84% of those have applied for a job online.
However, these current solutions do not fit the dynamic labor force challenges and project based nature of the construction industry. For example, the current job boards and websites, (Indeed, Monster, Ziprecruiter, LinkedIn, etc.), are built for filling longer term, more stable, “career based” positions such as engineers, accountants, technical professionals, and administrators. Other job boards such as Angie’s List and Home Advisor exist as lead generation platforms for construction professionals to link end-user customers (Homeowners) in their local area. Requested work ranges from home repair to landscaping. Lead generation platforms help construction firms find potential projects, such as a substantial remodels, but they don’t assist the firm in finding skilled tradesmen or subcontractors to address their staffing needs.
The construction industry operates under a different set of conditions than other industries, both from a labor sourcing, and retention stand point. First, it is project vs. position based. Jobs have a defined start and end point, and are performed along a critical path of logically sequenced activities. Second, work can be spread out at multiple site locations, either as part of a crew dividing up similar work (roofing, siding, flooring, etc.), or as a solo provider performing unique tasks such as a electrical, piping, or finished carpentry. Third, once a particular project is completed, contractors and tradesmen move on to new work either together or separately, assuming the new work is known, available, and accessible. This creates a feast or famine aspect to construction type work.
A long overdue solution to address the industry’s sourcing and retaining labor challenges is implementing online staffing tools that are easily understood, used, and directly relevant to daily work of contractors and tradesmen. ToolBelt is an online network that allows project seeking tradesmen and hiring construction firms to connect quickly and effectively. By connecting tradesmen to construction firms in one easy to use website and mobile app, ToolBelt solves construction firms’ primary and lingering problem, continuously having to source and vet labor. It is a one-stop location for construction firms to list projects, describe job specifications, communicate skill requirements, and sort through and validate potential candidates. Similarly, it is a place for tradesmen to look for existing and future projects, brand themselves via personal capability profiles, and to network with other construction professionals.
Unlike current job board websites, ToolBelt is tailored specifically for the unique needs of the construction industry. It is designed for all parties to derive immediate value and expand existing construction related networks exponentially, thus releasing pent up productivity potential at both the firm and individual levels.