By Rieva Lesonsky, CEO GrowBiz Media & SmallBizDaily.com
Warmer weather is here, which means the busy season for construction projects is getting underway. Are you prepared to handle the surge in labor needs? Here are some tips that will help ensure you have enough workers to cover all the bases.
Start by planning ahead. As much as possible, assess the number and types of workers you’ll need for the upcoming projects you already have scheduled. Good construction workers, especially those with specialized skills, quickly get snapped up. If you’re looking to hire additional full-time employees, don’t wait until the last minute — when you’re desperate enough to grab people off the streets.
Of course, it’s hard to predict exactly how many full-time workers you’ll need, especially when new jobs are bound to crop up during the spring and summer. Working with a temporary staffing service can be a good way to handle the unexpected labor needs your busy season inevitably brings. There are many temporary staffing agencies specializing in construction workers, so you can specify the exact skills, experience, and duration of work you need.
As with full-time hiring, don’t wait until the last minute to call a staffing agency and ask for help. Instead, start now to find a staffing agency that suits your needs. Find out how quickly they can provide workers, how big their construction worker labor pool is, what skilled trades they specialize in, and how much they charge. Also ask for references and check them.
Once you have an ongoing relationship with a staffing company, staffing up and down as needed can be as easy as making a phone call or sending an email. That way, you’ll never drop the ball on a project, and you won’t have workers sitting idle around job sites, cutting into your profit margins.
In addition to the flexibility they offer your construction business, temporary staffing companies also take a lot of hiring hassles and employee-related paperwork off your hands. For example, they generally conduct worker screening and background checks, handle payroll and tax withholding, and provide workers’ compensation insurance. Some even offer employee benefits like life or health insurance. This cuts your costs substantially, since you don’t have to worry about these additional expenses.
With all those extra workers on hand, it’s more important than ever to have the right employee scheduling and time tracking software in place. Look for a time tracking solution that suits the needs of your construction business, with features like a mobile time clock for smartphones and GPS time clock so you know when workers are actually on-site. You’ll also want flexible job scheduling tools that let you switch gears and quickly move employees from one job site to another, then sends alerts and reminders so employees stay up to date.
If you do employ temporary construction workers, be sure that you classify them into the correct category for tax purposes. Time tracking software that integrates with a variety of accounting and payroll solutions makes this simple to do, which allows you to easily share timesheets with the staffing agency so they can handle payroll.
If you make a few smart moves now, your construction company will be all set to handle the influx of business this spring and summer.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.