Today, there are thousands of construction jobs to fill, and competition for workers is steep. In this post, we talk about the ongoing need for qualified workers to fill construction jobs such as carpenter, concrete finisher, crane operator and others. Read on to learn more about the opportunity to not only find a job, but enjoy a fulfilling career with a respected South Carolina construction firm, United Infrastructure Group.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES UIG FACES IN FILLING THOSE MANY OPEN CONSTRUCTION JOBS?
Rebecca Battle-Bryant, UIG’s VP of Employee Resources & Workforce Development. UIG faces two main challenges: fewer applicants and greater competition for those bodies. All of the construction companies are in the same boat. It’s getting increasingly difficult to try to find people. So we are cannibalizing from each other, pulling and picking from the same talent pool.
SO, FACING THOSE CONDITIONS, WHAT ADVANTAGES DOES UIG HAVE OVER OTHER FIRMS?
UIG has a couple of advantages. We are a small company, so we are able to respond quickly when people inquire about construction jobs. I hear it all the time: “I applied at Company X weeks ago but I haven’t heard anything back!” We aren’t like that. When you are dealing with UIG, every application we receive that’s viable, we will be calling you within 24 hours. If you pass through the initial screening though Human Resources you will immediately be talking to a foreman or a project engineer within 48 hours. That’s our goal. We can get you hired very quickly, even with background checks, drug screening and fit-for-duty exams. We are very nimble and that’s an advantage in recruiting.
A QUICK HIRE WITH FEWER HASSLES IS A PLUS. BUT ONCE THEY ARE ON BOARD, WHAT’S IT LIKE TO WORK FOR UIG?
Long-term employees tell me that they feel like they are part of a family at UIG. They like the atmosphere, they like the way they are treated, and they like our values. In some cases, you can compare workplaces and you see that the job, the conditions and the pay may be similar. But the atmosphere, the family environment and the way UIG treats its people make all the difference.
AS PART OF A SMALLER COMPANY, DO UIG EMPLOYEES HAVE A GREATER CHANCE TO STAND OUT, GET NOTICED AND MOVE UP?
I tell people we hire for the career. We train on the job, and we like to promote from within. So if you are willing to work, to show initiative and put yourself out there, you will have that opportunity.
As we grow, opportunities for our people to advance will also grow. We recently piloted a supervisor training program. Four people graduated – three crane operators and a carpenter. Now, they are all foremen. One of the crane operators is only 24 years old. No college degree, but now he’s a foreman earning over $50,000 a year. That’s the kind of opportunity UIG offers. And how far you advance is up to you. One of our Vice Presidents started out as an entry level laborer!
IT ALSO SEEMS LIKE YOU ARE NOT JUST WAITING FOR THE TALENT TO BUBBLE UP TO THE SURFACE – YOU’RE BEING PROACTIVE.
We can’t afford to sit and wait. If we see potential in our ranks, we pull these folks aside, we encourage them, we let them know about opportunities for advancement, and we start them on a path. We are investing in our people, now more than ever, and we’re going to continue to invest in them. It’s the only way UIG will continue to grow and prosper.
ANY FINAL THOUGHTS ON CONSTRUCTION JOBS AT UIG?
This company is a South Carolina institution with deep roots. Nearly 100 years of building the roads and bridges that brought South Carolina into the modern age. We have a name and a reputation in the community as a good place to plant your roots and make a career, and we aim to keep it. Part of that is to hire the right people, to train them right and to help them succeed. That’s the UIG employment advantage!