Success in the construction industry isn’t only dependent on hard skills and professional qualifications. Although knowledge of building projects and materials will continue to be valued by recruiters, many employers are now realising that soft skills are equally important for a number of construction jobs. While more specialist positions obviously require a lot of “on-paper” skills, being able to communicate well with colleagues remains vital.
The value of soft skills in construction jobs.
Soft skills are a crucial aspect of many industries, with successful candidates being able to couple this with more bespoke talents. According to recent research by Development Economics, soft skills are currently worth £88 billion to the UK’s economic output, with £5.6 billion of this coming from the construction industry alone. This means that candidates looking to enter this field cannot afford to neglect this side of their application.
The type of soft skills desired by construction employers include communication, time management and the ability to lead others. Of course, if candidates feel as though there soft skills are lacking in certain areas, there are ways that they can be improved:
Clarity is key when it comes to communicating and there are a few things to help you get your point across. Maintain eye contact with your audience, practice speaking in different situations and proofread your written communications. With time, improving these skills could make you a more effective communicator
Start with small groups and then work your way up to leading larger sets of people. In addition, even if you are not formally a leader, try to inspire others by having a positive attitude and volunteering to go above and beyond the call of duty
Make lists, set yourself deadlines and delegate where possible. Time management is all about prioritising, working efficiently and being organised
Working as a team.
In the construction industry, perhaps the most important soft skill of all is being able to work in a team. Whether you are constructing a house or a motorway, no single individual can handle the multitude of tasks required, so every project is very much a collaborative process.
43 per cent of all construction job opportunities contain the phrase “team work,” highlighting its importance for recruiters. In order to work well as a team, site and project managers will be required to keep employees focused and motivated.
Preconstruction meetings are often used to ensure that everyone working on a specific project is aware of the objectives, timescale and budget constraints. Understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses is also vital, as construction often brings together individuals from a multitude of different professions.
Labourers, architects and engineers may all be working towards the same aim, but their different skillsets may mean they have contrasting approaches. Spending some time understanding the skillset and role of your colleagues can help construction projects move much more smoothly.
At Randstad Construction, Property and Engineering (CPE) we are working hard to fill thousands of temporary and permanent position in construction. If you need support convincing employers that you have the soft skills required to thrive in the industry, we can offer specialist advice on the best ways of approaching your job search or new career.