The construction industry has faced many challenges in recent years. One of the biggest concerns for businesses has been the escalating skills shortage, which has affected countries all over the world. Past research showed that 27 global markets experienced construction skills shortages in 2018, up from 24 in 2017.

In 2020, construction - like every other industry - experienced massive disruption as a result of COVID-19. Projects came to a sudden halt and it's estimated that more than a million jobs were lost between February and April.

As the sector gradually returned to work amid the pandemic, businesses had to adjust to new operating methods and safety protocols, as well as broader concerns like the recessions taking place in some of the world's largest economies.

An important factor in companies' efforts to overcome these obstacles is their ability to find skilled construction workers. Having the right talent and experience in the workforce is simply essential if your business is to survive through periods of adversity and thrive in times of opportunity.

One of the most important and often overlooked steps on the journey to acquire the talent you need is writing job descriptions that capture people's attention and reflect the needs and interests of modern jobseekers.

Why job descriptions are so important

The Society for Human Resource Management has described job descriptions as 'the currency of recruiting'. The industry association also pointed out that, despite the importance of this process, many HR professionals are still 'in the dark' when it comes to the finer details of defining and advertising particular roles.

Construction businesses need to ensure job descriptions create an accurate and compelling picture of available positions, but also reflect the top priorities and concerns of workers who have seen the sector go through some major changes in recent years.

The key considerations of jobseekers in the post-COVID world are likely to include:

  • Having confidence that the employer is fully committed to providing a safe working environment and looking after employee health
  • Job security, financial stability and health benefits
  • Modern work environments
  • Opportunities to upskill and advance

Job descriptions are your first and most valuable opportunity to engage with talent and to show jobseekers that you're not only aware of their needs, but able to meet them. It's vital not to waste this chance to capture people's attention and to get them thinking about what they could gain from taking a job with you.

HR leaders and hiring managers need to work together to optimize job descriptions, and a key part of this is avoiding basic mistakes that could hinder your efforts to attract top talent.


Job description mistakes to avoid

One common pitfall that you should be particularly careful to avoid when writing job descriptions is using overly complex language, like industry jargon and acronyms. This can have the effect of making the job feel exclusive, which could turn away people who are put off by all the technical details in the advertisement but might actually be a good fit for the job and your business.

It's also important to remember that job adverts shouldn't be all about your business and what you're looking for in potential recruits. Rather than simply listing the skills, qualifications and experience you're hoping to bring into your organization, focus on giving a compelling account of the job and emphasizing what you as an employer can offer to prospective candidates.

Another common error that can hold back your efforts to find skilled construction workers is writing job descriptions without consulting with the most relevant stakeholders and subject matter experts. Getting input from the people who really understand the role and what's expected of workers in this area is crucial if you want to give an accurate account of the position. This will help you attract the right talent and ensures all applicants have a clear idea of what the job entails.

Randstad has produced a guide that includes more hacks and tips to help you optimize your job adverts, as well as a sample construction manager job description based on recommended best practices.