The government has repeatedly confirmed that they want infrastructure and construction to form the backbone of the UK’s post pandemic economic recovery. Major funding has been announced for new frameworks, while major projects such as HS2 and Hinkley Point C are forging ahead.

Yet at the same time, main contractors are going to have to overcome a legacy of low productivity and income lost, due to closures and reduced output during lockdown.

Hiring key people with the right skills and knowledge to drive change is something to be given serious consideration. It’s the one thing that can stimulate organisational change and help main contractors make the impact they need to in the economy. Additionally it’s going to take a slightly different approach to secure top candidates. This is what organisations need to plan for:

Clear vision

Knowing the opportunities available as well as how they can be capitalised on will help clarify the vision for the company going forward. It will also help to identify what skills gaps exist and what type of expertise is needed if those opportunities are to be won. Until there is a clear vision agreed upon by all senior management, change in any form will be difficult to implement.

Proactive, decisive hiring

Once the skills gaps are known, a decisive hiring approach is required to attract and retain the top talent in the industry. In our experience top candidates easily walk away from opportunities when there are long time delays or inconsistent communications during hiring. To attract senior people who are on the ball, the company needs to be on the ball too, especially in terms of the hiring process. It’s vital to clearly communicate what the role involves and what skills are needed, as well as the expected targets and outcomes.

Organisational change

Most senior managers will recognise that organisational change is going to be necessary. But bringing in someone to implement that change will not be successful unless the existing structures and people in the organisation are willing to support the changes needed. The industry has a history of being entrenched in old habits. This needs to be addressed internally before seeking outside help.

The pandemic has highlighted how essential it is to make the most of every business opportunity and be able to operate with greater efficiency. Hiring right is a big part of that. Now is the time to make that the new reality.