Part 2 – How Main Contractors are hiring successfully in 2024

Main contractors hiring 2024 Ellis Fox blog

Finding top talent is not a new challenge for Main Contractors. The ongoing skills shortage and a competitive candidate market has led companies to rethink their hiring strategies. There’s the realization that major projects or a company name aren’t always enough to attract the right people. Yet there are some that are still winning against the odds. We look at what they’re doing differently and what other companies can adopt as part of their hiring strategies.

Skills gaps vs titles:

Vacancies are often defined by a job title. But companies that analyse what they really need, often find that the title is the least important aspect. A skills gap analysis takes a look at the skills already within the organization and how they can be leveraged. Consider what skills the company is lacking, and what it will take to bridge that gap. That more closely defines what it really needs. Defining the skills gap in this way helps to identify what to look for in potential candidates, and increases the chance of finding the right person, regardless of the job title.

Interview engagement:

The interview process is a two-way engagement. The company is searching for the ideal candidate, but at the same time they’re engaging with them. The questions are aimed at not only learning about what the candidate can bring to the relationship, but also what they hope to gain from it. This approach shows candidates that they’re valued as individuals and helps to start building a mutually beneficial relationship.

Transferable skills:

With the ongoing skills shortage, some companies are searching outside of the industry for professionals with transferable skills. This broadens the candidate pool. It also has the benefit of bringing a fresh perspective which fosters innovation and encourages problem solving.


Perhaps one of defining factors in hiring today is the approach to flexible working. Many candidates wish for remote or hybrid working options. Companies that offer a degree of flexibility are likely to attract more top talent compared to those that have a rigid “office only” policy.


Companies that are hiring successfully realise the value in partnering with outside sources to find the best people. This may include reaching out to industry networks or recruiting companies who are specialists in specific industry sectors. There’s value in this, in that knowing the industry and understanding the hiring process, makes finding the right people significantly easier.