How building an employer brand can help reduce construction recruitment costs



Payroll and recruitment costs are the biggest expense on every construction company’s balance sheet. In 2024, construction companies are beginning to spend more money on building out an employer brand strategy to help attract talent organically.

Tiernan Dixon, Founder of Superbeam

First thing’s first, here is the definition of “employer brand”:

“Employer brand is the reputation you have as an employer among your employees and the workforce. It’s how you market your company to job seekers and internal employees,” according to Hubspot

By creating an attractive employer brand, companies can reduce turnover, retain employees, and save significant costs associated with recruitment and onboarding. LinkedIn research says companies with a strong employer brand have 28% lower turnover rates. Losing employees is expensive – the average exit costs 33% of their annual salary.

Now, let’s dive into Construction…

Lack of talent is the construction industry’s biggest problem. You ask any developer, main contractor, or subcontractor – they all say the same thing: “we can’t find good people”.

When an industry has this problem, the cost of labour increases, drastically.

Currently, construction companies are spending enormous amounts of budget on recruitment, training, and legal fees. A mixture of traditional thinking and short-termism are key factors for continuing this method.

Great companies like Microsoft use recruiters as well. But, over time, they have built out a fantastic employer brand strategy. Promoting successes of their staff both professionally and personally, creating video content with team members not just directors, and bringing the outside world on a journey of what life really looks like when you join such a company.

Tiernan Dixon of Superbeam says:

“If you want an employer brand that works, it’s going to require honesty. This means being forthright about the challenges employees will face, and the sacrifices they’ll have to make, to access what’s on offer at your organisation.

“This is the new model of employer branding, one that actually works as a recruitment tool. It centres around your EVP (Employee Value Proposition) which is where you define and articulate your offer to employees and candidates. It’s a unique promise of change; not a job spec… it’s ‘Who do I become as a person by working at this business?’. This model eliminates the wrong candidates and attracts the right ones, it refines the funnel, speaks to the right people wastes nobody’s time. Typically, employer brands are being built upon the classic advertising model of, ‘We’re the best, come here, you’ll succeed’.

“Human psychology does not believe offers that are too good to be true, we must remember this when building employer brands. The new model of Employer branding consists of a ’Give & Get.’ It contains both the promises and challenges, it works with trade offs. Psychologically, this is a genuinely enticing proposition (it’s also much more rooted in reality and will add significant value to culture and retention.) There’s still plenty of space for bigging yourself up and utilising authentic advocacy from the people who embody the spirit of your brand. But the key is act as a magnet for the right people, not a hoover for anyone. Repel the many, compel the few.”

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