The Future of Hiring and the Challenges of HR Directors in Construction: Project Management

The Future of Hiring and the Challenges of HR Directors in Construction: Project Management

Efficiency is a word heavily used in today’s construction atmosphere. Every part of every project must meet expected goals with a keen eye on costs, timelines, and effectiveness. For construction companies, the success of the company’s projects comes down to who is running them, and whether these project managers are a good fit for the job. Without highly qualified, innovative project management, costs run up, and projects fall behind, leaving a bad taste in the mouth of the customer.

Why HR Directors Find Hiring Project Managers for the Construction Industry Challenging

Project management continues to become one of the most challenging aspects of today’s modern construction company. The industry is facing pressure on many sides, including in the following areas. When hiring a project manager, HR professionals are tasked with finding a person who can “do it all” and that often is where the concern lies. These are the some of hte challenges today’s project manager must be able to manage, which ultimately means having experience in each area.

  • Material price escalations: Costs are rising quickly, and as inflation worsens, companies need project managers that can find gaps and opportunities to reduce their costs. 
  • Adverse weather conditions: Project success is often hampered by severe weather, which in itself has been increasing in frequency. 
  • Flexibility in operations: Change of scope in a project derails well-laid plans, but it has become a competitive industry in which those who have the ability to meet the changing demands of clients will thrive. Initial project designs and increasing client demands are the norm.
  • Performance errors: Construction companies are also battling increasing liability costs, brought on in part by performance errors, product failures, or rushed solutions. The use of inferior materials from untested vendors is a core concern.
  • Lack of labor: While companies continue to push ahead to meet the demands across the construction industry, it goes without saying that labor shortages remain a big challenge. This forces project managers to realign goals on a constant basis to continue to meet needs and expectations.

Turnover Hurts Many Companies

Just as important as understanding how the project manager’s job has changed is considering turnover. In the construction industry as a whole, an annual turnover of between 10 and 15% is considered normal and even healthy, according to Buildertrend. Yet, when you look at who is leaving, some of the most impactful losses are project managers. 

Let’s consider the most common challenges project managers are facing:

  • Cost overruns they cannot absorb or “fix” 
  • Change in project scope that becomes too difficult to manage, setting up the project for failure
  • Unrealistic demands and timelines
  • Limited budgets that do not meet objectives 
  • Safety and the lack of highly trained employees make it difficult to manage objectives

This, on top of a competitive job market, makes project managers more likely to leave a company that is not supporting them or one that may be overworking them with unrealistic expectations.

How HR Directors in Construction Can Fill the Project Management Gap

It’s not about hiring a person to simply fill a job role, but rather finding a project manager that can meet today’s demands. Most HR directors are unable to change the way they do business. Simply, they need a professional that can jump in and get projects moving without a lot of training and hands-on support. 

Define what key skills your professionals need to have:

Experience overseeing multi-faceted, complex projects

  • Skilled project managers utilizing the same technology and innovation strategies you are already using with hands-on knowledge.
  • Skill in the sector of construction you are operating in, such as commercial, multi-family residential, industrial, or residential. 
  • Highly trained communicators are those who can work through people with efficiency to improve productivity.
  • Individuals who have experience in high-stress positions, especially if your company is struggling to get back on pace.

How to Find the Top Talent You Need for Project Management in Construction

MRINetwork offers the support and solutions companies need. Our globally expansive team works closely with construction company managers and HR teams to truly analyze needs and develop a strategy for bringing in the right team, the top talent that’s needed to enhance operations and achieve company-wide goals. Set up a consultation today to learn more about what we can do to help you.