Secrets for Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent

Jeani Ringkob, owner of StoryBuilt Growth Advisory, will speak on the topic at this year's CONEXPO-CON/AGG trade show

Secrets for Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent

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Even though jobless claims started ticking up this summer, the U.S. unemployment rate remained well below 4% while millions of open positions remained unfilled. Employment data analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America suggested that the construction industry, in particular, had a record high number of openings in May. Yet, at the same time, the number of jobseekers with construction experience plummeted to a record low.

In other words, the construction industry continues to struggle with the skilled labor shortage.

“This issue has become a crisis now,” says Jeani Ringkob, owner of StoryBuilt Growth Advisory, a consulting firm whose mission is to help busy entrepreneurs identify and fix the weakest link in their businesses. “There is a huge demand for infrastructure, but a lot of companies can’t even go out and execute because they don’t even know how they are going to fill their crews every day.”

This is creating the biggest bottleneck in the typical construction company today. Ringkob says many companies need people who can essentially sign their employment paperwork, step onto a jobsite and immediately start producing at a high level. This just isn’t happening. Consequently, an influx of inexperienced labor puts more pressure on existing employees and supervisors which negatively impacts employee retention.

“Construction company leaders are fighting a battle from two different sides,” Ringkob says. “They must figure out how to get good employees, and how to prevent them from leaving. That requires a very strategic approach toward developing a deep understanding of your workforce. Building a stable workforce is never going to be like it was 20 years ago. Today’s workforce has different needs. To find out what those needs are, you have to make a commitment and get a little dirty. That’s what we’re going to dive into at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023.”

How to get results

First of all, Ringkob says employers need to do some research to gather the data and information that can help steer them toward the right tools and strategies.

“It is so important to learn as much as you can about your current employees, especially the successful ones,” Ringkob says. Through interviews and surveys, you can find out more about their backgrounds, such as where they’ve worked before and what made them want to begin working for your company.

You can also discover what they do outside of work, including their family life, media habits, what influences their decision-making, or paint points in their personal lives.

Once that information is discovered, companies can begin refining their overall recruitment and retention strategy, including messaging, targeting and tactics. “There is going to be some experimentation involved,” Ringkob says. “That is why it is also important to identify the metrics that will be measured so adjustments can be made as necessary.”

In her education session at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023, Ringkob will share case study data from various industries, as well as results from projects she personally has been working on right here in the construction industry.

In her education session featured at the upcoming CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 — which is taking place from March 14-18 in Las Vegas — Ringkob will dive deep into detail about the extent of this issue and advice for contractors and business owners. See below for more info on how to attend her session, “Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent at Every Level.”

About the speaker

Ringkob grew up in the construction industry, working 25-plus years in her family’s asphalt business. She also had a 10-year career in the agricultural commodities trading industry where she saw a lot of crossover into construction. She earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing and has continued taking numerous college-level courses and earning various business-related certifications over the past several years.

The 2023 show will mark Ringkob’s first time speaking at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG education conference. It will also mark the first time she has attended the show in many years. “I was there when I was just a little girl when my parents attended pretty regularly,” Ringkob says. “I’m excited to come back and share this information to help attendees learn how to better recruit and retain top talent.”

CONEXPO-CON/AGG’s comprehensive education program is a leading source for contractors, business owners, construction material producers and end-users to obtain cutting-edge information for today’s challenging economy and business model. Click here for more information.


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