A Hiring Opportunity for Paving Companies

By Monica Pitts

If finding the right people for the right seats on the bus is your challenge, get ready to fill the bus.

As many businesses are forced to close up shop, many places keep paving on. As I drive down the main roads of my community, it’s one big work zone. The sidewalks are out, the intersections are dug up; it’s a beautiful bright spot in all this mess.

Employees are feeling the crunch as other industries struggle to keep their heads above water creating an opportunity for paving and construction companies to fill their employment bus.

Hiring has transitioned from HR to a marketing activity, which feels pretty foreign if most of your projects are won by low-bid or funded by state and local government. So many paving companies suffer from a lack of marketing horsepower. They haven’t invested in building the online presence necessary to compete in the job market today.

Now is the time to fix all that.
About the only place you can’t get COVID-19 is online. Website traffic is primed to go through the roof. The first metrics are out according to Forbes, internet hits in Europe for areas with enforced self-isolation policies are up 70% over pre-COVID internet usage. You have a captive audience (in some cases literally) to share your message.

Here’s where you need to focus to make the most of hiring opportunities during this time.

Lean into social media.
I know, you thought I was going to say list your jobs out on Indeed and LinkedIn. That’s obvious, yes—definitely do that. But right now, people are freaking out, putting decision making on hold. The person you want to hire isn’t necessarily looking for a job yet, but they might be feeling the crunch, or be afraid that their job might not be there much longer. They’re at the beginning of the buying cycle, realizing they may have a problem and considering solutions to the challenge. You can be a potential solution. The people on a job website are ready to buy, they’re looking for a new job. So put your listings out there to scoop them up when they’re ready to buy. On social media lean into education and relationship building.

According to the New York Times during the week of March 24, 2020, overall U.S. traffic from Facebook to other websites increased by more than 50% from the week before. That’s where I recommend you focus your efforts right now. With everybody marooned at home, bored out of their minds, people want to connect more than ever before. People are on social media, many of them probably already regret the decision to rejoin social media, but they’re out there nonetheless.

You need to put a little money behind your efforts. The people that you have in your following already know you and would already consider working with you. We need to get in front of new people.

Start by boosting a post. You could invest as little as $10 on Facebook and get great results. It could just be a testimonial from an employee about how great you are to work for or a staff photo with an, “oh, by the way, we’re accepting applications”. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It just needs to start the conversation to plant a seed in the viewer’s mind that you may be a solution to the problem that they’re starting to feel.

Take your process online.
In general, your website needs to be ready to take applications online. Especially now, when for safety reasons you don’t want to invite people in to fill out applications. But taking your hiring process online is more than just getting an email form on your website. How much of your process can you virtualize? Make it easy to schedule interviews using a service like Calendly to speed up setting appointments, the basic package is free. And much of your interview process can take place over a service like Zoom so you can see people face-to-face. They don’t have to have a computer to use Zoom, a cell phone will do, then you can look them in the eyes when you’re talking. Regardless of your tactic, bring the process online and make it as streamlined as possible.

Update the hiring section of your website.
The grass needs to be greener on your side of the fence. The cool people that you want to work for you may be in pain but many still have jobs, they might even like where they work. They need to understand you are also cool people and great to work for. Some of this “coolness” should be spread on social media and it also needs to extend to your online home—a.k.a. your website.

Make sure your site really sounds like you. Not too polished, not too rough but like you. And delete those stupid photos of people who don’t work for you. Replace them with actual pictures of your team. Even if you have to take them on your iPhone, those photos will be more real than any stock photo could ever be.

Review your careers section. You may need more than one page. People seeking entry level employment have different concerns and considerations than those people qualified to move into management roles. Create a page for each. Tell them the benefits that you offer and why it’s a great place to work. Share quotes from their potential peers.

Make a move online.
Right now, as a paving company, I’d invest my marketing dollars online with a focus on hiring. As this pandemic unfolds and if paving continues, your community will present more and more riders willing to fill the seats on your bus. Now is the opportunity to meet them where they are—online.

Monica Pitts is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of MayeCreate Design. She spends her days constructing a marriage of form and function; creating art with her design team to grow businesses through websites and online marketing. Monica considers herself an artist, marketer and web dork with the ability to speak geek and English.