Guide to Hiring Contract Employees to Meet Seasonal Demand (Part 1)


Many architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) businesses experience seasonal fluctuations. It is not uncommon for demand to rise throughout the spring and summer months, and companies often need to supplement their workforce to ensure they can handle the additional business. However, bringing on permanent workers is less than ideal, especially if demand is almost guaranteed to slow after the peak season, resulting in layoffs.

Hiring Contract Employees to Meet Seasonal Demand

When it comes to meeting seasonal demand, hiring contract employees is often a smarter choice. You gain the flexibility to increase or decrease your workforce as needed without the expense and obligations associated with hiring, maintaining, and laying off permanent staff members. To help you navigate the contract employee hiring process, here are some guidelines to follow.

Analyze Trends to Form a Plan

While each season is unique, reviewing your past peak seasons to identify trends and patterns can help you anticipate demand for the coming peak season. You can examine the workloads from prior years and employment numbers to see if you had a properly sized workforce based on what you experienced during that time. Additionally, you can examine whether any customers had to be turned away due to insufficient manning.

However, you also want to compare your current workload to previous slower seasons from the past few years. This lets you determine if demand has been greater during the leaner parts of the year or if it remained steady by comparison. That way you’ll have a better picture of whether this peak season will resemble previous ones or not.

By analyzing these trends, you can create a basic plan for supplementing your workforce with contract employees, including how many workers you will likely need and in what specialty areas. Further, you can predict when you need to bring them on board to ensure they are available when the increased workload comes into play.

Create Solid Job Descriptions

Before you begin looking for candidates, you need to determine precisely which skills and experiences are required for each role. Do not automatically assume that last year’s job descriptions are sufficient, particularly if you have experienced changes in your core team or have embraced new systems or technologies. Each year is slightly different, so it is wise to review the information for accuracy and make any required adjustments.

When you craft the job descriptions, drill down to decide which skills or experiences are genuinely essential and which would qualify as “preferred.” A laundry list of mandatory qualifications means you may miss out on some amazing talent, as many professionals will forgo applying if they do not have everything on the list. However, by paring the “must haves” down to only those that are requirements to be successful in the role, you can access a larger talent pool.

Ultimately, the job descriptions are the foundation upon which you will build compelling vacancy announcements and recruit top talent. Without them, you may find yourself targeting workers with the wrong skills, and that can be harmful to the hiring process.

Partner with the Right Company

When it comes to finding the right architect, engineer or construction professional, not all companies are equal. There are plenty of firms that find and place people, but all too often, that’s all they’re doing: staffing. Filling an empty chair doesn’t solve the problem if that individual isn’t a good fit for the role.

Ensure your success by partnering with a company that will take a personal approach to your company’s needs. RealStreet specializes in matching qualified professionals to open opportunities throughout the AEC industry. We have proven processes in place to source, recruit and retain the top talent your company needs to achieve success.

Could Contract Employees Help Your Company Handle High Seasonal Demand?

If you are interested in learning more, make sure to read Part 2 of the guide next month and contact us today to hear more about about how our services can make hiring contract employees this season a breeze.

A career in construction administration and management can be (and for me has been) one of constant transition. It’s rather common that employment with a given company starts and finishes with each successive project; you’re a new hire as it’s just getting “out of the ground,” then finished and looking for a new project (and Read More…

Greg Wangler, Pentagon Construction Management Division

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