Building Materials Recruitment Trends 2024
We’re officially in 2024, meaning it’s time we discuss building materials recruitment trends that our specialists expect to see this new year.
But before looking into the future, let’s reflect on our predictions from the start of 2023. We went into detail on what changed regarding these predictions halfway through the year. So, you can check out what came to fruition and what was still pending. Looking back a year later, our predictions for 2023 were right. Businesses streamlined, several manufacturers and merchants made redundancies, and there were more candidates on the market.
In all honesty, the housing market has really slowed due to the cost of living and mortgage interest rates slowing down sales. And therefore, new-build manufacturers take their foot off the gas a bit. Because there’s no point having loads of newly built houses completed at the same time if there’s little demand. This means that there are fewer jobs, and recruitment within this industry has been testing. That leads to our predictions for building materials recruitment trends for 2024 – albeit very similar to those we made a year ago.
Redundancies, Redundancies, Redundancies
There’s no denying that 2024 will see more redundancies going into Q1. Redundancies made the big headlines in 2023, but they have to steady eventually. When you look at the impact, redundancies aren’t just affecting the industry, they’re knocking the company’s reputation. And when it comes down to planning for 2024, businesses will be aiming for stability, rather than growth. Many of our clients have said it’s about having the right person in the right role, selling through multiple routes to market.
From conversations we’ve had with a range of clients. There were many reasons for redundancies in the final quarter of 2023. Some were due to streamlining, others because of headcount being too high, and a few to please shareholders. With many acquisitions and merges over 2023, some redundancies were just a result of how those businesses wanted to grow in 2024. Stripping back to rebuild.
Return to growth is coming
Although the UK economy was close to being in a recession in 2023, which heavily impacted our industry. Reports suggest that a return to growth is expected in the second half of 2024. And this will continue through to 2027.
Our partners, Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), have forecasted that building materials sales will improve later in 2024. As interest rates begin to fall and we approach a general election.
…and so skills
With an aging workforce and a desperate need to attract the next generation into the building materials supply industry. Through 2024-25, there will be a big focus on apprenticeships and bringing thousands of people into our industry. Building talent from the ground up and providing them with the necessary skills.
The skills shortage sweeping through this industry right now will inevitably impact hiring. You’re going to have to dig through candidates to find someone who possesses the appropriate skills. And the reality is that these individuals probably won’t have direct experience within the building materials sector.
This leads to the other part of this prediction, that skills will begin to outweigh experience. Understanding the market and necessary skills inside and out is crucial when finding talent from outside of the industry. And part of this is truly knowing what you’re looking for. Before you start hiring, make a wish list of the qualities and skills you want the ideal candidate to possess.
Leveraging social media
We’ve seen some other organisations predicting this and they’ve hit the nail on the head! In a competitive market, with fewer and fewer jobs, social media is a great way to get all the important information out there. Not only is it the perfect way to differentiate yourself from other organisations, but you can really communicate the values and culture of your company.
Social media can be utilised by everyone within the recruitment process, candidates, clients, and recruiters themselves (our specialists’ LinkedIn accounts are a prime example of this).
Recruitment shouldn’t just be about when you need to hire. Your company branding is a very important aspect of recruitment. It lays the foundations for an efficient process when positions do open. So, it’s worth being proactive with your social media to build up your company brand so people know who you are and want to work for you, even maybe before you’re hiring for roles.
The same goes for building a personal brand. You should utilise social media to highlight your assets, transferable skills, and relevant experience. This way, when you’re in the market for a new opportunity and begin the recruitment process, your green flags are out there for everyone to see.
On top of using social media, a good job description is paramount but there’s a knack to this. We can help you craft a perfect job description showcasing that stands out to the top, ideal talent. And if you go for our immersive recruitment package, we can help to amplify your brand, taking the marketing to the next level to attract skilled individuals who share your passion.
Emphasis on Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are rising in priority among organisations, and this is a trend we expect to see growth in 2024. We predict to see an emphasis on diverse candidate sourcing, inclusive job descriptions, and unbiased selection processes.
In recruitment, there’s a mix of men and women. Whereas, the building materials sector is well known for being a male-dominated industry. However, massive efforts are being made to encourage women to join the industry. Our Divisional manager, Natalie, is leading that movement in every way she can. Check out her blog with #YesSheCan.
At Stirling Warrington, we believe that to achieve true diversity and inclusion you should focus on putting the right person with the right skills in the job for the right reasons. If we want to attract a more diverse range of people into our industry, we need to recruit those with transferable skills, not just industry experience. Or else we will always fish in the same pool of people.
So, if we can help it, this is one of the building materials recruitment trends that you’ll definitely see on the rise in 2024!
Recruiting in 2024 will have its own trials and tribulations, like any other year. But it’s not all bad news. We are hopeful that a return to growth is pending, and that things will be on the incline again.
As an industry, we’ve come so far around apprenticeships, diversity and inclusion, and recruiting on transferable skills (not just industry experience). But there’s still so much more we can do to truly put our industry on the map.
If you want more information about how to recruit for this changing market in 2024. Then fill out this form to book a free 15-minute conversation with our Building materials divisional manager Natalie Chapman.
The Experts Behind the Blog
Adam Dolman, SW’s Director, has a background in recruiting in the Building Materials industry. Working in the KBB industry and building materials sector. Not only does he bring insights from his nearly 10 years in the industry. Adam also brings a fresh perspective that helps you to innovate recruitment practices.
Natalie Chapman is the Divisional Manager for our Building Materials Recruitment team. She has over 18 years of experience in recruiting within the sector, so has seen everything from the recession to COVID! She delivers a wealth of knowledge about the recruitment and selection process.
Natalie firmly sits within the industry around our partnerships with the NMBS and BMF. And as Chair of the BMF ambassadors group, she has an edge that many don’t.