Hi there! Thanks for following @WorkPanda. Choosing the right hiring partner is important. Investing in your people, processes and technology is the future. Your brand doesn’t exist without the people, and this cannot be achieved without attracting and retaining the very best.
Unlike many other industries, the construction sector is unique, it’s one of the biggest and oldest industries in the world dating back to 3700 BC…wow that’s old! Construction is everywhere, the houses we live in, the roads we drive on, and the neighborhoods that bring together our communities. Yet, it is the least digitised and lags other industries in the world. Most commentators describe the industry as ‘old’, ‘traditional and ‘archaic’.
The world is changing, today over 10 percent of the working population is unemployed, construction will be a lead contributor to economic output by 2030 and by 2050 the global population will be 10 billion! What does this mean? More pressure from international governments to redesign, build, renew and regenerate our cities whilst also aligning to sustainable and climate change agendas.
• Policymakers aren’t holding back, and this is evident across the globe:
• (GCC)Saudi Arabia plans to spend $825 billion to support vision 2030
• (USA)Joe Biden has recently announced a $2tn budget for infrastructure spend
• (UK)UK has pledged over 22,000 jobs to resource High Speed 2 (HS2)
During the last decade, the definition of work has changed - globalization, improved mobility, technology and a great pull towards diversity and inclusion. Work environments are adapting to changing needs, and people… well they have become more open about what they want out of their careers and lives. But surprisingly it’s not just money! Working abroad, project-based work, remote working, flexible working hours, and project variance have all become equally as important.
Over the past 12 months (during covid) companies have shifted their attention to ‘human assets’ (employees); understanding how to attract and retain talent, reducing attrition, and future planning.40-80% revenue is spent on hiring and wages, therefore high attrition rates will be any CEO’s worst nightmare… oh yeah, this got your attention, didn’t it. It’s a huge hole in an employer’s pocket when people leave. Yet, it doesn’t seem that companies think about it too much; not having a robust hiring process, using manual methods to hire, making the wrong hire and using underqualified recruiters.
Having spent 10 years delivering complex construction projects across UK and middle East, we understand first-hand the importance of building strong, adaptable, and enduring teams. Let’s face it building projects isn’t easy and not having the right resources to deliver them can be disastrous, especially with demanding, project directors, clients and financial stakeholders on the other side of the table.
Construction is complex but resourcing them can be equally challenging. The hiring process can be cumbersome -lots of unnecessary paperwork, engaging with third parties, shortlisting, scheduling, interviewing and so many other intricacies that drive hiring managers crazy. With companies continuously building pipelines, this creates a unique challenge.
What we've witnessed is over 95% of applicants applying for roles are speculative. An average vacancy receives 300 applicants. Roles in Saudi near 1,500. Unfortunately, hiring managers do not hold the attention span or have the time to expand when they have 10 roles to fill in a short timeframe. Filling a role can be like a ticking timebomb being thrown around like a hot potato.
In general, HR teams are under-resourced and overworked relative to their peers in other functions. It may seem like it, but hiring teams aren’t drinking coffee all day, companies are continuously bidding for work, restructuring, organizing, and adapting to market needs. Let’s be honest Middle East clients are demanding! A lack or mismatch of resources and time to resources may lead to increased risk of project failure…or an employer’s ability to win work.
It's quite ironic but many employers have little idea of what they're looking for; “the candidate must do a million things, plus be confident, friendly, adaptable and also be available to work across the GCC” but the salary is only AED 5K. This is unrealistic. Job descriptions are usually written by someone who is either not technical enough or ‘CTRL C’ and ‘CTRL V’ from a competitor via LinkedIn. We’re not making it up, we’ve seen it! Whilst this may be unconscious; planning for hire is thrown by the wayside and employers may jump straight into sourcing and interviewing candidates without understanding their needs.
Finding the right candidate is the single most difficult aspect of hiring. Let’s be honest, most candidates don’t know how to present themselves; 5-page resume (covering the white spaces), unreadable fonts, spelling mistakes, too many buzzwords, regurgitating their work history, too many messages in the ‘DM’. People often struggle to identify their strengths. Even if they did figure out what makes them special, they often have trouble highlighting this in their resume, application, and interview.
Candidates and employers alike aren’t savvy, and it’s very important that there is a collaborative user experience that is clear, simple and frictionless. Candidates hone the right skills to deliver technical projects; however, may not be good at branding and positioning themselves in the labor market. Similarly, most employers have several stakeholders, use cumbersome processes, and maybe ill-equipped to run a hiring process.
“Hasten slowly, let’s be smarter in the way we do things”
WorkPanda is an on-demand labour marketplace that helps Construction, Engineering, and Design companies find top talent on demand. We focus solely on white-collar talent across all levels e.g., project, cost, commercial & design managers, architects, and digital delivery specialists (BIM).
WorkPandais on a mission to revolutionise a $10 trillion industry through a hiring tool. We are passionate about three things: People, Construction and Technology. Along with our partners Microsoft & Oracle for Start-ups, we have embarked on a journey to digitise the sourcing and hiring process through technology. A smarter and more sustainable solution that will create better value when hiring, building pipelines and servicing projects. Whilst it may seem like it, we’re not replacing humans, we are simply facilitating processes that over time have become laborious, cumbersome, and outdated. If we want to keep up with population growth, economic demand and sustain our cities, we need to adopt smarter solutions.
Having experience in the industry for nearly a decade, delivering construction projects alongside project & cost managers, clients, end-users, and wider stakeholders we understand in great detail what an exceptional team looks like.
Like most traditional SaaS companies, we use data to curate higher levels of personalisation between employer and candidate. There are thousands of individual touchpoints that are embedded across the user interface to improve the overall experience. We also use smart features like video resume, application tracking, and ‘match to my vacancy’ to enhance the hiring experience when sourcing, parsing and assessing candidates.
You may have heard the buzzword ‘Artificial Intelligence (AI)’ being thrown around the office or social media. Well, here’s two new words Machine Learning (ML) and Natural Language Processing (NLP). Weare learning from the user’s experience(s) to predict sequences, events and better determine a suitable fit. It’s like shopping on Asos, the moment when you were like – “how do they know what I like those shoes, and jeans combo…. This is crazy”. Well, this is what we’re doing when it comes to hiring and matching.
So, you may be thinking about why we’ve gone the extra mile. Well, for us the more we know about you the faster, more efficient, and effective matches., location, experience, ability, skills, aspirations, etc. Being agile and working lean is important, particularly in a dynamic, fast-paced, and demanding industry.
For employers, WorkPanda provides an end-to-end solution tailored to the built environment. We live, breathe and speak construction and this is what sets us apart from others. The bonus part is we’ve got a great technology team who have built world-leading projects.
We're a huge fan of organising your hiring process, so providing the information through templates, drop-down menus, pre-populated fields, and drag and drop features excites us. We know you’re busy and working often in fast-paced environments; through a click of a button, you can have your job vacancy ready and post it live in seconds. We post to several job boards, which means you can reach thousands of candidates in a few minutes. We organise the candidates how you want them, so assessing them becomes simple. Here’s the clever part, candidates who don’t meet your job description, can’t see the vacancy entirely which means you only receive quality applicants.
Over and beyond that, we learn every time you use WorkPanda, so your experience becomes better over time.
For candidates, we provide a visual profile that represents the best of their skills, personality, and experience. After completing the profile to 100%, they have the ability to use it as their resume (for free).
Hiring changing, we’ve also gone the extra mile by providing a video resume that will separate you from the crowd. The video is an opportunity to impress the hiring manager; reflect on your accomplishments, document career success, and define the particular experience. You can talk about ‘what makes you fabulous’ and the value you will bring to the team. We want candidates to make the first impression, first time round so we encourage candidates to spend time completing their profiles. Be passionate, do your research and put on a show!
As the construction industry moves forward demand for knowledge, learning and development is gathering pace; reskilling and upskilling is, therefore, an important aspect of career development but also to remain competitive within the market.
Whilst some employers may have dedicated development programs to address the skills gap, we believe they are slow to take action due to financial constraints and the lack of suitable technology to support local initiatives. WorkPanda understands the growing need to support employees and jobseekers and has created a Virtual learning environment (VLE) to assist through and during their career. Introducing a VLE offers several advantages including high-quality content, access to a range of industry-specific services, curated courses, industry news, and insights at your fingertips.
We see more demand from SMEs who are generally under-resourced and underserved when it comes to having dedicated hiring and HR teams. Hiring budgets are low and the need to resource projects is incredibly challenging. LinkedIn can only take you so far. Using external recruiters is also fine and for some a more convenient way to hire (though old-school). Some people may not be savvy enough to adopt such tool(s) and would rather speak to someone over the phone.
Larger employers who hire at scale generally have built out teams with dozens of talent managers constantly parsing and onboarding candidates, a conveyor belt style process that is fixed, regimental and governed tightly by red tap policy. Where WorkPandas adds value support in sourcing a diverse pool of candidates. We work alongside an employer’s ATS to provide maximum value.
Weare an industry-specific matching platform and not a directory(LinkedIn) or a job board (post and wish you get the best candidates)or a recruitment company. In fact, we don’t employ any recruiters, it’s all down to technology.
“You wouldn't let your gardener sell your house, so why do you let a recruiter be responsible for your hiring”.
While human interaction is inevitable during the hiring process, we believe that technology can help improve processes and be smarter in removing some of the critical bottlenecks; hiring biases, middlemen, advertising, researching, time, and costs related to using traditional incumbents. We also believe that a digital solution is more economical, sustainable, and most importantly scalable as an employer's organisational needs change. Technology can be highly adaptable, and this is very important in an industry that is continuously changing.
Whilst LinkedIn has 700 million people, finding the right candidate hasn’t been more difficult. LinkedIn has become yet another ‘social media site'. But this really doesn’t help the industry solve its hiring problems.
Employers love WorkPanda because we provide an easy-to-use and accessible platform. In a few clicks, employers can find what they’re looking for. Convenience is important when you’re juggling a million things. We have a live chatbot (managed by a human) so you can reach out anytime. Our visual profiles make it so much easier to find what you're looking for. It’s structured in a way that you’d want to see it which is a huge benefit; especially when you’re comparing profiles (feature coming out soon). We’re also industry-specific and pre-vet candidates which is a huge benefit when sourcing candidates.
As the advancement of technology continues to disrupt the way we work, we believe blue-collar work will be highly susceptible to disruption. We have seen over the past decade the rise of digitisation in construction including software solutions (virtual reality), digital equipment (drones), and automation (robotic bricklaying). Technological innovations have increased productivity, reducing costs and improving quality. These solutions are also highly scalable, sustainable, and available. Whether we like it or not, digitisation is becoming more prevalent across the industry and this has and will continue to put the demand for skilled talent.
WorkPandasees the opportunity in this sector and wants to make visible the best candidates; those who have a growth mindset, willing & able to learn, and can optimise their learning to adapt quickly to market demands.
For candidates, it’s 100% FREE.
For employers, we provide a flexible hiring solution that is tailored to our clients. We have a subscription-based software-as-a-service(SaaS) to gain access to a range of smart features (including visual profile, video resume, candidate parsing, ATS) and a 5% fee on the appointment of a candidate. Since our solution is cloud-based, we can really scale with our clients, providing a service that caters to their hiring needs. We are also listening, adapting, and improving our service, ensuring a tailored approach.
It is evident that there is a need to improve how, as an industry, we find skilled talent. Not just in response to Covid19, but for the benefit of future generations who will take the industry forward -planning for the future is therefore imminent.
Tools like Aconex, MS project, Trello, which are commonly used in industry may have been frowned upon when introduced, but as they become more prevalent in day-to-day work, offer huge advantages to organisations. Organisations who embrace such technologies may benefit in the long run and those who do not may be left behind.
We hope you found this article insightful. If you're an employee, we'd love to hear from you. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're a candidate currently looking for opportunities, or speculating, please register here.