Recruiting & Retaining Top Class Talent

Recruiting & Retaining Top Class Talent

The skills gap is becoming increasingly prominent in the construction industry, particularly rail. About 50% of all roles at a construction firm are on the UK’s Occupational Shortage List .This means there is an urgent need to up-skill employees and retain talent within your organisation. But how do we do this and how do we prepare for the future?

Below are examples of the multiple ways BCM Construction and CrewIt Resourcing successfully retain and gain the top talents into our companies.

Apprenticeship Programme

A trendy and forward-thinking way to attract talented individuals with a fresh perspective, right attitude and thirst for knowledge. It is increasingly popular in the view of corporate sustainability and the apprenticeship levy. Everything you need to know about apprenticeships you will find here.


  • We recommend you work with local job centres and councils.
  • Ongoing training is a key element to any apprenticeship programme.
  • You will need to have experienced mentors assigned to your apprentices.
  • Monetary motivational scheme in place to reward them.
  • It is mid-term investment.

Student / Graduate Programme

The bright minds with the latest industry and practical knowledge – Why wouldn’t you hire them?  Programmes can be engineered for graduates with full-time and permanent employment, “sandwich year” or 2nd year students that require/choose a 1-year work placement, short internships (e.g. summer time).

All you need to do is to create very specific roles, assign line managers (ideally mentors) and identify universities you would like to target.  Universities typically have career fairs and job boards where you can operate a stand. You can also find students via standard means of job boards.


  • Best time to recruit students / graduates is March.
  • Rotation programme for your students to get exposure to various roles business.
  • Student/graduate expectations are high and they are difficult to retain. If you hire students who then go back to university you need to offer them some incentive for them to return to you.
  • This is a mid-term investment.

Working Placement

Working with schools and colleges can be very beneficial, not only do you get interesting talents for short internships, but you also influence the next generation in the sense of guiding them towards a well-balanced choice of their future profession and raise awareness about an industry you operate in.


  • Choose local schools and colleges.
  • This is a long-term investment.

Other Industries

Going outside of your industry to bring in new people can be very rewarding and productive. Here you will need some out-of-box thinking and lots of flexibility. When hiring people outside of your industry you will primarily rely on leadership competencies, rather than technical knowledge. It is critically important to look at the potential of people, their ability to adapt, absorb, learn and develop quickly.


  • Approach this option by testing adaptability, ability to learn, leadership attributes.
  • You will need to explain all specifics of your industry, especially if technical knowledge is required.
  • This is a mid-term investment.

Other Countries

Broadening geographical boundaries can bring diverse pool of talents. European Union countries do not require work permit yet. To bring people from other countries into the UK you will need to arrange a working visa for them.  You will need to obtain a licence from Home Office and provide sponsorship. See more information here.  It is a good way to retain talents as once sponsored by you they can only work for your company.


  • It is a lengthy and quite expensive process.
  • It can be helpful to get professional consultants to help you with this.
  • This is a short-term investment.

Process Is Key

Regardless of whether you consider all these alternative means of bringing real stars into your company or you stick to regular means, it is always a great idea to have a robust recruitment process in place.

This can include:

  • Writing a proper job description capturing responsibilities and requirements of the role. The more precise you are, the easier it will be to match candidates against it. It is quite important then to adapt it to an eye-catching job posting and include attractive summary and package that is suggested with this role.
  • You can post the job on job boards but also any professional sites and forums, alongside going to local job centres.
  • You will need to clearly identify roles and responsibilities within your recruitment process, what recruiters/HR oversee and what hiring managers cover.
  • It is necessary to get back to all applicants, including those unsuccessful, even if it is just thanking for application and giving a standard: “other applicants were more successful on this occasion”.
  • Quick phone interviews help to create a short list of right candidates, that can simply cover interest to this role, relevant knowledge and experience, salary expectations, notice. Consider video interviews – a modern and helpful substitution of phone calls.
  • Face-to-face interviews should be competency-based. You create a list of important behaviours for the role on top of required knowledge and experience. You then simulate or retrieve a real-life situation when this or that behaviour can be demonstrated and turn it into a question. Your questions should always start from: “Tell me about a time when you…” You need to then control their answer, making sure they tell you about a specific situation rather than a hypothetical case.  You can guide your candidates telling them that you would like to hear about a Situation, Task, Activity, Result – read more here.
  • Interviews are an opportunity for you not only to ask your questions, but also answer those from candidate as they also make a choice and promote your company.
  • Continuous contact, dialogue and prompt process will help to retain your candidates whilst you make a choice rather than losing them halfway.

We hope these top tips will help you to attract the best talent for your company.  Here at Crewit Resourcing we can provide further guidance on the above and much more; our professional team of dedicated recruitment consultants will be happy to help you.