How Long Does It Take To Onboard an Employee in Construction?


How Long Does It Take To Onboard an Employee in Construction?

Onboarding employees can be a tricky process to figure out, especially in a fast-moving industry like construction. However, while onboarding in different industries varies, there are some similarities and best practices that are universally applicable. In this brief guide, we’ll explore those connections and talk about how to successfully onboard a construction employee and how long it should take. Let’s jump in!

What Is the Onboarding Process for Construction?

There are three general phases of the construction onboarding process that need to happen.

1. Administrative

There’s a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed for new construction employees. It’s important to ensure you’re collecting all the necessary information to comply with regulations and laws. Some of the common forms for construction onboarding include:

  • Background check consent form
  • Drug test consent form
  • Employment contract
  • I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form
  • W-4 Form (W-9 for contractors)
  • Emergency contacts form
  • Safety expectations form

A common issue with paperwork, especially when there’s a lot of it, is that new employees lose the form or forget to fill it out. Using Yourco is a great way to prevent these problems. You can easily text forms to your new hires and send reminders to fill them out. From their side, it’s just as easy—all they have to do is open their texts to find the form, fill it out, snap a pic, and send it back to you.

2. Orientation

After all the paperwork, it’s time for your new employees to learn about their working environment and get up-to-speed on their day-to-day responsibilities. With Yourco, you can easily help guide them through this stage by sending messages like:

  • First Day Instructions: It can be really confusing for non-desk employees who are out on job sites to know where to go and what to do on day one. You can schedule a message to go out prior to their first day that includes all of these details. Don’t forget to include important safety reminders!
  • Workspace Setup: While construction workers are often out in the field, they may still have space at your office to store gear or have team meetings. You can include an “office tour,” with information about parking, meeting rooms, break rooms, bathrooms, and other practical details.
  • Teammate Information: Construction workers have to operate as a team every day of the week. It’s important to share the information about who each new hire will work with and communicate the chain of command from the jump.

Orientation is an essential phase, since by the end, new employees should know what they’re doing, who they’re working with, and where they need to go.

3. Enablement

While the first two phases are about the practical logistics of starting a job, this final phase is about ensuring your employees can continue to succeed and grow. In this phase, think about including things like:

  • Thorough Safety & Procedure Training: Construction jobs are dangerous—it’s just a reality. Your workers’ safety should be a key focus as they are your most important asset. While yes, you’re required to provide this training by law, it’s also the right thing to do. Don’t neglect this step! Consider sending out quick text refreshers throughout onboarding to remind your new hires. 
  • Assigning a Mentor: One of the best ways to help a new hire feel comfortable is to introduce them to someone who has experience and expertise. A mentor provides valuable guidance and is a sounding board for a new employee. It can feel intimidating to ask questions from HR or a “big boss,” so a mentor who is on the same team can help eliminate that stress. 
  • Creating Regular Check-ins: It’s important to keep in touch throughout the whole onboarding flow. Consider using an internal text communication platform like Yourco to schedule self-evaluation surveys regularly.

How Do You Train a New Employee Effectively?

Let’s explore some quick tips for an effective onboarding process. Here are 6 ways to set up a new hire for success:

  1. Establish clear protocols so new employees know exactly how to perform their weekly tasks.
  2. Provide a variety of learning formats to accommodate different learning styles.
  3. Encourage questions so you can provide extra resources and training as needed.
  4. Engage and integrate new team members by facilitating team bonding and teamwork.
  5. Communicate proactively and on a regular basis, making sure new hires know all of the communication channels.
  6. Evaluate your process and continue to iterate and improve!

How Long Should the Onboarding Process Take?

Research shows that onboarding processes vary widely—from three months to an entire year. Your onboarding process should take…as long as it needs to. While everyone wants to maximize time to productivity, especially in a fast-paced environment like construction, rushing your onboarding process (or setting up arbitrary timelines) can cause issues. Be sure to allot enough time for the vital safety training! Also, watch out for new employee warning signs that they’re struggling—like poor attendance—and consider adjusting your onboarding to address individual issues.

How Long Does Onboarding Paperwork Take?

It depends on the number of forms that you have your new hires fill out. It’s important to evaluate the paperwork; each should have a specific purpose and there shouldn’t be gaps (like neglecting an emergency contact form or failing to collect important information). Try to make the paperwork portion as easy as possible: consider using text messages to send forms so that employees can easily find them and refer back to them.

Build a Better Onboarding With Yourco

Ready to revamp your onboarding? SMS texting is a great way to reach non-desk employees during an onboarding process. As the old saying goes, “a worker is only as good as their tools,” so invest in the best tool for the job: Yourco. Watch a demo today or contact us to learn more!

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