Recruiting and retaining good staff is a long-running challenge for construction businesses

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Vanishing acts

The Hays consultants’ salary has this week shown the problem of recruiting and retaining good staff, noting how this can benefit employees’ wage packets.

This is a long-running challenge for construction businesses. In 2002, Phil Clark reported on “empty seats around the industry’s boardroom tables” being filled in Visigoth style “by raiding parties snatching the brightest and the best in other sectors”. The article’s cut-throat imagery continues with “Laing’s hunt for fresh blood”.

The piece details the perceived lack of talent at a senior level. One construction chief phrased the problem in a way that many a frustrated staff member might agree with: “There is plenty of top management around - whether many of them are any good is the question.”

The vacuum, which caused contractors to look outside the sector for managers,

was created by industry restructuring in the 1990s. The article said this ridded it of unnecessary levels of management but also displaced some potential chief executives of the 2000s and beyond.

To read the full article from 8 March 2002, download the PDF below.