Construction Momentum Gaining Steam, Uncertainty Still Looms

The future of construction looks bright and industry momentum sits at a 12 year high, according to the Dodge Momentum Index. With contractors facing unprecedented cost increases, supply chain disruptions, and worker shortages- how companies will approach the coming growth is still uncertain. From our perspective, we feel unemployment benefits need to start getting peeled back. Contractors need to get aggressive with hiring and be ready to train younger and/or new talent looking to return to the workforce as the pandemic wanes.

“The fact that employment has stalled — despite strong demand for new homes, remodeling of all types and selected categories of nonresidential projects — suggests that contractors can’t get either the materials or the workers they need,” Simonson said.

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For more information on how Cornerstone Recruiting can help find you skilled workers, visit our website-

A Busy 5 Years Coming for Road Builders

“Regardless of which plan we go with here, the Republican plan, our baseline forecast or the American Jobs Plan, there’s a huge step [up] here for road and bridge construction over the coming five years,” Branch said on a webinar this week. He added that the environmental public works sector, which includes water infrastructure, sewers, dams and reclamation projects, would also see “a huge improvement over current funding assumptions” under any of the three scenarios.

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If You Want To Work…Jobs Are Readily Available

“The skilled trades are in dire need of workers right now, with a particularly high demand for apprentice-level and skilled labor positions. These are steady, well-paying jobs that hold a bright future, even in an unpredictable economic climate,” said Jill Quinn, executive leader of PeopleReady Skilled Trades. “For the millions of Americans who are struggling in their job hunt right now, our message is simple: Consider a career in the skilled trades.”

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U.S. Manufacturers Are Desperate For Workers

With Covid lurking, unemployment remains high across most sectors. However, this is not the case in the U.S. Manufacturing industry. Throughout the pandemic manufacturers have lost 1 in every 10 jobs. This was far better than many other sectors, including service jobs, which lost nearly 6 of every 10. To protect from a post pandemic recession, America needs the manufacturing industry to bounce back. The opportunity is there. The jobs are available, but unfortunately the qualified skilled worker is harder to find than likely ever before.

“I’ve never seen it this bad,” said Arnold, president of Look Trailers, based in Middlebury, Indiana. Look builds utility trailers, which are in heavy demand from small businesses such as landscapers and plumbers as well as hobbyists who use them to haul motorcycles or other bulky sports equipment.

The lack of workers means lost business for Arnold and his customers. One of his dealers normally has about $2 million in inventory on his lot, but right now only has about $200,000. The average price of a trailer is $3,400.

Wages at his trailer factories are already far above state or federal minimums. The average starting pay is $19 an hour, while workers with skills such as welders make $24 an hour or more. “People talk about the oil boom in the Dakotas – how workers would get in their car and drive out to get jobs,” he said. “We have the same thing here, a jobs boom. But nobody’s coming.”

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Construction Industry Facing A Labor Crunch?

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) estimate that construction companies will be facing a labor shortage of between 430K-1MM workers in 2021. With the industry set to grow by 1.3% this year, it is imperative construction companies plan for significant hiring to meet the demand that is coming. For more valuable insights into construction data for 2021 follow this link to the full article.

President Biden To Unveil Multi Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Plan Next Week

“Build back better” becoming a reality? According to the NY Times, Biden’s infrastructure program is slated to total between $3-$4 Trillion and aims to create 5 Million new jobs while restoring all of the jobs lost in the broader economy during the past year due to the Covid 19 crisis.

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Top 5 Hiring Trends for 2021- What to know

The job market is ever changing and always transforming, and 2021 will be no different. We are still seeing unemployment levels that are too high, but the job market remains hot. Industry analysts believe that as vaccinations continue to roll out- there is a major likelihood of a bounce back year in store for some hard hit industries. Filling the skills gap has never been more important. Click here to prepare yourself for the coming trends for hiring in 2021.

Do You Think Recruiting Might Be For You? (We’re Hiring!)

At Cornerstone Recruiting, we have made thousands of successful placements with clients all over the country. It’s a big reason why we have some of the same clients we have had for the last 15 years. Now, what I am going to say next may come as a surprise to you…but the single toughest position for us to fill, as professional recruiters, is hands down, our own internal Recruiter position. You would think that since we do this for a living we could spot a good recruiter when we see one. It should be easy! It’s what we do…every…single…day. This could not be further from the truth.

We have found that recruiters are not one size fits all. There is no mold that produces an effective recruiter time and time again. We have come to the understanding that a really good recruiter is actually a rare breed but they can come from different backgrounds and life experiences.. We have interviewed many candidates from other agency side recruiting firms, corporate recruiters, and HR professionals alike- but at the end of the day, the best hires we have made as a company, started with a conversation with someone, who at the time may had not even considered recruiting as a career path for them. Are you interested in learning more about why a recruiting career might be a fit for you? Meet some of our staff and hear it from them…

We asked our most recent hire, Mike Murphy (former Head Golf Professional at a Country Club) about what he has found that surprised him the most about the recruiting industry.

“I couldn’t believe how well my previous business experience translated to this industry. As a Head Golf Professional, I love helping and teaching people. I also enjoyed getting to know people. One of my favorite things about recruiting is getting to know so many people, solving the problem of finding out what they want and matching their needs to fit the needs of our clients. Being a match maker is a way I get to help our clients and candidates, and get paid to do it!”

EJ O’Bryant was asked the same question, as he was hired fresh out of College as a new graduate.

“I could not believe the amount of financial success I was able to have once I immersed myself into the career. I learned to create a routine and continually improve my strategies for finding candidates and clients and the results have been shocking.”

As the most experienced recruiter in our office, we asked Pauline Wheeler, what advice she would have for anyone interested in a career in recruiting.

“You must LOVE sales. Recruiting is great for the individual that likes to build relationships, gets a thrill from anticipating what could go wrong, before it does, and use the WIN to propel them to the next one.”

So if you are on the job market, reconsidering your career choice, or simply do not feel fulfilled in your current career…no matter what it is….ask your self the following questions.

Do you love sales? Do you like getting to know people? Do you enjoy helping people? Do you want the opportunity to make really good money? Do you like building relationships with people? Yes? We want to hear from you!!

For more information about us, please visit our website: If you are interested in applying for a Recruiting position, please send your resume to for immediate consideration.

From The Athletic Field to the Board Room

When I was 12 years old I attended a prestigious basketball camp with tons of great young players from around the country. One of the guest speakers that week was future Hall of Fame basketball coach, Hubie Brown. We all sat around the gym in a huge circle and for an hour, Coach Brown talked to us about life and athletics…basketball in particular, and how the vast majority of us sitting there were not going to be professional athletes. He spoke enthusiastically about how almost all of us were going to be “going pro” in something other than our beloved sport. He talked about how we could use the skills and experiences from athletics and turn them into meaningful life lessons that would translate into every aspect of our lives. One thing he said that day still resonates with me today. He said “Don’t let basketball use you, you use basketball.” Now as a 12 year old, I didn’t quite get the entirety of his message, but as I sit here today, his message rings clear.

As a recruiter, we get the opportunity to speak with Hiring Managers on a daily basis, and I will tell you, it is true that the large majority of Hiring Managers love to speak with candidates who have had former athletic success. But why? What makes athletics so special? If you are a former athlete and you are interested in how you can leverage your experience and translate it into today’s job market to jumpstart your career, this is for you. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and break down what Hubie Brown was telling all those kids 25 years ago on that hot, summer day…

After being recruited, essentially interviewed, and being selected for the team you arrive on campus, or in the office for your first day. Nerves are high, but you handle them. You meet your teammates and you start training. This is just the beginning of a long career and it’s imperative you make a good impression. You start putting in the work from day 1. This is the time you start to show your coach and teammates who you are and what you are all about. Competitive. Hard worker. Team player. You show up on time, you listen & learn, you try hard, and take in everything around you. A new career, or a new team- these learned skills and experiences are virtually the same.

A few months in, and practice starts. Real games won’t start for another 4 weeks. This is when you do all the little things. You get to the gym or office early to get in extra reps. You make personal goals, study the playbook, and put in extra effort anywhere you can. You dive on loose balls, and you win the sprints. When practice is over, or the office is closed for the day- you stay late until you make 20 straight free throws. As an athlete on the playing field, or early in your career looking to hone your craft- these are the things you need to be doing for yourself and for your team. It will not go unnoticed. These are some of the traits that make athletes desirable, so don’t forget them.

The season officially starts. Now it is GAME TIME. Bosses and coaches are usually pretty smart. They schedule you with winnable games, or projects, early on. They know you will make mistakes but they want to see how you and your team will handle them together. Athletes find a way to win these games. It’s important you find a way to win these games, your coach/boss expects you to. They were scheduled here for a reason. It’s also important to help your teammates as you are now forming your role and shaping your future with this team. Lead by example- when you are on the court, or handling a project- this is your time to earn more playing time. Find a way to make yourself imperative to the success of your team. Rely on the little things you trained on and execute because you have prepared yourself for success- thats what athletes do.

Next up is the conference schedule, and not to mention- mid terms and papers are piling up. You have to learn to balance your time. This is where promotions/playing time is earned. It’s TIME TO GRIND. The games are bigger and the projects are more important. Some players will earn less playing time, and some will earn more. These are the most important projects to date and your coach/boss is looking for his top performers who give CONSISTENT maximum effort. Be that person. BE CONFIDENT. There are going to be obstacles along the way, rowdy crowds, and set backs. Keep your head up, stay focused and positive, and meet this adversity with a tough, competitive spirit. These are some of the abilities athletes bring to the table.

Well into your new position/season and your body is sore and mentally you feel fatigued. Multiple tests are coming, and big papers are due. But it’s TOURNAMENT TIME. Be a GAMER. Push yourself to raise the bar for not only you, but for all those around you. PLAY SMART. PLAY HARD. PLAY WITH PASSION. BE COMPETITIVE. And most importantly, EXECUTE and MAKE PLAYS. The best performers, on the court or in the office, find a way to do this on the biggest stage. Thats why you were recruited. That’s why you are on the court. And thats why employers want to hire you.

Looking back, what Hubie said makes total sense. There is no better preparation for your career like athletics. So remember, “Use basketball, don’t let basketball use you.”

Predictive Index Tests- How Should Employers Use Them?

I’d be willing to bet at some point in time, you have been laying around on a lazy Sunday, scrolling through facebook, and you’ve clicked on a test. “What Flavor Ice Cream Are You”, or “What is your spirit Animal?” We all know those silly tests, and for some reason people do enjoy taking them. In my thirteen years in the recruiting business, I have personally begun to see more and more companies RELYING on predictive index testing to help make crucial hiring decisions. The latest research suggests that thousands of companies and more than 18 Million candidates took a predictive index test, in some form, while interviewing for a job in 2020. Should we be using these assessments to make critical hiring decisions? That’s a loaded question, but I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

There are pros to using a behavioral index test or a cognitive index test. They give the interviewer a sneak peak behind the curtain of who is sitting in front of them. Advocates say it helps remove bias from the interview process and can give an employer a set of data they otherwise would not have on where a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses may lie. There are also cons to these assessments. Candidates can lie and fake answers which completely would make the rest of the interview process flawed. These assessments also do not give the employer the whole picture of a candidate- just specific traits on how they portray themselves. Some people argue the tests can, by nature, be discriminatory. So how should we use them? Or better yet, how should we NOT use them?

If you are currently using a predictive index tests early on in your interview process, I think that’s a fine thing to do. However, if you are then using these assessments to weed out candidates early on in the process, you are doing it all wrong. Very wrong. And I can guarantee it is having a negative impact on your companies hiring practices. Companies selling these tools will tell you that the tests can remove unsuitable candidates early on in the process, therefore saving you time, and leaving you with the best talent pool possible for your open position. They are selling you a lie. What you should be doing with the assessments is analyzing them prior to the next step of the process. Understanding the personality, cognitive ability, or behavioral tendencies of a candidate prior to an interview, gives you, the Hiring Manager, an advantage in the interview. It should help guide the interview process and help guide the questions that you ask. It should be just one, of many variables, you are considering throughout the process. If you are eliminating candidates before giving them the chance to present themselves in person, you are doing your company a disservice and potentially missing out on the best person for your opening.

Hiring is about getting to know people. Understanding what makes a person tick. Predictive Index tests can be a part of that process, but far too often companies are replacing the human part of the interview process and thats a big mistake. Good luck in your searches in 2021!

For more information about how Cornerstone Recruiting can help you hire the best possible candidate for your open positions, please visit us at