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Construction Headhunters

Sharing Construction Experience with Candidates


Your Construction Recruiter at Construction Headhunters makes the difference because they’re Ex-Construction – CH. Director Jarrod Bayne

Before being a Construction Recruiter I spent many years in construction as a OHSEQ Manager. The key to my success in Construction was devising different approaches to assess individual personalities and tailoring my approach to individuals when implementing Occupational, Health Safety, Environmental and Quality Culture. After spending a long career in Health and Safety, I then spent a number of years working as a construction project manager prior to starting a construction recruitment business.

The number one thing I learnt being in construction was build repour first, listen to what a person has to say, relate to their experiences and share some of your own. This approach as a Construction Recruiter is very important. When construction professionals see you’ve faced similar construction related issues they open up and begin to tell you how they’ve resolved the same issue/ or other issues they enjoyed resolving. Generally when our Construction recruiters are meeting a Candidate for your business they’ll spend the first 15/20 minutes trading “war stories” and resolutions which on the surface seem fun, sometimes trivial, relate-able and in many cases quite funny due to the… un-orthodox resolutions construction professionals are required to implement when resolving issues. This first 15/ 20 minutes trading “war stories” builds trust and allows the candidate to open up about their construction experience.

In the interest in sharing, thinking back, prior to being a construction recruiter I remember getting some powerlines moved for a project. The company I was working for at the time was about to pour the basement slab.  As a business they generally formed and poured a level per-week, which is fast [obviously depends on the size of the deck]. Being only 6 weeks from the encroaching on 66kv overhead powerlines and the No Go Zone. The issue wasn’t we hadn’t submitted the appropriate applications in time, it was- as a developer/builder (the developer places these relocation submissions) we could buy the land with permits, get for construction drawings, dig and construct well within the 320 days the power company allowed themselves for the powerline relocation process. I remember my Director at the time calling me and saying…..I’ve been trying to get these powerlines moved and the power company just aren’t interested, I don’t like how close they’d be to the structure and work areas… you’re creative Jarrod… you need to make this happen…  As a smart construction manager once told me.. say yes and figure it out later…. More importantly though he paid my wage and I’m there to do as im told as an employee.  So I thought… (Obviously) once the structure is bordering the No Go Zone, we have to stop work for the safety of the guys, or we have to implement highly detailed Training and Safety systems to progress, which is simply not ideal, nor the safer option than the elimination of the Hazard ie. powerlines. Importantly if this issue stopped the job we don’t currently have any other job to transfer the 70 guys onto… so the reality was simple… no relocation within the next 6 weeks meant no work for the guys and job losses.

Thinking back to a recent article I’d read in the news-paper, 50 people had lost their jobs within a big organisation and local government where up-in-arms, I thought… why are we different.. our employees have mortgages, children, family’s issues and commitments too.


(firstly, for all you safety professionals), of course the first thing I did was have the power authority out to discuss the power lines, limits of approach and a permit to work- This unfortunately may not shock people but the power company inspector vehemently notified me the building was not to be constructed until the power-lines are moved, in about 36 weeks’ time. In-fact the inspector added an extra 3000mm clearance on-top of Worksafes required distance found in the previous addition of the Framework for undertaking work near overhead and underground assets, June 2006- which was the current version at the time. This extended distance in-fact reached into the air space for the to-be built building.


And so it begun:


  1. I began to devise a plan- I had absolutely no intention of working around these powerlines, but I needed to point out who was in control of the safest control measure within safety’s hierarchy of control “Elimination”, firstly I went to the local member in the area and explained the situation- “people are going to lose their jobs” because of the red-tape around the relocation of powerlines. After explaining this, I was told by the local member, I had his full support and if I was unable to resolve the matter by my own accord, he would get involved- Banked but never used or required.


  1. I contacted the local Worksafe inspector whom I had a good relationship with, together we inspected the worksite and discussed my thoughts on ways to keep the workers safe. We centered discussions around the Hierarchy of control “Elimination” of the powerline obviously being the safest option… fun-ly enough the safest option being Elimination was not in my control but rather the Power companies, we followed the process engineering ect. Understanding compliance could be met within the Worksafe guide, we discussed special provisions and appropriate training and safety systems. The Worksafe inspector also gave me the number of an ESV Advisor to shore up procedures and consult.


  1. I invited the ESV inspector to site, we reviewed the proposed training and safety systems, I documented and again together discussed the importance of keeping everyone safe. I extended an open invitation to site at his complete discretion. The regulators were both happy and unhappy with the situation (like me) however believed with the mechanisms put in place i was working within the guidelines and i transparently send an email to both Worksafe and ESV regarding everything and extended an open invitation to monitor.
  1. With the Systems and procedures put together being deemed to conform. I immediately organised a meeting with the Power company and explained the process for which I had just been through and we notified we would progress with construction on this basis. Noted- if we followed the power companies inspectors advice, 70 people would lost their jobs and we would incur significant costs due to their inspectors interpretation of the Law. Most importantly I made it very clear the Elimination of the Hazard (powerlines) is within their control, not ours- I then documented the meeting and circulated the minute meetings to all involved, being reasonably confident as they were the person in control of the hazard we would have a good outcome.


The Result = Within 2 weeks from the meeting and circulating the minutes the power company relocated all powerlines. Not only was the Hazard eliminated but the director was happy everyone was safer on the job and productivity was restored. This noted the Director was 100% committed to the protection of workers, at one point he gave me a blank check to invent something/ anything for everyone’s protection. In the end all that was needed was his support/ commitment, consultation with the Authorities and a plan to make it happen.


Funny to say- A few months later I was sent to Germany to purchase a Tower Crane… I asked the Director why would you send me to do this?? His response again was… “you’re creative Jarrod… you need to make this happen… “  and off I went.


So why’s a Construction Headhunter telling you all this…or why would I communicate stories like this as a construction recruiter to candidates I’m potentially securing for your business? The answer is easy.. In-stead of asking candidates basic behavioral based construction recruiter interview questions such as “tell me a time when XXX happened how you resolved the issue and what was the outcome” what we’re doing is allowing the candidate to share in our experience’s and failings, then feel comfortable in sharing similar stories with our Construction Recruiter . This process isn’t and doesn’t come across to candidates as a trick, this approach works best for all involved within the process is an honest way to gage someones experience. This process gives Construction Headhunters and our lead Construction Recruiter insight into his/her personality and if he or she can be creative and use personality to influence outcomes. One of the key things I enjoy hearing candidates talk about is the “give and take” within construction-  but always ensuring they’re getting more in return for the company than handing out be-it contractors/ consultants or any other external person dealt with which can effect costs/savings or budgets. To read more about this topic “can-benefit recruitment agency construction industry”  we give you further insight as to how  you can benefit from a specialist construction recruiter in the current market.

No matter your construction recruitment need as a leading Construction Recruiter i can help, Building Construction, Civil Construction, Engineering, Health & Safety and  Building Services Contractors. I worked for many years in both Building and Civil constriction. Get in touch 1300 998 818