This is an attempt to understand the HR Practices in the Construction Industry, as discussed in this community. We invite the experts from the industry to correct us on what requires to be added or upgraded. Any contribution towards the points missed below would be valued:

HR Practices in Construction Industry PPT - Download
This presentation discuss the following challenges
  • Challenge #1 – Matching skilled labour supply and demand
  • Challenge #2 – Creating a responsive apprenticeship system
  • Challenge #3 – Establishing an innovative training system
  • Challenge #4 – Facilitating worker mobility
HR Strategy for a Construction Company as contributed by Saby: Post
Normally in a construction co., goal is first set by the management. It depends on the type of construction the company is in viz. Power Plant Construction, Residential, Commercial, Projects from other organizations, Townships, Fuel line construction, chemical plant construction, docks construction, etc.

After the goal is set, this is then informed by the management to the respective departments. Strategy is then formulated after discussions and/or debates between various department heads including the share holders of the company.

After the strategy is adopted, a guideline is prepared to implement the strategy. Normally the strategy is distributed to the respective departments, viz. planning, contracts, purchase, sales, marketing, etc.

It is true that without manpower, the construction of any product does not come into effect. And therefore to handle the various concerns related to the manpower (viz. recruitment, safety, health, behaviour, work, etc. ), an HR and personnel department is established.

Since you are talking about goals, strategies, etc. be more sure what you wanted since these things might have been developed by the organization you are working for.

To set up policies related to code of conduct of the employees, medical assistance, housing and food assistance, leave travel assistance, leave calculation, overtime calculation, minimum wage, increment, super annuation, security assistance, accident assistance, gratuity, insurance, etc. you will have to comply with the GCC employment rules and regulations. Similarly for HRD, statutory requirements for recruitment, interview procedures, working hours, etc. you will have to gather the details from the respective departments the candidate will be selected for. Your role will be short listing the candidates for interview, co-ordinate the interview between the candidate and the head of the respective department, preparation of contract agreement (which will differ from positions to positions and nationality of the candidate), air-ticket arrangement, visa arrangement, medical check-up of the candidate for residence permit/work permit, accommodation arrangement, food arrangement, transportation from site to accommodation arrangement, and a whole load of other arrangements as and when required for the upkeep of the employee.
Few areas for HR Operations and Practices as discussed by Dr. Shanmugan: Post
HR in service and construction industry is really tough enough. it is only through major results HR initiatives are being recognized. If you want yourself to be recognized, slowly start with HR activities.

1. HR Manual

2. HR Policy

3. initatives like 5S, performance management system, competency assessment, team bulding, etc.
HR Issues as voiced by rashmishingh: Post
  • This industry is still in early 20th century mentality where employers think that they are doing some favor to employees by giving them employment and employees think that they have nothing to do with overall picture of company's development.
  • Even if you try to implement something new (new means new for this industry or company), neither management nor employees are interested. They have their general comment..if everything is going fine, whats the use of these fundas...
  • I am equally disappointed by the management view as well as employees.
  • This industry needs overhauling process in not only organizational structure but in mind set too.
Leave Policy as discussed by Kumaran Siva : Post
For Office Staff
  • All Weekly Off
  • 7 CL
  • 1 EL/20 w.d.
  • 10 Holidays

For Site Staff
  • 2 Weekly off in a month
  • 45 Days EL which include CL, balance Weekly off etc.
  • 5 Holidays (balance 5 days will be added in leave)

All leaves are encashable.

Organisation structure and designations as shared by Udhav :Post
There are different positions which varies from company to company. In a sizable co. with +5000 employees hierarchy could start at lowest position of
  • Asst. Engineer {Traineee} and further upgraded to...
  • Asst. Engineer (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Jr. Engineer (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Engineer (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Sr. Engineer (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Asst. Manager (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Dy. Manager (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Manager (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Sr. Manager (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Asst. Gen. Manager (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Sr. AGM (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Dy. General Manager (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Jt. General Manager (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • General Manager (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Vice President (Projects or Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Sr. Vice President (Projects, Planning or Contracts or Billing)
  • Director (Projects/Technical)

Howver, last five positions could be for overall management and are heighest levels at many organisations where people with +20yrs experience are offered such designations.

From India, Mumbai
Further description of the challeneges and cost control measures by Saby: Post

It is true that all companies, be it in the construction sector, manufacturing sector, power sector, etc., normally tend to curtail or root out the unwanted and unnecessary costs so as to achieve a product at a very reasonable rate. This is largely due to increased competition in the same sector. And they start with purchase department, contracts department, execution department etc. and finally the HR department. It is easy to shed off some employees who might not be required in the organization or who is unskilled and non-productive. Though it is tricky to retrench (it may affect the morale of some other good workers), it is not so difficult. You have to be convincing and very cautious while dealing with this subject.

When a project is in progress, each employee is bound to show his or her potential to his superior, which information is passed on to the department head and ultimately to the personnel department. This is done through appraisal report of the employee. Normally, based on this appraisal report and other parameters rewards or punishment is meted out to the employees.

To get in cost control of manpower, first of all the respective departments have to list out their requirements to admin. department. List will and should consist of the candidates desired qualification, technical skills, age, years of experience, flexibility, role to be performed, responsibility, alertness rating, etc. etc. Based on this, the admin. dept. have to check with the current market to know about the remuneration paid to such candidates. On receiving the approximate amount, they have to forward the proposals to the Director/s of the company for approval. Once approval is granted, the recruitment procedure lies in the hands of the admin dept. While recruiting, if all the required parameters are met in a candidate, the admin has to come to his remuneration part. Though you know the market rate and the approval is accorded by the management, it is your duty to bargain with the candidate and offer him the best least of the remuneration. Normally a candidate has got his own expectations but more often it is below the market std. rate. This is one way of reducing the manpower cost.

The other way is to divert good qualified and experienced personnel from one project to another project (of course in co-ordination with the planning department) so as to reduce the project cost, if it is in finishing stage and the other is at starting or middle stage.

One more way to control cost is two assign a personnel to two or three different projects. This way extra manpower is not required, unless compulsorily required, and money saved.

If you find a person working with you for a long period of time, naturally his payment and other benefit (gratuity, promotion, bonus, etc.) also increases. In such case, delegate his responsibility to his junior staffs with a minor raise and either promote this guy with more responsibilities or retire him. This is one way of effecting cost control.

If you find a person who is well qualified and talented and appointed in a job below his category, promote him with 100 bucks. The guy will be highly grateful not because of the meager amount you have provided but due to his qualification and talent being observed and promoted by you. This is a very effective way of cost control.

If you find a person ineligible to work in his assigned task, try to train and use his services, otherwise put him in another department and check his performance. If he is still not able to deliver, give him his ticket.

And if a company is expecting a project maybe after 6 months, and the present manpower is a burden on the costs but do not want to terminate them because they are talented and difficult to replace, then the best way is to send the employees on a long leave. The employees will surely not mind this.

From India, Mumbai
Here the manual as contributed by Ankit have been attached. Requesting experts from the construction industry to share the point of differences and any other relevant information, if missing.
HR Manual for Construction Industry
Thanking you in anticipation

From India, Mumbai

Dear Ms. (Cite Contribution)
Please accept my sincere appreciations for initiating a nice informative and must-know subject thread.
I would like to add one more point regarding cost control is to look into the non-productive workforce like cleaning, stacking of material and housekeeping team in construction site. Instead we can give the instruction to the concerned skilled workforce to clean on daily basis in a stipulated time before closing hours, i.e., 30 minutes after completion of task (with that we can avoid scattered materials lying here and there due to which accidents may take place) and idle manpower due to non availability of continuous work front to the skilled manpower.
Continuous supply of materials also helping us to do cost control by which, we can avoid stoppage of work due to want of materials with the effective supervision of Stores, Planning and Execution team.

From India, Kumbakonam
Hi (Cite Contribution),

Great compilation. It gives a lot of insight on the various issues.

The list is a pretty big one and somewhere I felt that we are entering more into the Personnel or the Administrative requirements rather than core HR requirements.

I feel two fundamental issues have been missed out:
1. Organizational design
2. Organizational efficacy
If we don't track these effectively, the other activities mentioned will just collapse (They actually support the Design and Efficacy strategy)

In our program on Project Management, we explained and demonstrated these factors. We have a new simulation model that can assist companies address these basic issues. And if you recall, we had also discussed some of these topics last time.

The other issue is that of flexibility in the practices. It is often seen that the Business-Cost-of-Strong-HR-Policies might be far too high for most companies to bear. Hence, if the HR professional is forcing the roll-out of a system that works on the 'policing principle' as indicated in the 'suggested rules for leaves, salaries, overtime, etc.', it would fail to touch the required potential. This also distances the HR from the internal stakeholders (project managers, etc.). While rules are important, cost and the productivity of the system need to be carefully considered.

I would rather focus on principles. Interestingly, none of the posts tried to incorporate the Critical Chain Project Management practice... I think it is VERY VERY important to understand this methodology because you will see explicit contradictions coming out...


From United States, Daphne
Hi all - At the beginning - will like to thanks the Moderator (Cite Contribution) for initiating such an interesting discussion which is really value addition in all aspects . Thanks to all contributors for their valuable time and ensuring that this discussion becomes an enriching one .
Lets keep the discussion on
1. What are the benchmarks of HR Practices in Construction industry - like PCMM in IT / ITES
2. Can someone named some of the best practices in Rewards and recognition , Performance Management for COnstruction Industry

From India, Pune
Here's a discussion which I believe should be added to this thread on best practices Notice period in Manufacturing

From India, Mumbai

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