Embrace social media for career and recruitment, industry urged

Construction managers and bosses can boost their career prospects and attract talent into their companies by becoming “influencers” on social media platforms, two Linkedin super-users who work in the industry tell the CIOB’s new podcast, 21CC.

Anne Okafor MCIOB, now a planner with Edinburgh-based Cruden Group, lost her former job when the covid pandemic broke out, but had four job offers right away, including for her current role, thanks to her strong Linkedin following.

Networking and outreach opportunities have also proliferated.

“I find myself often doing things I wouldn’t have thought possible, being in rooms I’d never thought I’d have been in, just a few years ago,” she said.

Carol Massay, head of construction at technology firm The Access Group, said social-media-shy construction people are missing a trick because online is where the young talent they want to attract hang out.

“If you think about the age range, all they have is social media,” Massay said. “No matter what role you have in construction, so if you’re a finance director or a CFO, if your an HR people person, if you’re commercial, procurement, estimating, there’s an audience out there in Linkedin.”

Both agreed that the trick to attracting followers was not to bore them with business only.

“The first thing is to be personable, to share a bit of your personality,” Okafor said.

“People think it should be business, business, business, especially on Linkedin, but actually people buy from people. You might think you’ve nothing in common with someone but you might both like a certain film, or you both might like ducks. My ducks on my profile get me talking to lots of different people about lots of different things.”

Short for 21st Century Construction, 21CC aims to tell unusual and interesting stories to support CIOB’s top priorities: quality and safety, environmental sustainability and skills gaps.

The first episode is supported by Procore and is available here. It features a Canadian architect whose team created a modular, precast concrete system for repairing Ukrainian apartment blocks damaged or destroyed by Russian missiles.

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