Looking for Construction Workers? Manage Temps Effectively With the Right Software

by:
on September 4, 2018

A pipe burst on your construction site and set one portion of your project back by a week. Now you’ve got half the time to make deadline on finishing the walls in that section of the building, and you need a lot more labor than you actually have. So what now?

You realize you need to start looking for construction workers—temporary ones. But you’ve waited until the worst moment to hire them, and now you’re scrambling. More than likely, you’re going to lose a chunk of your profits as a result.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Tradesman International estimates that up to 42 million people in the United States account for temporary labor, which help many companies manage these crises that inevitably crop up. And if you plan effectively and use the right software, they can help you during those inevitable crises.

You must find good construction project scheduling software in the next month in order to effectively manage construction temps and dramatically cut labor costs within a year.

We’ll walk you through how to look for construction workers on a time crunch and suggest software for managing them more easily.

You Need to Start Planning for Temp Workers Sooner Than You Think

There are six major focus areas for construction management software:

construction management software six areas of focus

  1. Takeoff. Enables faster and more accurate takeoffs by allowing the estimator to measure paper blueprints or digital files (e.g., CAD drawings or PDFs).
  2. Estimating. Calculate material and labor costs based on your takeoff and create a bid proposal from those estimates.
  3. Bid management. Manages procurement, purchasing and contract management processes.
  4. Project scheduling. Helps managers schedule people, resources and equipment for various projects.
  5. Project management. Helps managers track project costs, manage important documentation and collaborate with all parties involved on a project.
  6. Accounting & job costing. Handles the core accounting and job costing needs of contractors. Job costing allows accounting staff to allocate costs by the job.

Most construction managers assume that managing temp workers falls under the “project management” category, but that’s not correct: You need to start earlier, at “project scheduling.”

If you wait until the project management phase, you’re managing crises rather than preventing them. So before the project starts, you need to have a plan in place for making sure you have short-term workers at the ready to plug into your project when the need for temps arises.

How to Plan Correctly and Use Short-Term Workers Effectively

Chances are you’ve been in the construction business long enough to anticipate what prompts a need for temporary workers. Here are the three steps to take to make sure you’re never caught off guard:

1. Estimate how much short-term labor you’re likely to need on this project. Go through the data on your recent projects and tally up how many hours you need to fill in by short-term labor. This should give you a general average of what to expect on future projects.

2. Have a roster of short-term workers from which you can pull at any time. Start building this roster right away, as it will help you not just with this project but future projects as well.

Conduct interviews as you would if you had an opening, although be up front that this is for on-demand, short-term labor and not a full-time job. If you think you’ll need five workers for an upcoming project, create a list of 15-20 names so that you have backups if your first choices aren’t available to work at that time.

3. Get some good software to manage your short-term workers. Now that you know how many extra hours you’re likely to need on the project, and you have a roster of short-term workers at the ready, you’re well-prepared for the next crisis. That means it’s time to find good software for managing these workers once you need to bring them aboard.

The Best Construction Management Software Options for Managing Short-Term Labor

To help you understand how you can use software to manage short-term workers, we’ll look at examples from the top five construction scheduling software options that meet the following criteria:

  • They are specifically designed to solely focus on construction scheduling. General scheduling products were not included.
  • They have at least a four-star overall rating from users in the last two years and at least 10 reviews.
  • Once we created a final list from those two criteria, we examined the five software options with the most reviews. Those options are presented in the sections below in alphabetical order.

1. BuilderTrend

Making a change in BuilderTrend’s scheduler updates all affected items and sends out notifications (Source)
 
BuilderTrend’s scheduling feature allows you to see a bird’s-eye view of all projects. You can filter this view by the sub or vendor, a feature you could use to create a group just for your temporary workers so you can monitor just that group separately from your full-time workers.

The calendar shows you where they are on each job so you can monitor their progress. You can also use this feature to check for any conflicts or overlap with other workers.

2. CoConstruct

CoConstruct’s scheduling tool allows you to drag and drop changes (Source)
 
CoConstruct offers an online scheduling tool and calendar that can be accessed from your desktop or a mobile device and aims to keep you connected with your workers. You can drag and drop changes, and other parts of the schedule automatically recalculate based on that change.

Your workers will get email and text notifications of new tasks and can submit photos of their progress to you through the software.

3. Procore

Procore integrates with Asta Powerproject to provide a schedule that can be viewed by anyone on the project team (Source)
 
Procore’s project management software has a scheduling feature that allows you to create, edit, and share schedules with short-term workers. You can choose to see your schedule by the day, week, or month, or you can use the traditional Gantt view.

The software is also able to filter tasks by person or company, meaning you can track these temporary laborers and only them. And you can sort the tasks by whether they are completed, in progress, or critical.

4. Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate

Status reports within Sage 300 summarize essential project and budget information (Source)
 
Sage 300 has a “dispatch board,” which is where you can monitor employee workloads, identify who has the right skills for the job, track all job tickets (including hours worked) and see job tickets weeks in advance so you can spot workload imbalances before they happen.

The software also tracks and automates managing worker compliance, offers dozens of human resources forms to make hiring easier and enables workers to enter hours worked on their smartphones.

5. UDA ConstructionSuite

UDA ConstructionSuite’s scheduler allows you to spot conflicts and automatically send reminders (Source)
 
This software includes the UDA Scheduling feature, which uses a system of reminders to prevent unforeseen delays by keeping workers on time and informed about what’s going on in the project. You can use the Integrated Calendar to manage multiple project schedules, good for breaking out your temporary workers into their own group.

It’s Time to Manage Your Construction Temps Efficiently

Now that you know what to do to when you’re looking for construction workers and trying to maximize the effectiveness of your short-term options, it’s time to take some steps now to cut down on labor costs and boost your bottom line as a result.

  1. Go through your past projects and examine how much you’re spending on short-term workers and how many hours you typically need.
  2. Start interviewing people now who will serve as your roster of go-to short-term help.
  3. Start demoing software and scheduling consultations with some of the software providers in our construction software directory to settle on the right scheduling platform for your business.

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