Once you have received your degree in Construction Management, it’s crucial to find ethical construction companies to work for.
Ethics is a critical factor to consider because it guides every decision in the construction field. Unfortunately, some companies within the construction industry have a history of failing to operate ethically.
With that in mind, new graduates need to take certain steps to separate ethical from unethical companies. Gaining knowledge about each prospective employer will help you put your education and training to work with confidence.
5 Actions to Identify Ethical Construction Companies
When you’re in the market for a new job within the construction industry, be proactive about finding out more about each company’s ethical dealings. Consider these action steps.
1. Ask Questions
There’s no such thing as a wrong question when looking to find the best company to work for when entering the construction industry. You want to ask as many different sources about each company’s approach to ethics.
– Ask friends or colleagues currently working for a company you’re interested in applying for. Reach out to them to get a sense of the company’s commitment to ethics.
– Ask professors or mentors. For example, one of your construction management professors may have experience with or knowledge about a company you are looking to join. Ask them what they know about the company’s ethical dealings.
– Ask friends or colleagues that received services from a prospective employer. If you know anyone who has used the services of a potential employer, you can talk to them about how the firm treated them as a client. This first-hand information will provide great value that you can’t find online through online searches.
While it’s certainly a good idea to review each company’s website and social media platforms, it’s important to understand that they are going to put their best foot forward online. Don’t be satisfied with finding out about a company online; you still need to ask some questions.
2. Review the Company’s History
The second tip for finding ethical construction companies also involves some online research. Knowing more about a company’s history can help you uncover a lot of potential red flags.
For instance, if the company has undergone several name changes in a short period of time, that’s typically not a good sign. While this information may not be readily available on the company’s official website, you can typically trace the history of a company’s name through other platforms, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), to learn more about their history.
Additionally, one of the biggest signs of ethical issues involves the lack of a portfolio on a company website. When clients are pleased with a company’s work, they are typically thrilled to let the company use their project as a means of advertising themselves.
However, if a company has little to no portfolio presence on their website or social media, it’s typically because past clients weren’t pleased with their work. Any construction company can say they act ethically when executing projects, but, as they say in school, you need to show your work.
3. Continue Looking for Red Flags
Even after scheduling an interview with a company, you should continue performing your due diligence. While job interviews are typically viewed as an opportunity for potential employers to determine the viability of an applicant, you can also use this time to vet a potential employer.
During interviews, ethical construction companies are willing to be open about their business practices. While they won’t give you every secret to their success, they are typically happy to discuss the process that sets them apart from the crowd.
4. Use the Interview Process to Learn More
There are plenty of other red flags to look out for during the interview process, especially an in-person interview.
- How do current employees who work in the office get treated while you’re there for an interview?
- When phone calls come into the company, how do the people answering them deal with customers?
- How did leadership talk about construction management situations that arose while you were in the office waiting to be interviewed?
If communication within the company is a concern or if you sense that management is not as committed to ethics as they should be, then you should strongly consider whether you want to work for this particular company.
5. Trust Your Instincts
As a new construction management graduate, you just learned a considerable amount about ethics. In fact, there’s a good chance you had at least one class that focused solely on ethics within the construction industry.
When you’re reading about a company, talking to people who work there, speaking to past clients, and interviewing, trust your instincts. If things seem unethical to you, there’s a good chance that something is amiss. Keep hunting for information to see if you can validate your concerns.
Find Support from AIC
In addition to the action steps identified above, you can find incredible support through the American Institute of Constructors (AIC). We offer networking opportunities and additional resources to newer construction professionals who become AIC members.
As a Construction Management graduate, you may not know many people in the industry, and that’s fine. Our members can help steer you in the right direction toward ethical construction companies that are known for their commitment to ethics.
We invite you to join AIC to access resources that will support you throughout your career. View our membership information to learn more about how to take the next step on your career path.