How fast can I rise up the position ranks (company ladder) of a construction firm?

Asked by
Buddy Salvador

Job advancement within the construction industry is rapid since there are so many hiring options for talent. However this path is reserved for those with competence. Having an average skill set will likely result in average job advancement. However those the perform well are highly valued assets (the most important company assets) and are often recognized and rewarded accordingly. It is not uncommon for young people to advance into management of others within the first 3 to 5 years of experience once he or she demonstrates project or technical expertise. Once someone proves his or her capability of managing others the sky is the limit. We have seen people in the 20s rise up to become Senior Vice Presidents or even Presidents of fast growth contractors, but this is highly unusual. Typically one must have 10 years or more proven experience managing projects, people, clients, vendors, and technical expertise before officer level appointments are made.

As construction recruiters, we find the most desirable senior management talent to be candidates in their 40s or 50s. After 20 plus years of measurable work experience, candidates have the necessary broad experiences to be trusted with P&L, and the management of critical operations and personnel. Younger and less experienced talent is typically viewed with caution, and older talent with more experience is typically viewed as short lived and not a good long-term hiring solution for the firm. However each hire is unique and someone younger may demonstrate unusual competence and maturity, and someone older may demonstrate good health and a long term commitment.

As important as having the right experience may be, often hiring takes place as a result of great personal chemistry and cultural fit. We have seen many times where the most qualified candidate does not get the hire, but the one who demonstrates the best cultural, and personality fit does get hired. In fact personal chemistry and cultural fit are often considered the top qualifier in any hiring decision.