We all know that construction is a human resource rich industry yet unfortunately there are no standards being formed for hiring and firing of this resource, its utilization, development and growth. The future plan of a construction based worker is always uncertain and this is true upto a great extent on the people employed as “Management” or “Engineer”.

The need of the hour is to have a clear cut professional development plan for all construction personnel which should be chalked out on the future requirement and skills required. People may counter with my statement and say that I do not have an iota of knowledge about how people are being trained in construction industry. All big business houses can boast to have an exhaustive plan for training & development of all employees. Though I’ve seen many training plans and being part of big EPC-Construction companies since last almost 20 years I have gone through the trainings as well. Unfortunately after imparting training there is no follow-up on what a person has learned and how are they implementing the new imparted training or the revision and further development of skill training. I generally call it that by exposing the candidates to training the management feels that they have completed their part and now it is upto employee to self-motivate and implement and develop them and others further. Unfortunate again that due to the working pressure most of the added skill remains underutilized and over a period of time lost as the same is neither put in practice nor revised.

Another aspect of human resource management is to choose the right candidate for the right post. As most of us goes through exposure to almost all the fields in construction before choosing a specific field we find all jobs suitable for us. Most of the time when HR send the Job Description it is like a wide spectrum of responsibilities and not very much specific. Once I asked one of my HR friend on the reason of this ambiguity then there response was simple, Management wants all the qualities in one man and want them to work on all the aspects of JD which may not be in line with the prime responsibility.

As I’ve already shared that during course of time we get exposed to many fields, jobs and faces different kind of experience which adds to our overall experience and make us feel that we are fit for all jobs. So all HR personnel while hiring a staff goes on a generalized Job Description, I’m sharing here one job description for the post of Project Coordinator which I received from a placement consultant which in turn was shared with them by client’s HR department. We’ll correlate each and every aspect of the qualities demanded and their correlation with each other:

Skill Demanded Level of Expertise Required Remarks
To assist Project head in Project management for successful delivery within strict timelines. Not mentioned Project Management (full time)
To assist Project Head in Estimation/costing & revenue planning to generate the Project CTC and P/L statement. —–do—- Estimating & costing (full time)
To assist Project Head in Analysis of the existing processes, procedures, workflows to recommend & implement level improvements. Development of Quality Management System &

correcting as and when anomalies found

means require full time efforts of going through the documents, auditing to check its implementation and whenever a discrepancy found make corrections as well

To assist Project Head in Implementing best practices with the aid of Strong Technical acumen —–do—- Technical knowledge of very high level
Reports Generation and Progress Analysis: Budget/actual/committed cost report generation through SAP and its analysis to prepare the MIS on monthly basis. —–do—- Analytical skills and

Costing & Budgeting skills along with

Management Information System

Work Progress and EVA: Create the S Curves graph with BCWS, BCWP and ACWP in a Data Analysis, and subsequently the variances. —–do—- Cost Analysis and analysis of Profit & Loss
Project Planning & Control: Created multiple cross functional or interface schedules to support Top management. —–do—- Planning Work (Full time dedication)
Monitor the work hindrances and prepare the hindrances reports and its impacted schedule. —–do—- Project coordination including vendor management, material management, resource mobilization etc.
Project Monitoring: Ensured that interpretation of the weekly L2 Schedule update is correct and comprehensive —–do—- Schedule management by analysing the progress (full time)
Risk Management: Created a Risk Management process at group level to forecast potential schedule outcomes and assesses areas of exception —–do—- Risk management – Most of the companies do not impart a full time training on this aspect which is introduced fully recently. Also this is a full time job.
To assist  Project Head in Supporting Top Management (CEO Group): Helped top management in various strategic initiatives at the group level, provided daily reports to them —–do—- Strategic Planning (full time job)
To assist  Project Head in Drive Co-ordination Meetings: Arranged & coordinated all the key strategic meeting like Chairman’s Review, CEO Review meeting to etc. —–do—- Attending meetings and preparing presentations, follow-up of MOM etc. (again a full time job)

 

Now the equation gets wrong when a person in order to get placement accepts all the conditions as mentioned in job responsibility and after joining starts feeling exhausted as he is not able to cope with the pressure then mounted and end result the obvious failure. Few over smart personnel start using other not so smart person to get there job done and present it to the management as if the same was done by them. They call it smart working and management as usual interested in the end result and not in the mean that how a particular target was achieved falls for the “Over Smart” guy. This creates the unrest in the mind of people who are working but do not know how to express or present their work / skill. I’ve come across many training manuals which are intended to help people develop “Presentation Skills”, “Team Building” etc. but how much are they able to help them is the business of none.

My point through the above paragraph is that unclear job description and unfixed job responsibility leads to confusion and loss of a great skilled manpower due to creation of uncomfortable atmosphere around them. So the clarity in thought process, action and its implementation is must to have proper utilization and achieving desired productivity. The clarity in job description also makes way for choosing the right position and hence a greater job responsibility and job satisfaction.

Though I’m not an HR person still based on my experience I’m sharing this. Anyone with great HR experience or who is there in HR business for long, deciding the strategies and policies may comment as liberally but not rebuking.

The Manpower is one of the strongest resources in construction industry as a right man at right place can save huge money and time and can also ensure delivery of the final product with utmost quality and diligence.

I’m not aware of the international scenario that how do they fix the job responsibility and describes the job description to ensure that the right candidate is placed but one thing can always be done by all HR personnel that they can develop a databank of skill level for each and every individual employee of their company and also exposing him / her to the right kind of training required by employee which is in line with his interest and taste, follow-up after training is must to ensure the quality of skill improved. Someone may question that in case there are more people interested in one particular job than actually required then in that case what should be the line of action. My simple suggestion is to go for more in-depth questionnaire use psychiatrist wherever required and understand the mind set of employee so that it will benefit them also to understand there interest and help them choose the right skill set.

During this recession when almost all companies were busy in retrenchment a clarity on the policy of retrenchment and retention, if, would have been communicated then it would have helped people in taking the right decision at right time and also would have helped company to ensure the retention of appropriate skill set. The need to see human resource as human first and accompanied by resource due to the skills they contains would have also helped in keeping the respect of employee towards company and management and also would have ensured optimum productivity from employees.

Human resource is a very tricky resource and need more in-depth involvement from management represented by not only HR department but also by all HoD’s.

I’m not able to conclude this article as I feel that the topic needs more working and more elaboration on the need of developing human resource in Indian construction industry and human resource by accepting the fact that humans are different than Money & Machine, the other two of 4 M’s. Still in this article I’ve covered only the Job Description for manpower known as Engineers or second / third level management. Also being treated at par of management by the manpower deployed as skilled / semi-skilled / un-skilled.

The manpower who is actually executing the work on ground like Carpenters, Bar benders, Fitters, Riggers, Khalasis, Mason their helpers etc. need a separate article as there problems, needs & solutions are different in nature and require separate attention. We can treat this article as one of the series which I’m planning to write or request the others to share their experience for the betterment of our construction industry.