We are only as good as the workers on the job! | BuildForce Canada

We are only as good as the workers on the job!

Performance Benchmarking Blog Part 7: We are only as good as the workers on the job!

Did you know? Research has shown a significant correlation between project personnel’s skills and project success.Human resource practice:
Skill assessments are used in the selection of project personnel

Research (and practical experience) has shown a significant correlation between project success and skills of the people on the job. The shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry, coupled with changes in how companies deliver projects, is changing traditional project roles and responsibilities. This makes determining the skills needed on every project and ensuring the availability of personnel with those skills a priority to ensure projects’ success.

A more formalized skills assessment when selecting project personnel provides insight on how and where we can improve on a project team and this has become a key activity in large construction companies. An effective assessment should be knowledge, skill and abilities-based (e.g., cognitive ability tests, job knowledge tests, personality tests), and task-based (e.g., situation judgement, work sample tests, physical ability tests). It should also assess technical, behavioural (including emotional quotient) and contextual competencies.

Further background on this human resource practice can be found by viewing the BuildForce webcast series discussing construction productivity at the link below. In particular, episode 1 covers the link between performance and human capital and episode 4 presents some key concepts on building competency.


Next installment: Construction is much easier with the right equipment and materials, ready at the right time

Previous installment: Why are we surprised when projects exceed their schedule targets?

How do you measure up? Complete the BuildForce Performance Benchmarking Assessment to find out.


The free Performance Benchmarking Self-Assessment Tool is designed to assist construction and maintenance employers in measuring their organization in relation to a specific set of recognized best practices. In addition, you will be able to compare your organization's efforts against other construction and maintenance employers. From the results of the self-assessment tool you will also be able to identify areas for continuous improvement.

The self-assessment tool is designed to be completed either individually by a member of your management team or in a collaborative setting. Consider bringing your leaders/managers together to work through the tool and take time to discuss the perspectives of each group member.

This initiative is supported by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP).