• Harrison & Ben

Location, location, location


The following insights came out of our interviews with sparks, recruiters, supervisors and project managers.

🔮 Insight #1: Sparks don’t have much ability to pick and choose jobs; they tend to take the first job available. This is because sparks don’t want to travel too far from home, which limits their job options, especially if they live outside of large cities. This is an important insight. It means that a ratings and reviews website where jobs/firms were scored (like a Tripadvisor for construction) would be pretty useless to most sparks. Such a platform would only be useful if most sparks could spend time picking and choosing between different jobs or firms.

🔮 Insight #2: Sparks (who use agencies) tend to solve any problem they encounter on-site by leaving and going to another job. This means two important things: (1) it means sparks are less likely to see a job through to the end (which could damage their reputation and is bad for the employers), and (2) it means sparks are more likely to accept a “s**t job” in the first place because they know they can just switch jobs whenever they want. This insight further weakens the concept of a Tripadvisor-style reviews platform for construction.

🔮 Insight #3: Sparks spend time at work trying to find the next job because they don’t want to have gaps in work – they want to guarantee their income. Some sparks even report arriving on one job and then immediately starting to look for the next. Interestingly, for these sparks, it would seem that a Tripadvisor of construction would be useful. But it would have to give them all the upfront information they need, be trustworthy, and have enough jobs available close enough to their home.


In this section, we share something we’ve learned that could help sparks get an advantage at work.

📃 Format your CV simply. About to send your CV to someone? Make sure it’s typed up in plain text and doesn’t have tables, pictures or anything fancy going on. Some employers and recruiters use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) to manage inbound CVs. Basically, ATSs are computer programmes that scan CVs for keywords before the CVs end up in the hands of real people. ATSs can save recruiters time when dealing with loads of applicants. The thing is, ATSs don’t like pictures, or tables, or fancy fonts, or anything that isn’t plain text. If they come across your CV and it looks like it was crafted by a graphic designer, you might win kudos for aesthetics, but your CV won’t even get seen. So before you send it, make sure your CV is formatted simply.

We want to help make construction work for everyone. Let your colleagues know that we’re here to understand and solve the most painful problems they face at work. Look out for more updates in two weeks.

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