- Fortune released its 2016 50 Best Workplaces for New College Grads list Tuesday, and architect PDR (#29) and construction firm Gilbane (#37) made the cut.
- PDR increased its employee size by 24% over the last year, and 27% of those hired were graduates fresh out of college. Gilbane expanded its ranks by 35%, with recent grads representing 16% of those new hires.
- Fortune said all companies on the list provide "great employee experiences," and their rankings are determined by how many jobs they add, how many new grads they hire, development opportunities, the promotion process, 337,000 random employee interviews and data collected from about 600 companies, as well as other issues important to their most recent hires.
Employees at Houston-based PDR are treated to a wellness program, weekly social hour and personal development time, according to Fortune, which is probably why 96% of its employees said they love their workplace. PDR also pays 100% of employee health coverage (40% of dependent coverage), provides robust savings plans, flexible working schedules and unpaid sabbaticals. Attentive management, weekly "Blue Jeans" day, charity work, family parties and bingo nights are all things PDR employees said they love about working there.
Providence, RI,-based Gilbane also offers a variety of work-life balance options such as compressed work weeks and flexible schedules, and it provides employees with fresh fruit and healthy meals, a 9% 401k annual contribution and 80% paid health coverage for employees and their dependents. Project Engineer Gabie Figueroa told Fortune that Gilbane has a "team first mentality," and that she has a variety of opportunities to learn and participate in social and sporting events.
Attracting and retaining top talent is crucial for construction companies in the midst of an industrywide labor shortage. According to a December survey by Building Design + Construction, the lack of experienced professionals and project managers has created a hiring crisis that has "stymied" AEC firms in the U.S. Experts have urged construction executives to take an introspective look at their recruiting and retention practices in order to win "the war for talent."