App Your Way to Better Pay with Core Construction Labor Marketplace
Core is a new online and in-app construction labor marketplace that aims to take the guesswork out of trade-based job searches. Launched September 2020, the platform was co-founded by tech entrepreneur Di-Ann Eisnor, formerly of the navigation app Waze.
Eisnor, who comes from a family of truckers and tradesmen, had seen the success of vertical labor marketplaces in industries such as retail and nursing. Furthermore, she recognized the ever-increasing difficulty of finding skilled workers in the trades and the nuances of job seeking in the construction industry.
“The labor issue is one of the most important challenges facing every general contractor and worker we talked to,” Eisnor said. “There are a number of nuances of construction that distinguish it from other industries.” This includes a higher turnover rate than many other industries and a larger proportion of contingent workers. It’s also an industry that requires a great deal of skill, training and certifications, and one where references are extremely important.
“Most people in this industry find work based on a small network of people they know,” Eisnor said. Although LinkedIn and Indeed can help broaden those networks, Eisnor said it can be hard to find your place and your people on such general platforms.
Another feature unique to the construction trades is that many workers don’t have a resume, and if they do, Eisnor said, they may not contain the right kind of keyword matches that are integral to illustrating their capabilities in digital labor marketplaces. That’s why after job seekers join Core and complete the initial form with their skills, work experience and certifications, a staffer at Core will reach out to have a brief one-on-one conversation with the user to tie up any loose ends.
Although the Core website is useful for setting up profiles or posting jobs, the app is meant to be a simple tool to find work, a use Eisnor sees as particularly valuable for contingent and seasonal workers.
“We take care to vet prospective employees manually–checking their certifications, but also gathering referrals from peers and their community–so users have a high level of credibility and the references are ready to go for the prospective employer,” Eisnor said.
From there, Core’s matching algorithm matches workers to jobs based on skill, pay expectations and availability. The marketplace also aims to make it easier for workers to weigh the pay and benefits of various jobs. “The best we can do is make that more transparent so people can know what’s standard in their own area so they can make the best decisions,” Eisnor said.
Some of the larger commercial contractors that use Core have begun using its algorithm internally to promote from within. “Knowing who is right for each specific job in a large company can be hard because that kind of information is usually wrapped up in peoples’ heads and can be hard to access,” Eisnor said.
Core is also working on long-term incentives that might reduce turnover rate in the construction industry. “In tech, there are stock option plans and co-op models where you can own a piece of the company or get a big reward for staying there a long time,” Eisnor said. “I would love to see some version of that in the construction trades, as well.”
Core also offers training delivered by partner educators and trainers. Its first course, on reading blueprints, launched in November. Eisnor said they intend to grow the Core library of training opportunities in the future to include diversity and inclusion training, personal protective equipment courses, and training on new technologies, among other topics.
“We’re learning what skills workers need to learn to get higher-paying jobs,” Eisnor said. “We want to know where those opportunities are, train people on the skills they need to get those jobs, and match skilled workers to good jobs–the whole cycle.”
Since its launch, the platform is seeing a surge of users in Texas, Florida, Georgia, New York, New Jersey and Ohio, as well as Core’s home state of California.
“One of our pilot partners in California told us we are the first channel to give them so many qualified applicants in such a short period of time,” Eisnor said.