How Haselden Construction Attracts and Retains Precon Professionals

“It takes a certain breed to be an estimator.”

This is a perfect explanation of a construction estimator described by Matt Hammer, Chief Estimator at Haselden Construction.  

Cost estimators aren’t just number crunchers who plug formulas into spreadsheets all day. Preconstruction is a vital aspect of building that extends beyond mere calculations. It involves collaboration with architects, subcontractors, and owners, data analysis and problem solving, and troubleshooting and mitigating risk before it occurs.  

Estimators can make a huge impact on the outcome of projects by making decisions that create buildings that make a difference in our world. And that’s a pretty big deal. However, precon’s reputation with construction management students hasn’t caught up with this reality.  

How can we rewrite the narrative and attract bright young stars to precon? Matt has the solution.  

Haselden has developed a program for new grads where they rotate them through different aspects of the business. Learning from the field helps bring better experience to their precon team.  

Further, to attract and retain great estimators, leaders of preconstruction teams can:  

  1. Highlight Benefits: Showcase the benefits of preconstruction careers, faster salary growth compared to design paths, diverse skills development, and significant industry impact. 
  2. Build University Relationships: Collaborate with universities to expose students to cross-disciplinary training and the challenges faced in different fields. This broadens their perspectives and reveals potential career options. 
  3. Value Field Experience: Estimators benefit from understanding construction firsthand. Encourage career transitions from field roles to preconstruction, leveraging existing building knowledge. 
  4. Foster Teamwork: Create a collaborative department culture where asking questions and seeking help are encouraged. Mentorship programs can foster these qualities and attract new talent. 
To learn from Haselden’s playbook on how you too can develop and keep your best estimators, click here.  

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