Sourcing Estimators Hard to Find Candidates – Ch. 6

Sourcing estimators can be challenging for many businesses. Excellent candidate sourcing helps organizations proactively find and hire highly qualified individuals. However, one of the most challenging tasks that many Building materials and civic/commercial construction companies face is hard-to-find candidates for sourcing estimators positions.

Estimator Roles

When sourcing estimators, you must first understand the role of what an estimator does for the organization. Estimators are responsible for gathering and analyzing data in order to estimate the materials, money, labor, and time required to complete a project. They generally work on construction sites and collaborate with engineers, contractors, clients, and architects. 

Estimators make recommendations on how costs can be significantly reduced. They also maintain highly detailed records of actual and estimated costs throughout the project. Here are some of the specific responsibilities of an estimator:

  • Analyzing bills of quantities, plans, as well as other project documentation for estimating costs
  • Analyzing data that can significantly affect costs – such as the company’s productivity rates and currency exchange rates
  • Sourcing, researching, negotiating, getting the best quotes and prices from subcontractors and suppliers.
  • Visiting project sites in order to obtain information
  • Bidding for projects
  • Assessing the technical, operational, and financial risks of the project
  • Keeping highly detailed records and writing relevant reports
  • Liaising with suppliers and clients and working closely with some key project team members, such as the bid manager.
  • Staying up to date with the latest construction companies

Procedures Sourcing Estimators

Now that you know the primary responsibilities of estimators, you need to find suitable candidates for this position which is called coursing estimators.

A prospective candidate, besides having the right training, qualifications, and certifications, must also possess the following key skills:

  • Numeracy
  • Negotiation
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Efficient time and organization management
  • Influencing, relationship-building, and team-working skills
  • A systematic approach to work
  • Problem-solving skills

Secondly, prospective candidates must be able to respond favorably to a series of questions an estimator should know. Here are a few examples:

  • Walk me through your estimating process.
  • What are the most critical factors that affect the overall costs of a project?
  • Which or what metrics do you use most in your estimates?
  • What information does an invitation to bid give you?
  • Which software do you find most useful?
  • How do you communicate with field staff in order to ensure your productivity rates are up to date?
  • How do you ensure accuracy in your work?

Having candidates with these skills nowadays is tricky but not impossible. 

Here are a few ways for sourcing estimators:


LinkedIn is a professional social network with up to 760 million users or over 260 million monthly active users. These professionals use the platform to highlight their accomplishments and career histories. And it is the perfect platform for networking and sourcing potential candidates for estimators.

Sign up for LinkedIn’s recruiter license is a great first step for sourcing estimators. This is an excellent way of sourcing estimators candidates by making use of in-depth searches. Using the recruiter’s license will enable you to message people who are not directly connected to you.


Facebook is a great platform when it comes to sourcing estimators. Facebook has over 2.8 billion monthly active users, making it the most popular social media platform worldwide. Users may socialize on the network, but they are also actively searching for work and sending job applications.

Post a job opening for free using the ‘Jobs’ tab on Facebook. But to ensure it reaches a broader audience, boost your post by paying a specified amount by Facebook.

You can also run target paid adverts in order to find suitable candidates for that post.


Twitter has over 330 million monthly active users. Its chat and search features can be valuable tools for sourcing estimators candidates. But you need to do a few things right.

First of all, ensure that your company’s brand and personal bio are presented in the best light. Add your interests and job titles and use words like ‘We’re hiring.’ These words should link directly to the open job position in your organization.

Use Twitter discussions to build quality relationships as well as industry-related hashtags to attract suitable candidates. Always tweet to subtly keep your organization right at the forefront of most users’ minds.


Sourcing estimators cab often feels challenging. But it is not impossible. You can still get hold of suitable candidates or applicants who will fit the role in your organization.

It may take a little while, but if you follow the suggestions shared above, you will eventually land a crop of highly qualified candidates for your organization.

If you don’t have the bandwidth to invest the time it takes or this just isn’t your core area of expertise we invite you to a complimentary, no-obligation discovery call to discuss how we can help you speed your recruiting needs.

Click here to schedule a 30 min call with Jim McKenna, Founder, and President of Definitive Search Partners.

QUESTION: What is one tip that has helped you when it comes to sourcing estimators for your company? Share your comments and questions below.



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