Case Study: Messer Construction

How Messer is building a robust pipeline of carpenters and doubling retention with Skillit.

June, 2024, By Nicole Kaes

Messer Construction Co. is a Top ENR general contractor headquartered in the West End of Cincinnati, with over 1,200 employees across Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina. Like many contractors, increasing their self-perform capabilities helps Messer capture more margin by better controlling quality, schedule and safety. This is why Messer has set themselves the ambitious goal of doubling the size of its carpenter workforce by 2026, a feat that not only requires growing the size of its talent pipeline but also improving employee retention.

Why traditional craft sourcing solutions weren’t working

Before Skillit, Messer was reliant on traditional talent sourcing solutions like staffing agencies, job boards and employee referrals. Unfortunately, because these solutions possess low-quality data on individual craft workers and lack the digital infrastructure necessary to help contractors discover and connect with the right workers at the right time, Messer wasn’t only struggling to source the required volume of candidates, they were unable to gain any actionable insight into how to improve their craft sourcing, hiring and retention outcomes at scale.

How Skillit transformed Messer’s craft labor pipeline

Giving workers one profile to rule them all.

Skillit’s value proposition to workers is unlike anything a job board or staffing agency can offer: workers use our worker-first editing tools to create a 360-degree profile showcasing your skills, certifications, work history, pay and career expectations, and have only the very best fitting opportunities come to you.

It’s like a professional webpage designed especially for craft workers to be discovered by the very best self-perform contractors across the nation. And with 10,000 new workers creating data-rich profiles every week, the pipeline of vetted craft workers eligible to work for Messer grows by hundreds each month.

Giving recruiters delightful tools to discover and connect with workers ahead of the competition.

Unlike traditional solutions, workers are incentivized to keep their Skillit profiles accurate and current including any changes to their job-seeking status and communication preferences. This means Messer’s recruiters, using Skillit’s customizable message templates and automated follow-up cadences, can skip ahead of the competition and reach workers first, every time, all while enjoying blazingly fast response times (6 minutes on average) and response rates (60% or higher) - it’s almost not fair.

Results that speak for themselves.

Messer initially adopted Skillit in Nashville and within 8 weeks was able to access a robust pipeline of several hundred qualified journeymen and foremen candidates (equivalent to 35% of all carpenters in Nashville). Of those, Messer was able to make 150% more qualified hires in 20% of the time of Messer’s traditional process.

How Skillit helped improve retention at Messer

It's well established that skills-based hiring significantly enhances an employee’s job performance compared to relying solely on proxies like experience and past employment. That’s why Skillit not only enables Messer to source workers with the precise commercial carpentry skills they need, but our proprietary suite of craft assessments allows Messer to accurately quantify a candidate’s strengths and areas for improvement before making a hire. This targeted approach helps Messer invest more efficiently in each new worker’s continuous training and development, leading to higher job satisfaction and better growth opportunities.

Consequently, Skillit-sourced employees are more likely to stay with the company long-term. All together, Messer retained 330% more Skillit-sourced employees over a 6-month period when compared to all other sourcing solutions including, ZipRecruiter, staffing agencies, employee referrals, trade schools and more.

Data is power

In addition to building Messer a robust pipeline of vetted carpenters and helping improve their retention, Messer was able to use Skillit’s craft labor market data and analytics to improve it’s compensation structure and hiring practices to win over the carpenter population of Nashville. For example, Messer updated its training policies after learning that just 9% of carpenters in Nashville possess OSHA 30 certification. They were also able to improve their offer acceptance rates by 20% by making targeted improvements to their craft compensation packages.

Following success with Skillit in Nashville, Messer rolled out Skillit into the whole state of Tennessee, North Carolina and Indiana.

At a glance:

Messer’s Goal

  • Increase self perform capacity by 200%.


  • A robust pipeline of qualified journeymen carpenters and foremen.

  • Better retention as compared to other sourcing solutions.


  • Skillit vs. Staffing agencies, job boards, employee referrals, trade schools and craft co-ops.


  • 150% more carpenters

  • 330% better retention

  • Actionable craft labor intelligence

  • Expansion from one city into 3 states.

Customer since: 2021

Messer’s robust pipeline of vetted carpenters in Nashville.

Craft assessments help Messer increase retention.

Craft labor market intelligence informs Messer’s strategic decisions.

“With the Skillit platform, Messer has been able to reach more high-quality carpenter candidates and labor intelligence allowing us to deliver on our projects and ultimately support our national growth targets.”

Tom Lampe
Nashville Regional VP
Messer Construction Co.

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