What it does: Builds major projects
Staff stats: More than 1000
The good bits: Constant challenges
The not so good bits: Constant challenges
The Probuild story
Founded in Melbourne in 1987, chiefly by Phil Mehrten, along with some “entrepreneurs who’ve never let go of their family roots”, Probuild has grown into one of the country’s largest privately held construction companies. The business now provides an end-to-end service that encompasses “all facets of project delivery, construction planning and management”.
Probuild specialises in retail and residential construction. The company is regarded as an industry leader in “programming, project management, design management, estimating and cost planning, site supervision and contract administration”.
The company is majority owned by Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO), a South African building and civil engineering contractor, that provides financial backing for the builder to undertake Australia’s biggest projects. Probuild is the majority owner of Monaco Hickey, a Victorian building contractor that specialises in delivering “health care, research, manufacturing and pharmaceutical production projects”.
While Probuild claims to have “the profitability that banks and clients need to feel secure” and to be in a secure position because of a “committed, conservative approach to national growth, with a clear focus on building our economic capacity”. It currently enjoys annual revenue of $2 billion and a national project pipeline $5 billion.
Probuild aims to create a “supportive work environment” and maintains a “transparent equal opportunity workplace” free “from all forms of discrimination, harassment and victimisation”.
Probuild’s community program ProCommunity “supports and encourages employees to participate in the community and assist not-for-profit organisations”. The company arranges for staff to do everything from “helping to build community projects to volunteering in soup kitchens” All Probuild staff are offered two days’ paid volunteer leave per year. Staff choose their own volunteer opportunities and also have the option of participating in initiatives such as soup kitchen volunteering, as well as the ability to donate to selected charities through their workplace giving program.
The recruitment process
Probuild is a growing company. One that offers all its staff “exciting opportunities to take [their] career further” and “the chance to work with the industry’s finest people”. The company’s grad program is designed to develop “the future leaders of Probuild”. It offers exposure to the total construction process including:
- Site supervision
- Design coordination
- Contract administration
- Site coordination (Quality, Safety and Environmental)
- Head office (Estimating, Programming, Cost Planning and Customer Care)
Those who make it into the grad program receive internal and external training programs as well as guidance from supervisors and access to mentors. As well as developing their practical skills, those doing the program also receive personal development, leadership and communications training and are given plenty of opportunities to develop their interpersonal skills.
Probuild provides some information about its candidate requirements or recruitment process through their Grad Portal http://www.probuild.com.au/graduate-program. It does state candidates need “a passion for innovation and construction”. They also need a construction-industry-related qualification.
Those interested in working for the business need to initiate the recruitment process by submitting an online application form during the graduate recruitment period which is typically in March, with roles starting the following year. It appears that those who make the shortlist after completing an online application are invited to do a panel interview. This involves some general behavioural questions as well as an opportunity to talk about any relevant work experience. If the panel interview goes well, you progress to the next stage which involves psychometric testing and potentially another panel interview. Offers are then made without any further hoops to jump through.
Probuild doesn’t provide any information about its salaries publicly but they appear to be at or above the industry average. The company states, “Our people stay with us because we understand the importance of looking after employees, beyond just paying their wages.”
Somewhat unusually for a construction industry employer, Probuild is also big on providing staff with family-friendly hours. It boasts, “Everyone wants a healthy work/life balance. At Probuild we make sure it happens.”
Probuild invests in its staff staying in good shape through its ProHealth program. The program arranges “weekly group training, fun runs and campaigns, which focus on key health issues relevant to our staff”.
Probuild appears to operate much like a family company with staff hanging around and steadily moving up the ranks. The firm notes “Many of us have been working here for 10 to 20 years. Our people stay with us because we understand the importance of looking after employees… We attract high calibre professionals because we provide them with exciting opportunities and career paths through training and development.
All Probuild employees are “supported by a range of personal and professional development programs”.
The vibe of the place
Probuild combines the best bits of working for a small family business and big construction firm. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to work on prestigious projects across the country while still getting to feel you are part of a close-knit team where loyalty is encouraged and rewarded.
From the Employer:
"Probuild is one of Australia’s largest and most successful construction companies, with an annual turnover of more than $2 billion and work in hand at around $5 billion.
Probuild provides an end-to-end service, encompassing all facets of project delivery, construction planning and management. Our clients know and trust us to consistently deliver.
We are a national leader in large residential and retail projects, with thousands of apartments currently under construction and more than 370,000 square metres of retail work underway.
An impressive example of our residential work is Aurora Melbourne Central. At 92-storeys, this will be Melbourne CBD’s tallest residential building and will also feature direct access to an underground city loop train station.
We are delivering some of Australia’s largest construction projects including $500 million development The Towers at Elizabeth Quay in Perth, Stage 2 and 3 at Promenade Parramatta in Sydney’s west, Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne and the upgraded Jupiters’ New Six-Star All Suite Tower on the Gold Coast.
Our success is built on our people. As one of a select number of builders working at Tier One level, our clients expect the best, which means they want access to the best people. Every Probuild employee is supported by a range of personal and professional development programs and committed to delivering excellence on every project.
Probuild is majority owned by WBHO, one of South Africa’s largest construction companies. This alliance with a strong financial backer is a significant factor in our growth and continued success."