William Donnellan is an innovative Irishman who saw a hole in the construction industry’s supply chain and filled it with the creation of IRL Construction. His success as the owner of an independent contractor primarily comes because of his focus on ensuring that every job he does, is done right. This is a motto that he has passed onto his 50+ employees, and ten years later, it makes a difference as his company has grown from a small home office, into a central downtown player in the construction industry.
William moved to Canada with his wife Laura ten years ago, looking for better construction opportunities. He likes to joke that despite her multiple college degrees, it was his ability to provide vital labour skills that was attractive to the country. He worked as a superintendent of a Vancouver cement company for several years but noticed that temporary workers did not help the labour shortage. He was exacerbated by how many temps would show up without the right tools or the right PPE and saw firsthand how this negatively affected projects and their ability to complete jobs on time.
It was this problem that led to the creation of IRL Construction. The company opened in 2011 with a focus on providing reliable, intensely screened, and fully prepared temporary workers to construction companies across Vancouver. IRL purchased all tools and PPE to ensure that they received employees who were fit to finish a job when a company contracted with them. William stressed the importance of a strong work ethic, timeliness, and preparedness. As a result, his business has grown from a small idea into a trusted beacon of the Vancouver construction industry.
Today IRL Construction has three arms as the company has evolved over the last ten years to meet the market’s needs. William has worked with almost every big construction agency in town over the last ten years and commented that he can meet the needs of every client, which is why they always return to the company.
Instead of extensive advertising, William claims that a strong work ethic, friendly office manner, and excellent results are best to retain clients and gain new ones. He may be onto something as his company regularly works on $million+ contracts and has grown rapidly in just ten short years.
One stand-out attribute of IRL Construction is that the company also owns three pubs in downtown Vancouver. While that may seem like an out-of-place investment, William claims that hospitality is in his blood as one of ten children in an Irish family. He enjoys the ability to socially network with people throughout his clubs and attempts to give back to his community when he can by hosting free events at the pubs and supporting local charitable organizations.