In Q3 of 2017, we announced that we had more than 500,000 daily users of our integrated software, working on thousands of projects worldwide. With these projects comes the need for skilled workers and project managers. However, even though construction projects are abundant, 60 percent of contractors are still finding it difficult to attract skilled workers.
If you’re in construction you’re no stranger to the ongoing labor shortage within the industry. For every five skilled trade workers who leave the industry for one reason or another, only one new hire replaces them. With demand for commercial construction rising, labor shortages are projected to exceed one million workers.
Whether they’re unemployed or looking for a career change, job seekers are disenchanted with what’s available. The national unemployment rate hovers around 4.5 percent, and millennials especially are seeing failure in the job market before opportunity. So where’s the disconnect? If there are jobs to be had in construction and job seekers who want work, why is our industry seeing a huge labor shortage? What can we do to change this and fill the void in our numbers?
Finding the talent
The role of construction human resources is changing. No longer just pushing paper and filling out I-9 forms, HR needs to be considered a talent development department, helping you recruit and retain good workers. Gregg Schoppman of Viewpoint partner FMI says it’s important to establish a value proposition for potential hires and make your company a magnet for top talent. The people are out there. You just have to find them.
1. Get social
It’s a digital world, and job seekers are connected more than ever before. Not just limited to industry job boards and job hunting websites like Monster, LinkedIn, and Indeed, job hunters are looking everywhere for leads. Social media ads on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be incredibly effective at targeting the right people at the right time, even for construction. Ad algorithms can filter and pinpoint potential hires based on search habits, likes, interests, and organizations. Social media ads can greatly expand your reach. For example, Facebook Messenger ads can increase it by 34 percent!
2. Use your network
It’s time to look outside the market. In addition to reaching out to friends and friends of friends, tap into the resources your partners, suppliers, and vendors have. Other parts of the state or country may be seeing a decline in local work, and good workers may be willing to travel or relocate for good, solid, dependable jobs.
3. Increase demand
With every construction company in the same boat searching for the same skilled workers, it’s not enough to go on reputation alone. As Schoppman advises, now is the time to publicize wins and successes. It’s also an opportunity to talk about what makes your company so great. Is it the benefits? Paid time off? Work-life balance? Opportunity for growth? Signing bonuses? Family support? Construction workers are reported to be some of the most satisfied and happy employees. Word-of-mouth testimonials from current employees can help potential hires understand what it’s like to work for your company.
4. Offer internships
The construction industry is laden with mentorships and apprenticeships to further the skills and positions of workers. To secure workers before they even leave the halls of education, some companies are offering internships with the possibility of guaranteed hire upon graduation. With job prospects shaky for new grads, this is a welcome sigh of relief for some.
5. Talk tech
Advancements in construction technology is, frankly, awesome. Potential employees may not be aware of the applications used in construction. In today’s construction world, virtual reality, 3D printing, and drones are becoming more mainstream. It’s also rare these days to see a contractor open the truck door and have papers, documents, and receipts come pouring out. Viewpoint integrated construction software streamlines and integrates every aspect of a project, no matter how big or small.
With more than 35 years under our belt, we’re dedicated to providing construction solutions for all aspects of your business. Do you have any additional tips to beat the construction labor shortage? Share them with our community on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.