As of 2019, it was projected that nearly 41% of the workforce would be retired by 2031. While the industry knew that the construction labor gap was widening as the years went by, nobody could fully predict how the ongoing pandemic would fuel unprecedented growth and demand for experienced construction professionals.
Businesses are now as multigenerational as they ever have been, and leaders (in and out of construction) are making it a priority to build a diverse workforce. Engaging younger employees means something different these days, and construction business owners and contractors need to understand which steps to take to attract eager, fresh new talent.
Focus On the Underrepresented
It’s not enough to simply tweak recruiting processes to reach untapped talent pools. Minority employees need to feel like their organization is invested in their professional success, and construction businesses need to be proactive and consistent in building a culture that does this. Training and professional development from the top down are necessary for everyone to welcome workers from various demographics.
Go Back to School
Do you have working relationships with local educational institutions with technical and vocational programs that teach construction skills? These students are learning the skills your business needs to grow. Forge and nurture relationships with the schools and maintain a presence there to help educate students on the benefits of joining your business when they’ve finished their program.
Build On Community
Beyond local tech and vocational schools, there are also plenty of other opportunities to work with younger, working-age members of your local community. Reach out to nonprofits that offer on-the-job skill training to establish a program, especially those that engage with female and minority groups. See how you can contribute your experience and expertise to help further their mission while evaluating their suitability for your construction business.
Create Internships and Mentorships
These relationships are as much about getting feedback from fresh talent as they are about preparing new workers for the construction industry. Suppose your construction business is one of the many facing a growing labor gap or high turnover rate. In that case, it’s a great idea to understand why that could be happening and how to fix it – and internships and mentorships will offer that insight.
Get Creative With Benefits
While bumping up wages and offering sign-on bonuses will always be a foolproof way to attract talent, younger generations are also looking for non-monetary benefits like a more flexible schedule, comprehensive retirement account options, and paid time off. Think outside the box when creating a benefits package; the answer doesn’t always involve more money.
Invest In Tech
Until relatively recently, the construction industry has been slow to adopt tech. Gen X and Millennial workers who are tech-savvy digital natives are accustomed to using technology on the job, and investing in software can become a carrot to dangle in front of a group of potential employees. More than ever, the benefits of using tech far outweigh the challenges presented by adoption.
Focus On Scheduling
Work-life balance is no longer a trend. It’s something that younger workers know that they need to stay mentally and physically healthy. Optimized project scheduling shows them that your business is utilizing every team member based on the project phase, and knowing how to use tools like Primavera means business owners aren’t stretching employees thin and creating unnecessarily difficult working conditions.
This is something we’re all too happy to help with. Our approach to developing a well-defined project schedule leaves nothing to chance. When starting a project with TD Wilson, you have the benefit of not only our decades of experience but also our expertise with today’s top CPM software products.
These steps work to help your construction business become a beacon for those looking for opportunities to grow professionally, something that you need to close the labor gap and cultivate a team that’s diverse, inclusive, and welcoming. The future is bright for owners and contractors, and the demand for their work is growing at historical rates. Make sure you don’t have gaps that keep your business from growing, too. Contact us today to get started!