According to Associated Builders and Contractors, companies in contracting and construction will need to hire an additional 546,000 workers this year – beyond what they would typically hire. And next year, they project that firms will need to bring on 342,000 additional workers.
There is, indeed, a labor shortage in the construction industry.
One reason for the shortage is the aging construction labor force. The median age today for a construction worker is 43, and one out of four construction workers is older than 55. This makes it imperative that contractors seek to make jobs in construction appealing to younger people, including Millennials and Generation Z.
Many of these younger workers value career advancement opportunities and the potential for personal growth in their jobs, as well as a work-life balance. Consider offering cross-training opportunities and leadership development courses for those who are interested in a management track.
Be prepared to invest in the training needed for these employees to advance their careers. Adopting new technology tools like project management and estimating software, document management systems, and drones and robotics will show them you’re committed to their long-term success with your company.
Also, get creative with employee benefits. In today’s environment, health insurance and retirement benefits are expected. Consider offering generous paid time off and other perks like “free food Fridays,” education allowances, and gift cards for employees who go above and beyond.
The pandemic gave many employees the positive experience of working from home; many don’t want to give this up. Therefore, allow your office and administrative employees to work remotely at least one or two days a week if they can perform their job duties from home.
The challenge of finding and hiring good candidates can be alleviated with thoughtful planning and by offering the experience – and benefits – that younger job-seekers want.