How to Beat the Construction Labor Shortage? Answer: Youth and Technology


Attract — and Retain — Younger Construction Professionals by Implementing the Modern Solutions They Know

The younger generation of up-and-coming construction professionals expect one main thing when considering a new job: technology. They use the internet to make travel plans around the world, do all of their banking and investing online, find love, grocery shop, and even buy a home ... all digitally. 

So when a construction company asks new workers to use paper timecards and time-off requests, or to photocopy invoices or dig through spreadsheets - Many are saying, Hard pass.

Young people are not wrong to think that way. 

Integrated digital tech makes a lot of things faster and more accurate, and provides a historical record. When you don't have to spend so much time playing whack-a-mole with information, you have more time to be strategic. 

A technology-enabled company isn't the only thing on their list, of course. 

The opportunity to advance, competitive pay and benefits and proper training are also key to attracting fresh talent. But without access to the latest technologies in their working environments, most younger professionals will bypass construction career opportunities.

As older employees retire, this new wave of construction workers will be taking their place and will eventually make up the industry as a whole. Due to the technological world that the Millennial and Gen Z generations grew up in, the need for technology at work is higher than ever. 

Paper and manual processes are comfortable to many organizations. 

It’s hard to make a change. However, if you don’t want to be left behind as other construction companies take these steps forward, your organization needs to be able to pivot and scale with the industry’s changing tides as well.

Modern Construction Hiring: 5 Questions to Ask

When thinking about how your construction organization can use modern technology to attract younger workers, consider these things:

  1. Is your website visually appealing? If your website is not visually appealing and easy to navigate, you are likely chasing away prospective employees. The same goes for your social media accounts. The new generations of construction workers are looking to work for organizations that use technology and are up to date on modern processes. This includes use of mobile technologies for nearly everything — including the hiring process. If your website and social accounts don’t reflect this advancement, young professionals are less likely to apply to work for your company.

  2. Is your recruiting and onboarding easy? Let’s face it, very few people want to fill out stacks of paper when applying for a job or completing onboarding for a new position. Especially when these processes can be digitized and streamlined through cloud-based HR software, like Viewpoint HR Management. If young construction workers are asked to fill out a lengthy application or sit and fill out stacks on onboarding paperwork, the chances of them turning down the job or immediately beginning the search for a new position are high.

  3. Are you able to effectively protect employee data? All employees want to feel that their data is safe. This is especially true for younger employees who are used to highly-secure technology protecting their sensitive information. A lack of technology and modern processes may cause prospective employees to feel uneasy about working for your company. This goes for project and other company information as well. Without the proper software in place to keep sensitive information safe, employees will likely shy away from job opportunities.

  4. Are your processes streamlined? Due to the high use of technology by younger generations, young construction professionals are used to easy, simplified processes. Through working with technology their entire lives, these workers expect many routine processes and tasks to be automated. If your company lacks modern software which causes processes to be dragged out into unnecessary steps, young construction professionals are going to lose motivation and likely move to a modernized company.

  5. Are you using the newest technologies? Maybe your website is up to date and your job applications are online, but you still aren’t optimizing your day to day operations with modern technology. Without the use of the newest software solutions that leverage real-time, connected data and workflows, young construction workers are going to be left disappointed and unmotivated. In order to move forward and remain relevant, construction companies need to adopt modern solutions that not only meet these demands, but offer challenges and inspiration to do even more. Not only will this help retain a new generation of workers, but it will also benefit the organization in a multitude of other ways.

    The Benefits of Winning Over Gen Z

    Attracting the younger generations of workers will be key for construction organizations moving forward. With there already being a lack of incoming talent, the competition amongst construction companies is high.

    By optimizing your website and onboarding processes, streamlining daily operations, and maintaining modern technology, your organization will be set up to track and retain the younger generation of employees. In return, you may be surprised by their ability to leverage these technologies and take your business to the next level — opening new doors of opportunity and further streamlining processes to boost productivity and profit.

    Posted By

    Kati is an Associate Manager of Customer Advocacy at Trimble Viewpoint, enthusiastic about all things marketing and construction.