Construction Best Practices

5 Ways to Help Your Organization Overcome the Construction Labor Shortage


Construction Labor Shortage Statistics

The ongoing labor shortage within the construction industry is no secret. For every five skilled trade workers who leave the industry, only one new hire replaces them. With an increase in construction projects available over the next several years, labor shortages are projected to exceed one million workers. Additionally, by some estimates, as much as 40% of the current construction labor force is set to retire over the next decade, leaving contractors in a difficult position as they try to rebuild their workforce. 

Whether they’re unemployed or looking for a career change, job seekers are disappointed with what’s available in the construction industry—but contractors have been changing their recruiting practices to entice more workers to join their teams. With the national unemployment rate below 4%, and a burgeoning young workforce, contractors have been doing their best to draw in younger talent before Bipartsian Infrastructure Law spending and labor needs are expected to peak—which could be as soon as 2027 by some estimates

If there are jobs to be had in construction and job seekers who want work, what do contractors need to do to make sure they're able to bid on and have success with these lucrative opportunities? 

Finding Talent to Combat the Labor Shortage in Construction

The role of construction human resources is changing. HR is no longer considered a department that fills out paperwork and I-9 forms. Therefore, HR needs to be considered a talent development department, helping your organization recruit and retain good workers. It's critical 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. Facebook currently has over 2 billion active users!

2. Network. Network. 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. Hire Interns

Drone use on construction sites is increasing.

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. Time to Talk Tech

Advancements in construction technology is 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.

Posted By

Andy is Marketing Content & PR Manager at Viewpoint. He has worked in the construction software arena since 2011. Previously, he netted multiple awards as a newspaper and trade media editor.