9 Strategies for Contractors to Find and Retain Construction Talent

19 March 2024Construction, Uncategorizedbusiness strategy, construction careers, construction industry, construction marketing, culture, labor shortages, mentoring, skilled trades, Technology, training

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Attracting and retaining skilled construction talent has become a significant challenge in the industry, especially as experienced professionals retire and leave gaps that are difficult to fill. Younger generations often shy away from skilled trades due to misconceptions about the demanding nature of the work, training options, difficult supervisors, and the potential for exposure to various weather conditions.

However, the construction industry is evolving and with it the recruitment process. One of the overarching tasks the industry faces is to set the record straight on the misconceptions by relating success stories and highlighting the proud accomplishments of the skilled trades.

hand dirty with dark grease holding silver open-end wrench, construction talent

Another task the industry faces is finding prospective employees that understand the benefits the industry offers – it is ranked at the top in terms of personal satisfaction in helping build America – and want to be part of it. The emergence of online options for job searches and recruitment provides a beacon of hope for construction contractors looking to fill their labor gaps.


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Construction-specific job boards have gained prominence in recent years, offering builders innovative ways to discover and connect with talented individuals. According to a November 2023 ConstructionDive article, digital job boards, social media tools and new platforms are reshaping the recruitment landscape for the better. A December 2020 Indeed.com report indicated that construction worker jobs were moderately competitive, with an average of 65 job seekers per construction job opening.

To navigate this complex environment, construction companies should explore various strategies, as described in a SmallBizAhead blog, in order to attract and retain skilled labor.

  1.  Utilizing Specialized Job Boards

Leverage specialized job boards dedicated to the construction industry to connect with potential hires actively looking for positions.

person in blue speckled shirt sitting at desk taking notes and watching computer screen, construction talent

2. Offering Spiffs for Referrals

Encourage current and former employees to refer skilled workers by offering incentives, creating a network that can be tapped into for recruitment.

3. Participating in College and Trade School Job Fairs

Engage with educational institutions to connect with students and graduates who are entering the workforce with relevant skills.

4. Promoting or Retraining from Within

Identify existing employees with the potential for growth and provide training to fill skilled positions, promoting a culture of internal advancement.

 older man with younger girl looking at laptop, mentoring, construction talent

5. Conducting Online Searches

Utilize online platforms to search for qualified candidates, expanding the reach beyond traditional recruitment methods.

6. Utilizing Construction-Specific Temp Agencies

Collaborate with temp agencies specializing in construction to access a pool of skilled construction talent for temporary or potentially permanent positions.

7. Getting the Word Out to Vendors, Customers and Colleagues

Leverage your network by informing vendors, customers and colleagues about job openings, tapping into word-of-mouth referrals.

employee training, people sitting at table and standing around talking in business setting, construction talent

8. Advertising in Local Businesses

Build local connections by advertising job openings in community businesses, reaching potential candidates who may not be actively job hunting.

9. Using the Services of a Professional Recruiter

Consider partnering with a professional recruiter that has expertise in the construction industry to streamline the hiring process.

Online tools, especially, offer a cost-effective approach to recruitment. Job seekers can explore no-cost job boards, upload resumes and portfolios, and set alerts for matching job openings. Some platforms even provide databases of potential employees, simplifying the recruitment process for contractors.

To attract a new generation of workers, contractors must showcase a culture that aligns with their values, including work-life balance, technological integration, career growth opportunities, and comprehensive benefits. Taking a creative and proactive approach increases the likelihood of filling job openings with the right individuals who are more likely to stay.

 

The construction industry’s shift toward online recruitment tools provides a strategic advantage for contractors seeking skilled labor. By embracing innovative approaches, contractors can navigate the competitive market, attract the right construction talent, and foster a workforce that contributes to the long-term success of their projects.


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