The latest word is that the construction industry will be facing the challenge of labor shortages. Where will the next generation of leaders and labor be found? Recruiters are searching for managers, team leaders, design staff and project crews from a talent pool that, for all appearances, seems to be shrinking. To meet the challenge and stay one step ahead of the competition, professionals in the construction industry need to have the right skills. Here are 5 ways to overcome the labor shortage the industry is facing.

1. Online Gig Recruitment

Today’s skilled laborer is searching online for flex-jobs with options like telecommuting. To find the best talent, a construction firm has to recruit online. Some of the best job boards to find qualified talent are platforms like Indeed, RigZone, and Construction Job Board Network. When talent and employers connect, a prospective employee is going to head straight for a company’s website and social media pages to do their homework. Construction firms need to have websites regularly updated. Offer an information rich tab or webpage devoted to all the questions future team members may have. Social media pages should be current and feature industry relevant content, assuring future talent that your company has deep roots in the industry.

2. Diversity Matters

Research coming out of Harvard indicates that a diverse workforce is a key driver for innovation. Inherent traits, singular to gender and ethnicity, as well as acquired traits, attributed to personal experience, are all part of their workplace contribution. By having a more diverse workforce, a company is able to bring more ideas to the table which widens their field of design innovation and problem-solving solutions.

The end game for every company, of course, is growth. The research also suggests that companies with a diverse staff outperform less diverse competitors. About 70% of companies that are diversity focused report stronger growth than less diverse industry peers. If your firm is hoping to shape a talent pool of innovators, strong problem solvers and growth oriented performers, focus on recruiting a diverse group of individuals from every part of the labor spectrum.

Attracting a diverse talent pool will have to be an effort of purpose. Historically, the construction industry has been perceived as a “good ol’ boy” system. If a company finds that applicants are, by and large, a homogeneous group, recruiters must consider that people often drift toward the familiar. Diversity recruitment tools are available in software packages. Professional online platforms, like LinkedIn, are sources rich with tips on the best diversity sourcing recruitment practices.

3. Mastery

When skilled labor is scarce, focus on the talent you have. Offer more training. Allow employees to grow and hone their skill sets. Encourage mastery and specialization. While competitors struggle to find qualified leadership, your company has honed and groomed its own. Online training and heavy equipment simulators are the perfect solution, allowing employees to train conveniently.

4. Provide Purpose

Every job eventually becomes a daily grind for the average laborer. It is important to gather workers together from time to time and instill pride in their workmanship with an act of appreciation. For a construction company, however, the logistics of including every employee in a staff meeting is simply not practical. The solution is an online conference where everyone can attend. Plan regular virtual meetings and give your team members the recognition they deserve which will continue to inspire them.

5. Care

If a company wants workers to be loyal, the company must also be loyal to the worker. Multiple sources of industry research cite companies who don’t care within the top 5 reasons of why a worker leaves the job. What that means is that before an employee leaves the company, that employee felt as if the company had left them. Be reasonable with scheduling expectations to avoid worker burn-out. Have empathy. Every worker has a life and loved ones who need them away from the job. Be realistic. Everyone, at some time, gets sick or goes through a difficult time. If a company wants to retain more employees during a labor shortage, show you care. There’s no software or online platform required to fill that bill.

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