Inflation, the labor shortage, and a national skills gap have raised construction industry wages like never before. Despite higher pay, hiring, and retention continue to be a huge problem for the construction industry. It’s going to take more than money, especially for hard-to-fill jobs.
The work is out there, but contractors may not
have the confidence to chase it and win it if
they don’t think they can find the staff.
-Greg Sizemore, Associated Builders and Contractors
Because we have more retirees and fewer new hires we must reevaluate new ways to work. In a recent AGC (Associated General Contractors) survey, 81% of firms have difficulty filling project management/supervisor roles. Experienced estimators and safety personnel are also in short supply. Hourly pipelayers are the toughest positions to fill.
Once upon a time, contractors had the people and did everything possible to keep them working. Today, the work is available, but the workers are not. ABC workforce development VP Greg Sizemore says effective project delivery requires having a secure workforce. Many contractors may avoid available work because they aren’t sure they can get enough workers.
These are the most hard-to-fill jobs for contractors based on the surveyed percentages:
- Construction managers
Construction leaders are problem-solvers. You can staff those hard-to-fill jobs if your company is willing to make creative, courageous changes.
- Compensate competitively – They know what they’re worth. And websites like Glassdoor.com will tell all about your and your competitors’ wages, management, diversity, and culture. Streamline benefits to what they’ll use.
- Cultivate diversity – Women and minorities want more than empty promises. Employees that care about hard work and company loyalty can be rewarded with career development and promotions.
- Ensure leaders/managers support company culture – Construction jobsites aren’t traditional working environments. Train project managers and team leaders to positively reinforce company culture.
- Formalize onboarding – This time – the first days and weeks of a new job – is critical. You’ll improve employee retention by having a formal onboarding program.
To learn more about local projects and construction competitors in your area, contact Construction Monitor.