Methods For Adding Labor in the Construction Industry
While the problem of a waning labor force in the construction industry may be growing, this doesn't mean that contractors have no options. They do. There are solutions and methods to slowly growing the workforce in both a micro and macro way. To reduce the shortage it will take a few adjustments and looking at the industry through a new lens.
One adjustment construction companies can make is to create the goal of hiring veterans. In fact, veterans are an ideal fit for the construction industry. These men and women have served their country for years, working in tough climates and under pressure. They know what a hard day's work feels like and have the discipline to stay the course.
Many veterans struggle to find decent employment when they return home, making the construction industry, and its struggle with labor shortage, a perfect match. Additionally, the government is heavily behind this cause. Several years ago, the United States Department of Labor started the Helmets to Hardhats program, providing federal funding to construction companies that offered training and jobs to military members. Joining this program is a great way to create a new stream for additional workers.
Collaborate with Other Industries
Alternatively, construction companies can look to other industries for labor. This doesn't mean contractors should go out and poach workers from other organizations, but rather team up with them. The oil, gas, and coal sectors are a great place to look. Many workers in these industries have skills that will easily transfer to construction, whether working with heavy machinery or overseeing strict employee safety guidelines and everything in between.
Besides the energy sector, construction companies can look to their suppliers. Manufacturers of construction material might be able to bundle their services. In other words, when a construction company buys windows, tiles, or any number of other products, the manufacturer could tie the sale with installation, sending a crew out to install the material.
This vertical integration is no different than how a company that mines rock will then use that rock in their own asphalt and concrete plants and then potentially provide civil construction services, where they use the asphalt and concrete to pave roads.
Appeal to Millennials and the Younger Workforce
Another move construction companies can make to entice additional labor is to really address what the younger workforce wants. As previously stated, it's not about the paycheck. Even high-paying construction jobs are not convincing younger Americans to work in construction.
However, one job feature many young workers desire is career training and job advancement opportunities. Construction companies should look at providing extensive construction training courses that would allow those who go into the industry to advance their career in different directions. Long-term, this would be beneficial for the company in that it would provide them with a more specialized and highly-trained workforce.
Additionally, construction companies should encourage trades schools in their community to offer a higher number of construction apprenticeships. This would give individuals the ability to both gain experience and pursue more specialized areas of construction. However, contractors and construction companies can also offer their own apprenticeships (and many do), feeding apprentices into their company as full-time employees.
Reducing the Labor Using Technology
When these and other options have been exhausted, it's time to look at the labor shortage differently. It is time to address the problem not by desperately searching for additional workforce, but by looking at how to reduce the labor to the size of the workforce. This can be accomplished by contractors using methods that require less labor.
In other words, they can use building methods that are faster and require fewer people. For the most part, this will require an investment in more advanced machinery to automate certain construction processes, such as AI sensors that help to track inventory or robots that take care of lower value, repetitive work.
Leverage a Specialized Recruiting Agency
One of the best ways to reduce the construction labor shortage for your company is by leveraging a recruiting firm that's aimed at finding the best talent for your team. At Resource Erectors, we especially serve the construction industry as well as mining, minerals processing, construction materials, and engineering. Our goal: to match your company with qualified and driven professionals who are eager to succeed in their role.
We take the extra steps to ensure our candidates are an ideal fit for your company's culture to create a win-win for everyone. If you're ready to put 20 years of recruiting experience to work for you, or if you're a professional seeking a career in the construction industry, please contact us. We're eager to talk with you!