Compared to other industries, commercial construction may be somewhat slow to integrate the influx of Millennials into the market. However, companies are finding that they need to make a bigger effort to attract Millennials to help fill the labor shortage. What efforts can be made to attract younger workers into the commercial construction market?

The younger generation coming through your office doors are not just tech literate; they are accustomed to being connected at any place and at any time. They can’t recall life before the Internet, they’ve always had a cell phone with Caller ID, and they communicate via text and social media more frequently than phone calls and face to face interaction.

Recruiting Millennials

This generation is acutely aware of the importance of job security and financial responsibility, yet they have an innate need to do meaningful work and make an impact. They are idealistic, diverse, social and perhaps most importantly, ambitious. They are digitally-enabled, question the status quo, and work on their own terms. You may think that eventually this group will grow up and things will change. You may be right, but in the meantime, it is necessary to readjust the way Millennials are recruited, managed, and inspired.

To attract this generation in construction, you must have more than an appealing job posting or creative job description. Take note of how you describe your corporate culture on your organization’s website and social media pages. How compelling is the “Join Us” section on your website? Consider sharing testimonials from recent hires who can attest to the significant benefits of working for your construction firm. Share newsletters or quarterly updates with photos from events and cultural initiatives. Contact your city’s business journal and investigate “Best Place to Work” awards or accolades to which you could apply. A video with clips from other employees, community, and spotlighting superstars can be an effective way to share your company culture to prospects considering applying for a construction job with your company.

Managing and Engaging Millennials

Millennials are not used to constraints of any kind. They need to be creative through their work and their ability to solve problems. These traits can be an effective way for them to increase productivity in commercial construction. It’s important to learn to communicate with them in a way to maximize their performance. They need to have technology that allows them to access information quickly and help them manage information. If you can understand their natural tendencies, you can find ways to make this work toward the company’s larger goals.

Develop small milestones and incremental titles to serve the need for constant career advancement. More than their Baby Boomer parents or Gen X older siblings, Millennials are especially eager to progress in their careers and less willing to wait three to five years for a promotion. This can also provide incremental training that will aid them later with larger career advancement opportunities.

Creating a Millennial-Friendly Culture

In numerous studies, Millennials said they would prefer feedback in real time rather than through traditional performance reviews. This generation is used to speed, multi-tasking, and working on a flexible schedule; all are ingredients for success if your organization values end results over the process. Make sure Millennials understand the organization’s corporate vision; they are more likely to look for meaning and impact in their work. Helping them understand their role in a larger plan gives them a clearer sense of purpose within the construction company. If a Millennial recommends a new tool that they think would improve working practices on the job site, increase productivity or make life a little easier, strongly consider that tool. Millennials live and breathe technology and they may be able to teach their managers a new thing or two!

Are you ready to build your dream team?

The Birmingham Group is a tenured construction recruiting firm dedicated to helping you build your dream team. If you are ready to take a proactive approach to recruiting and retention, reach out today to discuss a custom recruitment strategy.