Many contractors in the U.S. anticipate the construction industry to remain healthy in 2020, despite signs that the economy is starting to slow down. Meanwhile, the industry continues to suffer from a major labor shortage. Here are some of the biggest hiring challenges facing the construction industry right now and what you can do to improve your hiring process.

Hiring Challenges

A survey performed by the Associated General Contractors of America in November indicated that 75% of construction firms plan to add staff in 2020. While most firms plan to increase headcount by less than 10%, a fifth plan to increase headcount by 11-25%. With this in mind, hiring is a top concern for many construction firms right now.

The two biggest hiring challenges are employee availability and employee quality. Firms understand that the shortage of qualified talent causes projects to take longer to complete, which also causes project costs to increase. The talent shortage also comes with safety concerns. One problem is that fewer and fewer young professionals want to go into construction. Yet, more and more construction professionals are also reaching retirement age.

Solutions to the Talent Shortage

One way that construction firms are dealing with the talent shortage is by improving compensation, bonuses, and benefits. Many young professionals want to work in an industry that pays well and offers job stability. Part of the solution is communicating the advantages of working in construction to students and young adults. When people think about construction, they think they will have to do a lot of hard labor for little pay, but this is a misconception. Most people are surprised how much they can earn working in the construction field.

Another step construction firms are taking is investing more in training programs. There are fewer candidates who have the right qualifications and skills for construction. Having an excellent training program for new and existing employees will help ensure your firm has the skills necessary to complete projects safely and on time.

Improving Hiring

In construction, hiring has to happen quickly. Being understaffed can put your team at risk and make it difficult for your company to meet important deadlines. You need to make sure you write accurate job descriptions to attract the right candidates. Working with a proven construction recruiter can also help you find better candidates and make more efficient use of interviews. In some cases, you won’t find perfect candidates, so look for people with potential who you can train to fulfill the necessary roles.

A shortage in qualified candidates continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing construction companies. As firms take action to spur more interest in construction work among young professionals, hiring managers need to tweak hiring practices to attract candidates faster and more effectively.


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