A growing number of client companies are collaborating with commercial construction recruiting specialists in an effort combat the ongoing skilled labor crisis taking place across the industry. The persistent labor shortage is tied to a variety of issues that are affecting commercial construction industry. Here are some of those areas and efforts that can be made to improve the situation.

Opioid Epidemic

The construction trade is just one of the many different industries that is currently being affected by an expanding opioid crisis. For instance, the governor of Pennsylvania recently declared opioids a statewide disaster emergency, along with at least seven other states. Many commercial construction jobs are considered to be high-risk professions, and prescription opioid use among workers is fairly common to treat the pain associated with work-related injuries. It’s important for organizations to take proactive approaches in preventing opioid abuse. The number of companies that issue rewards to employees for maintaining safe work environments continues to expand. Construction companies should stay vigilant in their efforts to improve and monitor work site safety issues. There’s also a movement that is gaining momentum to establish industry-wide recognition of substance abuse, as well as advocating for implementation of substance abuse policies. The Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan (CIRP) has shown promise treating those in construction careers battling addictions. CIRP services range from individual counseling to a residential program.

Immigration Policy

Since the gap left by retiring Baby Boomers was at least partially filled by documented and undocumented workers from places around the world, the industry is still waiting to see just how much recent immigration reform will impact the industry. The future remains uncertain for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program established by former President Barack Obama in 2012. The program allowed immigrants 16 years or younger when they were brought into the U.S. and living here since 2007, with certain stipulations, to avoid deportation and apply for work authorization under a two-year permit. Although the current administration planned to end the program, the issue is still being discussed by both political parties. If the program ends, then it’s been estimated that over the next few years the industry could lose approximately 70,000 workers who are sent back to their native countries.

Skills Shortage

The skilled labor crisis continues to drive the demand for talented workers to fill a number of construction careers. Employers are using a variety of techniques to attract and land the best candidates in the industry. Organizations will need to focus more of their efforts on promoting their respective brands to show candidates what their construction careers have to offer. Employers are encouraged to highlight everything from voluntary benefits and flexible work schedules to development opportunities and paid leave to overcome the labor dilemma.

Commercial construction companies are effectively addressing many of the issues contributing to the labor shortage. However, there is a time lag for when these issues will be resolved. So, for now, it’s an ongoing concern that has to be addressed from many different angles. In future posts, we’ll continue to cover the labor shortage issue and the unique efforts being made to combat this problem.

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.