Many of the conventional construction hiring methods that were effective just a few years ago just aren’t as successful as they once were. Local newspaper advertisements and job fairs might have worked ten years ago, but due to the ongoing labor shortage, hiring managers are looking for more creative solutions to find new talent. Construction firms that are winning the war for talent have very proactive recruiting strategies. Plus, they are not afraid to push the envelope when it comes to experimenting with more innovative methods. Here are some more of the creative solutions to the construction labor shortage we’re seeing within the industry.

Think Outside of the Box

Construction firms are coming up with creative and entertaining ways to encourage younger workers to consider entering skilled trades. The UP Companies, one of the largest MBE-certified contracting companies in the Midwest, partnered with famous hip-hop music artist Chingy to create a song to appeal to a wider demographic of potential employees. The song is called “Old Construction Road” and mentions many of the traditional ways of recruiting employees, like using billboards, flyers and going to job fairs, but suggests there are more unique ideas out there while highlighting many of the benefits of construction jobs. UPCO decided to think outside of the box and use a fun and innovative approach to attracting younger workers and workers of color into a field that many don’t know enough about the benefits of working in. Their version is a parody remake of “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X. Their funny video is a perfect example of getting creative in order to attract more construction talent.

Build California Campaign

In the past, when baby boomers were looking for employment, many simply went to the help-wanted section in their local newspaper, or even relied on word of mouth. But if you want to capture the attention of the newest generation of workers that grew up with digital media at their fingertips, it will take a more specialized outreach effort. One prime example is the Build California campaign that emphasizes that construction careers are fun, stable, and lucrative. The campaign’s foundation was built on an interactive website aimed at attracting high school and college-age workers around the state. It’s been estimated that only 9% of Generation Z is interested in the construction trade, so the website’s goal is to raise awareness among students, parents and teachers about apprentice programs, college pathways, and jobs after graduation.

Other Innovative Strategies

Some other innovative recruitment methods being used around the industry include:

  • Inclusive Job Advertisements – More firms are crafting job posts with language that appeal to a diverse candidate population.
  • Programmatic Advertising – Using this method helps firms ensure that the right candidates are viewing your job ads.
  • Video Interviewing – Leveraging video interviews for pre-employment screenings and interviewing candidates from other regions is helping firms remain competitive when hiring.
  • Social Media – 86% of younger generations use social media in their job searches. Focusing regular attention on social channels will help reach this demographic.
  • Virtual Reality – This can be used to provide candidates with office tours and a glimpse of your company culture.

You can help remove the stigma that construction careers are short-term, seasonal jobs by marketing them as stable, long-term careers with great pay and advancement opportunities.


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