Hiring Practices

It’s no secret the construction industry is experiencing a workforce shortage. But beyond a shortage of candidates, what construction companies are finding is that the industry is also lacking fresh talent. According to the Association of General Contractors (AGC), more than 35 percent of firms expect it will become harder to hire over the next 12 months. While companies are expecting the hiring process to become more difficult, they’re also recognizing the need to adjust company practices in order to help attract a new wave of workers. Throughout the next year, we can expect to see more and more construction companies implementing new practices in an effort to combat worker shortage.


Construction is known to be a less-chosen career path by younger professionals, and more so a career people often get into later on in life. In order to revive the industry and attract a younger generation, construction companies will need to begin focusing on ways to reverse society views on the industry. To help attract Millennials and Gen Z’ers to the industry, companies will need to start thinking about creating a company culture where people would actually want to work. 

When thinking about a culture for Millennials and Gen Z’ers, the construction industry should primarily consider the value of human interaction. For such technology-driven generations, they are largely motivated by connection. For example, according to an EY survey on Gen Z, “More than 90 percent of Gen Z prefer to have a human element to their teams, either working solely with innovative coworkers or with coworkers and new technologies paired together.”


Construction companies need to be open to different candidates now more than ever. One thing they’ll begin finding as they adjust their hiring process in the next few years is that there is simply no such thing as the perfect candidate. As mentioned, as efforts will be repositioned to attract younger professionals, they aren’t going to come with the same seasoned experience as someone who’s been in the industry for years. Companies will need to first hire for a cultural fit, then learn to invest the time and train these employees in the essential skills needed to be successful in the role. While this approach may seem more challenging, it will ultimately pay off in the long run. 


While most construction companies hire as they lose an employee, many will start to shift that strategy into a continuous hiring search process. This will actually help to maintain a steady stream of potential qualified candidates that companies can have in the pipeline to help fill positions more quickly. When companies have multiple potential candidates in the mix, its crucial hiring processes are fast in order to efficiently identify candidates and move forward immediately. Implementing a quick and effective hiring process will help ensure a positive turnaround as companies need more employees.


Ultimately, leading into 2020, more and more construction companies will reshape their hiring practices and initiatives to become more open and diverse. They will be looking at attracting younger professionals as Millennials and Gen Z enter the workforce and become more open to building out an effective hiring process to ensure company growth and stability for years to come—all while combating the workforce shortage.

About the author:

Jason Cohen serves as vice president of the permanent placement recruiting division at Loyal Source, a staffing agency providing elite contracting staffing services worldwide. In his role, Cohen leads a team of experienced recruiters who place talented professionals into full-time, direct-hire positions around the country. Cohen is no stranger to the recruiting industry, having spent 20 years in the professional and technical recruiting sectors, serving in roles from recruiter to owner, which taught him the importance of building strong, long-term relationships. For more, visit www.loyalsource.com.


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