In 2016, 56% of construction companies reported that they were facing a moderate to serious skilled labor shortage, according to a survey done by Fortune. Whether it’s public perceptions of the industry, lack of high school curriculum that set a groundwork for a construction workforce, or a lack of industry understanding, the construction industry has to overcome significant hurdles to find the talent that is needed. Here are a few strategies to help combat the talent shortage faced today.

Develop young talent

Employers are quick to discount recruiting at high schools, as more and more high schools are cutting trade-related courses from their curriculum and four-year colleges are becoming a more common option. One of the biggest concerns among high school students is that they will not have a financially successful career in construction. Go to high school career fairs armed with success stories of employees within your organization. If you can give tangible examples of success, students will be more likely to consider a career in construction.


Focus on goals and community impact

The construction industry is one of the only industries that is responsible for literally shaping a community. Without the construction industry, the physical structure of the community and quality of life would not be the same. Focus on how your organization fits into the fabric of the larger community to help potential applicants understand the greater importance and impact of their role in your organization. When speaking with potential employees, give examples of structures your organization was a part of building that helped improve the community.

Hire proactively

Don’t wait to hire until you have work. While the construction industry can be seasonal, hiring shouldn’t be. If you wait to hire until you are in the midst of your busy season, you will likely have a smaller pool of qualified applicants and are also more likely to hire someone out of panic, just because you need another body on your team. Think long-term about hiring so you can afford to wait for high-quality candidates and have a larger pool of applicants.

Invest in quality training

As with any industry, training is essential to the success of a new employee. Mentorship programs as well as tangible and training management software aid in the development of the employee’s skillset and reduces the risk of injury due to misinformation or bad habits. Training programs also help new employees assimilate to the culture of the organization, making them feel secure in where they fit within the organization’s framework. A quality training program makes an organization more appealing to potential applicants.

Utilize tools to streamline the process

Many construction companies are still using paper applications which are a hassle for both the applicant and the hiring team responsible for tracking those applications. Consider switching to a user-friendly, efficient applicant tracking system, such as the BirdDogHR Recruitment and Applicant Tracking System, to save you and your applicants time and effort during the hiring process. BirdDogHR understands your need to hire quality employees in a timely and efficient manner and will help you meet your hiring goals through our dedicated customer care team.