Make no mistake about it, construction companies today must be at the top of their game when it comes to recruiting new workers. The construction labor shortage is a result of a drastic workforce reduction in recent months. According to the Association of Builders and Contractors (ABC), which analyzed data released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonresidential construction shed 22,600 jobs in June, largely due to worker shortages. ABC found nonresidential specialty trade contractors were hit the hardest, losing 14,800 jobs and heavy and civil engineering employment fell by 10,900 jobs. Construction job shortages mean it will take even more work than usual to get workers interested in working for your company. Combat the construction labor shortage by following our three tips to get applicants to work for you.

1. Cultivate Your Employer Brand with Pre-Application Information

Construction workforce candidates are actively seeking knowledge about your culture, values, leadership and benefits. They want to know what your company is really about, not just the job. They’re looking at your website and if you’re not providing some idea of who you are and what you offer, they might never apply. 

Developing your employer brand includes ensuring your social media accounts are updated regularly, and that your website and external marketing materials are cohesive is a good place to start. To beat the construction labor shortage, reinforce your employer brand by: 

  • Creating job ads that include your company’s mission statement, colors and logo
  • Responding to every candidate’s application – whether you think you’ll hire them or not
  • Offering (and publicizing) benefits that are important to construction employees
  • Investing in a company careers page that includes information about company culture, values and perks 

2. Make The Application Process Easy

Potential employees don’t want to waste time on an application process. Research shows,  one in five candidates will only give 10 minutes to a job application before dropping off. Not only does the construction industry workforce want to apply quickly, they want to be able to do it from any device and they don’t want to enter information multiple times. Using a cloud-based applicant tracking system can help you offer an easier apply process. You can’t overcome the construction labor shortage if candidates abandon the application process before they submit credentials.

Run through your application process from a prospective employee’s perspective and see if there are areas where you could streamline. Do you require applicants to log in or create a profile? Do you screen candidates so those that don’t meet your minimum qualifications can’t move forward, instead of forcing them to complete it anyway? Do you ask questions that you’ll just repeat in the interview? 

3. Have a well-planned and well-executed hiring and onboarding process  

Consideration needs to be given to the candidate experience. Nurturing an applicant through the process by keeping the lines of communication open, answering questions, following up and so on, leads to a positive experience that not only impacts your current candidates but those in the future as well. With the current construction job shortage, this is more important now than ever. Construction workers will judge your company by what happens when they apply and interview so it’s important to be thoughtful, professional and responsive throughout the process. One technique to enhance communication is to leverage automated emails in your applicant tracking system. This ensures candidates get prompt and consistent communication and feel cared for.  

Another technique is to make your onboarding as seamless as your application process. For construction, that means being able to hire and onboard many employees at once for seasonal work or ramping up for the busy season. Using Arcoro’s Kiosk Mode gives you a “boots on the ground” approach to onboarding because it allows you to bring the technology to your worksites, instead of requiring new crew members to come into the office. Kiosk Mode is ideal for group hiring, same-day hires or union workers. Onboarding paperwork can be completed quickly with an iPad kiosk or onsite computer kiosk so new hires can get on-the-job faster. 

While finding new employees to overcome the construction labor shortage can seem like a daunting task, implementing these three tips will help you attract and see candidates from hiring through to onboarding so you can face the current construction job shortage head on. 

construction labor shortageDownload our eBook, To Attract the Best Talent, Offer the Best Pre-Hire Experience, to learn more.