Construction companies have been dealing with the worker shortage since before the pandemic. The number of people actively applying for construction jobs online fell about 40% between 2019 and 2020 and has been flat ever since, NPR reported. Currently, construction demand is growing. The bi-partisan infrastructure law will pour $550 billion into the economy from 2022 to 2026. There is also a growing demand for residential housing which is forecasted to grow 4.8% in 2023. But without a healthy supply of workers, construction companies won’t be able to meet this demand. 


Yet, companies are not detoured. According to the Associated General Contractors of America’s (AGC) 2023 Workforce Survey Analysis, 69% of firms expect to add employees in the next 12 months. And they plan on doing it in a variety of ways that are a little out of the box. 

Change Your Recruiting Strategy 

Construction firms can’t rely on the same recruitment strategies they’ve used for decades, e.g., printed help wanted ads, signs on the door or word-of-mouth recruitment. Instead, more and more companies are trying new ways to find workers. 

Digital Recruitment 

Construction firms are increasingly recognizing that online or digital marketing is a great way to target younger candidates. It makes sense considering younger generations, like Millennials and Gen Z, grew up with technology and rely on digital devices and tools for their everyday lives. Digital recruitment strategies include using social media to target specific audiences, posting on career websites, mobile recruiting and using AI to find and manage the candidate journey. According to AGC’s 2023 Workforce Survey Analysis, 63% of firms, up from 39% in 2022, report they added online strategies to connect better with younger applicants.  

Career Building Programs 

As more construction workers retire, it’s increasingly important to attract young people to the industry. The best way to do that is to capture students before they enter the workforce and educate them about the value of construction careers via career building programs. Career building programs bring associations, employers and educational institutions together to develop curriculum that helps drive students to careers in construction. More and more construction companies are finding value in these partnerships. AGC reports that 49% of firms surveyed engaged with a career-building program, at high schools, colleges or career and technical education programs.  

Professional Search Firms 

Professional or executive search firms are organizations that specialize in placing highly qualified candidates in upper or executive level positions. When recruiting and training one employee can cost up to $4,000, some construction companies are reaching out these firms to help ensure they get the candidates they need – 31% used an executive search firm or professional employer organization in 2022. According to LinkedIn, executive search firms have access to a wide pool of candidates via their extensive networks. AGC reported that construction companies are reaching out to similar employment agencies for help as well. Twenty-five percent report using a craft staffing firm and engaging with a government workforce development or unemployment agency. 

Specialty Workers 

Subcontractors’ specialized skills can help construction companies manage the current labor shortage. There were 51.5 million contingent workers in the US in 2020. Subcontractors provide specialized skills without having to train and manage a full-time employee. AGC reported 21% of construction firms added sub- or specialty contractors in 2022.  

HR Construction Software 

HR construction software, like an applicant tracking system (ATS), can help construction companies streamline their recruitment processes. In 2022, 21% of construction firms implemented software to distribute job postings and manage applications. An ATS is an automated solution that helps to manage the entire recruiting process from receiving applications and cover letters to hiring the best candidate. An ATS integrates with top job search websites, allowing construction companies to reach more candidates, including women, minorities and veterans. The data centralized within an ATS can be used to screen candidates, schedule tests and interviews, check references and send new-hire paperwork, saving HR departments a huge amount of time.  

Because an ATS stores candidate data, it allows construction companies to start building talent pools. Talent pools contain information on potential candidates who have shown interest in your company or previously applied for positions but weren’t selected at the time. And using talent pools can reduce both your time to hire and cost to hire.  

Arcoro’s ATS is a great tool to have in your hiring arsenal. It offers construction HR teams a helping hand with posting positions, managing candidates, building talent pools, maintaining compliance and providing a great candidate experience. Simplify your hiring process and fill more positions with Arcoro’s ATS.

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