Every new year brings new challenges for the construction industry. The impact of COVID-19 was a huge challenge in 2021 and one that’s not likely to go away quickly in 2022. Looking ahead, things like hiring, retention and maintaining efficiencies will certainly be on everyone’s mind.
We’ve broken down the top challenges for construction in 2022 and added ideas on how to combat them.
Hiring More Workers
It’s no surprise that hiring workers will be a top challenge for the construction industry in 2022. The labor shortage has affected the construction industry throughout 2021. According to the Home Builders Institute, the shortage has reached crisis level at an average of 300,000 to 400,000 open construction sector jobs a month. Construction companies want to grow, but don’t have the workers to do so.
One way to help hire workers faster is by using HR technology. Manual processes, like recruiting, can be less productive. According to the 2021 Construction Business Report, 32% of construction companies say manual processes are where their businesses experience the most inefficiencies.
- Use an ATS. An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) along with Onboarding software allows companies to reach the right candidates and get them on the job quickly. An ATS can target a specific group of candidates, like workers with masonry or plumbing skills, across multiple job boards and track referrals – automatically.
- Create Internal Talent Pools. Construction companies must start building their own talent pool instead of always looking for brand new talent. A talent pool is a database consisting of candidates who have shown interest in your company. The talent pool is typically maintained by an ATS and includes people who applied to your company and were not a match for the position at the time or individuals who are currently employed at your organization. Using a talent pool can reduce your time to hire.
- Hire More Women. Hiring more women can help fill a pipeline of skilled workers in the coming years. According to Harvard’s 2021 report, workforce participation by women is considered an untapped economic driver across all industries but current data shows they make up only 10.9% of the total construction population.
Effectively Managing Workers
Another big challenge for the construction industry is supply chain issues. According to a 2021 report by Foundation Software, 42% of construction companies reported they saw moderate job delays due to supply chain costs and delays. While controlling supply chain costs and delays may be out of the hands of companies, they can control other costly processes, like managing their workers.
- Supervising Personnel. Drones are often leveraged to monitor project progress and complete safety inspections – resulting in reduced labor costs. According to BigRentz, their use in construction has increased 239% year-over-year.
- Ensuring Safety. Using wearable tech, like wireless sensors and trackers, can monitor the vital signs of employees, including if they have an accident. Some companies are looking at industrial-use exoskeletons to improve productivity and reduce strain-related industry. But it’s not just about safety – when workers are well taken care of, companies don’t have to worry about things that can affect their bottom line like a lack of workers and potential lawsuits. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Maximizing your resources will be one way construction companies will be able to grow in 2022.
- Focus on Ready-Made Structures. Modular and prefabricated construction – where structures are built off-site – have increased in popularity. It’s a trend that’s a response to existing inefficiencies. By using an offsite space for these projects, construction teams can save time while improving the quality and consistency of the build. Labor costs are saved, and construction timelines are sped up by as much as 50%.
- Increased Interest in Used Equipment. Renting and buying used equipment will continue to remain a popular alternative to buying new. Renting and/or buying used goods allows companies to better manage their expenses and will also allow representatives to determine which piece of equipment works best for their needs.
- Investing in Human Services. One way to accomplish more with less is to automate your hiring, onboarding and performance processes. An ATS helps automate the recruiting and hiring process through applicant tracking, resume ranking, pre-screening, background checks and drug screening, and saves recruiters a ton of time. A paperless onboarding system allows your employees to access the system from a digital device and provide the information you need without filling out and storing a stack of paper forms. And performance management software schedules meetings and sets notifications and reminders, automatically.
Face the 2022 construction challenges head-on by focusing on improved hiring, efficiently managing employees and focusing on cost-saving resources.