Attracting the Next Generation in Construction

Managing your workforce is never an easy feat. At times, you might find yourself facing a construction labor shortage, with crews getting ready for retirement and younger generations of workers who aren’t too keen on sticking around the job site for more than a year or two – at best. 

But the COVID-19 crisis of 2020 has also shown that there are times when construction laborer jobs are more in demand than ever before. Plenty of folks ditched their regular gigs due to the danger of contracting the potentially deadly disease, with the somewhat less deadly construction industry being a safer job option. As a business owner in the construction industry, you need to know how to manage whether there’s a labor shortage or there is more demand for jobs than you know what to do with.

When there’s a shortage of skilled workers, finding new talent can be a difficult task. On the flip side, when demand for jobs is hot, hot, hot, attracting workers isn’t too difficult. But with so much talent to choose from, you need to manage wisely. Construction management technology may just be the way to help you bridge the gap, allowing you to overcome a worker shortage when demand for construction laborer jobs is running low and ensuring you attract the right talent for your organization when the labor market is packed.

Attracting Talent With Technology

It’s easy enough to scoff at younger generations when you see them attached to their phones and laptops. But those construction companies facing a real labor shortage may find that the younger generation’s use of technology can be incredibly useful when it comes to not only attracting but retaining talent

Construction management technology is becoming increasingly important in the construction industry. We could go on at length about just how useful technology is on job sites—in fact, we have. It can do everything from improving time tracking to enhancing your communication efforts. However, there’s another aspect of incorporating that technology into your daily operations that can make a huge impact on your company culture and even influence issues such as an aging workforce.

Because the younger generations—not only Millennials but the even younger Generation Z—are accustomed to using technology in their daily lives, having great technology in place can make them feel more confident and “at home” on the job. Not only that, but their knowledge of technology can be a great asset for companies looking to begin incorporating construction technology into their everyday operations. 

That, in turn, can help these workers feel more invested in a company and its strategy, which can be incredibly beneficial for overall employee retention in the long run. At one point the job market may be overflowing with potential candidates, but remember – the jobs market is always changing. If you want to hang on to the employees you have, you need to give them a reason to stay. Technology they know and understand is a great starting point for getting them involved and invested in a way they may not be otherwise.

Boosting Employee Retention Even Further

Hiring construction workers used to be a process of looking for talented craftsmen who were in it for the long haul. That’s changed because younger workers often have different goals and aspirations when entering the construction industry. The same can often be said for workers entering the industry when unemployment rates are high and they have few other places to turn than their local construction site. Still, there are ways to get these workers to stick around. Mentorship programs can make a big difference in retention. 

These programs help workers get the job training they need, learning important skills and methods from workers with years of experience. Additionally, they help employees become more acclimated to the company culture and—again —help them become more positive and overall more invested in the company itself. 

Also important? Checking in with these employees on a regular basis and keeping track of what they’re doing and how they’re progressing. Goal-setting might not be something you’re used to but it works and it’s important, especially for younger employees who tend to be “big picture” thinkers and may need a guiding hand to keep them on track and show them when progress is being made and what real progress looks like, especially if it’s their first time on a construction job site – something that’s likely if they’re taking on a job in the construction industry out of necessity, as may happen during periods of high unemployment in other industries.

Ultimately, what it boils down to is this—there’s no getting around it. You have to be the one to make your company attractive to the younger generation – and to the folks who are taking on jobs because they don’t have anywhere else to turn when a crisis like COVID-19 leaves them with nowhere else to turn for a paycheck. And it’s important to do what you can to make sure these folks are willing to stick around. Technology can play a big role in both of these scenarios.

But this doesn’t have to be painful or difficult. You don’t have to uproot your entire way of working to bring your processes into the future. With just a few smart tweaks you can ensure that in ten years, when the most experienced members of your labor fleet are finally taking their significant others to Europe like they promised, you’ll still have a full, experienced construction labor force ready to take care of your job sites.

The Changing Face of the Industry

Technology is changing our industry. From drones and artificial intelligence to construction management software, there are many technological advancements now being employed in full force on the average construction project. But you don’t have to be too scared—these robots aren’t here to destroy humanity. They’re here to make your life – and your employees’ lives – easier.

 

If you have any questions about construction management technology or you’d like to learn more about how busybusy can help your construction business, contact us today!