According to construction management experts at Colorado State University, there will be a 38% increase in vacancies in the construction trades by 2025. This comes at a time when enforced immigration policies have added to the worker shortage. Construction management leaders are looking to the future and trying to develop predictable pipelines of professionals who will see construction and building as a viable career path.
So, what can construction leaders do to attract talent in the industry?
DEVELOP A PARTNERSHIP WITH EDUCATORS AT A HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL
As a company, develop a paid internship type of program where educators who are interested spend time embedded with a construction company and experience the various disciplines and career paths in the industry. Armed with this knowledge, educators will be in a better position to discuss the great opportunities construction has to offer. They will be able to eliminate the perception that construction means working out in the hot sun and making little money. The truth is that the integration of technology is rapidly changing, and a lot of technological advancements are exciting to see. The earlier a company can reach students and show them what the construction industry is about, the more likely they are to enter the industry.
OFFER CAREER SECURITY AND NOT JOB SECURITY
According to Steve Cadigan, an authority on the Future of Work, he states that the future of work requires a different strategy. In a high velocity world were the business landscape is continually changing, companies who want to attract the best in the construction industry must promise Career Security (Learning and Growth). The truth is that companies cannot guarantee a job for 20 years, those days are gone, but they can guarantee that they will make their employees better than when they first started. Companies can do this by providing stretch assignments, educational and continuous learning opportunities. Build career paths and show how a person can grow within the organization. Show the new technologies required to do various jobs and how you are making an impact in the world we live today. If you do this, people will want to stay longer. Tell your candidates: “I can’t promise the future, but I will promise you that we are going to make you better and more competitive.” The message should be, we want you to be successful in the construction industry and we will provide you with the resources, knowledge and skills you need to be successful with us and with any company in the future. Invest in your people, the new currency today is learning, if people do not feel they are learning and growing, they will leave. Offer career security and watch what happens!
CREATE A GREATER HUMAN CONNECTION
Recruiting is about using tools to create a greater human connection and understanding. People want to be heard and understood. The key is to find better ways of connecting with people. For example:
- Videos: Create authentic videos of employees who have been successful in your organization. A 2-4-minute video telling their story in a genuine way will capture the interest of candidates. People like hearing stories. Share those videos in your social media channels.
- Promote Learning: In the years to come, Adaptability Quotient (AQ) will be more important than work experience. This means candidates will be required to learn faster. Encourage continuous learning and build compensation models that reward learning. In a world were learning and adaptability are crucial for growth, more companies must promote learning to attract and develop.
- Treat Candidates as Customers: Because they are…. The value of hiring talented candidates cannot be overstated – having hardworking, competent people means increased productivity and efficiency for your business. One of the most dehumanizing things about the recruitment process is having poor communication. Finding an ATS that can send branded emails to keep candidates informed at different stages of their application is crucial; however, the more you are engaged with a candidate the more personalized the interaction should be. For example, if a candidate has gone through the interview process and they are not selected, pick up the phone and call them or do a video meeting to explain about the non-selection. Offer feedback and advice – even better, if they are a good candidate, refer him or her to someone in your network who can help them. Being a great recruiter means stripping away the ego and understand the needs of your organization and the needs of the candidate. You must truly listen as that is the only way you can connect talent with opportunity. View candidates as your family and consider the impact you can make in their life. If you can engage with people in a more personal and deeper level, you are more likely to understand their needs.
The construction industry is poised for growth. Attracting talent does not have to be difficult, but it will take investment and personalization on the part of the organization. Ask yourself these three questions:
- What am I doing strategically to attract talent to my company?
- Am I offering Career Security?
- Do we create a more human connection?