How to combat workforce challenges in a post-pandemic construction industry
October 25, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic created many workforce challenges for the construction industry regarding recruiting workers, changing workforce needs and fostering development of existing employees.
Constructionexec.com offers the following five ways construction companies can combat post-pandemic challenges by adapting fundamental business approaches to retain current workers and attract new ones.
Take advantage of online tools to find candidates more effectively. Applicant tracking software can help more accurately match available jobs with qualified candidates. Tools such as talent management platforms specializing in the skilled labor workforce automatically can push job postings to specialty job boards that directly target industry-specific candidates.
Create a hiring pipeline through education networking. Companies must prioritize networking with and educating students early about construction careers, including job openings, pay and other work benefits. Enlist employees to visit their former schools; use high school career technology education programs to educate students regarding opportunities that require skilled trade certifications; and at the college level, encourage students to consider degrees in construction management or engineering. Partner with local colleges and universities to provide internships.
Expand traditional training and professional development. Pair new employees with more seasoned employees to ensure workers transition smoothly into the company. Recognize incoming employees’ skills gaps that may require further training; hands-on internships were more readily available before the pandemic. Consider expanding training programs to be more specific to individuals for jobs on construction sites. You also can take advantage of online professional development training courses for team members based on their schedules.
Continue to offer competitive pay. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the past year, non-supervisory construction jobs had their highest pay increase in the past 40 years. And with rising inflation rates and a competitive job market, this trend likely will continue. Conduct regular salary research to ensure your company follows industry standards regarding workers’ wages.
Commit to ongoing safety training. Conduct simple weekly safety discussions. Companies also should closely monitor job sites to ensure complete safety, looking for trends that may require additional training. Consider requiring regular participation in Occupational Safety and Health Administration courses, CPR/first aid, and fall-protection and rescue training. Such opportunities will boost employee confidence in your company’s overall practices.