From Seattle to San Diego, there can be little doubt that the West Coast is experiencing a building boom in both the residential and commercial sectors. While many things about that kind of growth are exciting and full of promise, it does come with an unanticipated side effect: a shortage of construction team members that help bring these projects to life, such as project managers, estimators, site supervisors, cost and project engineers, and the like. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021 kicked off with 313,000 openings in the construction industry, up from 211,000 openings in December 2020. (source) That is a lot of positions that need filling.
Specialized workers in every facet of the construction industry are in demand. This growing need is good news for prospective employees looking to start or further a career in the construction trades, but it can be challenging for employers, hiring managers and recruiters. However, challenges can be good things as they open avenues to creativity when seeking talent. With some skill, some innovation and a little bit of luck, you can build a construction team of solid, reliable workers even during a talent shortage.
Count the Cranes: Signs of a Talent Shortage
One need not use Google to determine whether a city is experiencing a shortage of project managers, cost engineers, construction executives, and other specialized talent in the construction sector. Instead, all it takes is a glance at the skyline. Driving through a major metropolitan area such as Seattle, you can count the cranes and realize that it is a city under major construction. In residential areas, signs and billboards announce that apartment complexes and housing developments are sprouting up all over.
It takes a surplus of workers to keep up with the pace of progress, but in situations that call for a lot of construction talent, companies are instead finding themselves short-staffed. But there are ways to counteract the talent shortage and keep construction teams full, job sites staffed and construction moving apace.
Tools of the Trade: How to Recruit Your Construction Team
- Think Local: Before you cast a wide geographical net, consider what talent might be available in your neck of the woods. Using traditional job postings might have led you to believe that the worker shortage in your area means you’ll have to think about going outside your region or even your state to round out your construction team. Before you do so, try tapping resources at local colleges, trade schools and technical colleges. Attend career days and job fairs to find talent and keep your company front of mind. Offer internships or do outreach to train future workers and interest young people in careers in the construction industry—get ahead of a worker shortage before it has a chance to take hold.
- Play Up Your Perks: Most people know a position on a construction team means hard work for good pay. However, if a paycheck were enough, there would be no talent shortage. Many companies offer perks beyond excellent salaries. Perhaps your company has a slate of interesting upcoming projects, or stellar safety practices, or an emphasis on providing opportunities for continuing and advanced learning, or a fast track for promoting from within, or an innovative benefits package. In a highly competitive market and during a time when there is a strong need for qualified workers, putting the workplace benefits that enhance quality of life front and center can make all the difference when recruiting your construction team.
- Partner With an Experienced Recruiter: Sometimes there is no better way to meet a challenge than to hire an expert to help you out. Much in the same way that it takes a skilled carpenter to build a house, an experienced recruiter can help you build your construction team during a talent shortage. At NW Recruiting Partners, we have years of experience in hiring for the construction industry, whether you’re looking for a site superintendent, an engineer or a construction executive to help your company meet its deadlines and goals. We’ll listen to your needs and formulate a recruiting strategy that will get you results, leaving you free to concentrate on the day-to-day tasks of building the future.
We’ll Help You Build Your Construction Team
Examples of just some of the positions NW Recruiting Partners can help you fill in the construction industry:
- Project Managers
- Construction Executives
- Project Engineers
- Business Development
- Cost Engineers
- Project Accountants
If you’re feeling the pinch of the labor shortage, contact us and we’ll be happy to help you meet all your staffing needs.