How to: Build a Construction Team Pipeline
You’ve probably read the news: the construction industry is facing a severe labor shortage. And, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us construction workers tend to be older: the median age is now almost 43 years old!
|Bringing technology to work on the jobsite!|
There are some solid reasons behind these statistics: almost a decade of very slow growth within the industry.
A perhaps larger business issue needs to be addressed, however: how to energize a new generation of workers to consider not only a construction trade — but the construction business — as a career path.
And, today’s construction team member — as well as the construction environment — isn’t your father’s!
Many of today’s senior construction executives started out “swinging a hammer” — and Millenials and Gen X’ers haven’t learned or aren’t interested in skilled labor jobs.
At the same time, many schools have pushed skilled trade courses off their schedules — not enough people are interested and these classes can cost more to produce.
Consider ideas suggested in Dian Zhang’s Builder article, Bringing Young Blood to the Construction Labor Force and a few of suggestions, as well:
- Rebuild the image of construction work — spread the word that there is a vibrant, well-paying industry looking for all levels of employees. There are production workers, yes; but also an entire team of workers supporting the home building industry. It’s not just the trades, in other words. Let your world know there are opportunities at all levels — and much of the home building world is entrepreneurial in nature. Get involved in trade associations — as well as business groups.
- Bring back mentorships and apprenticeships — those are definitely good ideas. Build a system within your organization to support your team members in these efforts. Reward their success bringing in a new team member or mentoring someone just as you would home completions!
- Sponsor activities at your local schools and colleges — show students you are actively using technology in the business, for example. Bring iPads, iPhones, Android devices to schools — and show them how you schedule, track construction progress, read floor plans — using today’s technology.