Type to search

Editors Blog

Labor Shortage Solutions: Steps to Take


By Brian Binke

Even though we are aware of the many factors that caused the skilled labor crisis, and there’s still no universal remedy for the labor shortage, there are some recommended steps that organizations can take to help attract and retain talent in the construction industry. 

What Makes Your Organization Unique?
Put the hiring wheels in motion by figuring out what differentiates your company from the competition. If you can effectively explain why a candidate should resign from their current position in favor of an opportunity with your company, then you’re already heading in the right direction. Many companies might even need to design new programs to get themselves back into the industry’s spotlight. Firms that are successful in hiring have utilize their marketing for much more than just stimulating new business. They are also dabbling in the creation of construction recruiting campaigns. They are able to explain how a new opportunity will benefit candidates and show them what their future will look like within the firm.

Get Listed
Then, whether it’s local, or even national, firms are encouraged to get listed on “Best Companies to Work For” lists. The top free agents across the industry review these listings looking for construction careers. It’s often up to construction leadership to submit an application depicting their company’s demographics, programs and practices and other pertinent information. 

Consider Your Benefits
Next, look at your benefits. Establish and promote benefits that are unique. Companies that are offering extraordinary benefits are getting creative in their efforts. For example, in addition to their regular three-week annual vacation and standard benefits, they’re also offering more incentives for their loyal employees, like a $5,000 bonus and a 30-day sabbatical, after 5 years of continuous employment. Consider offering employees profit sharing and bonuses that tie into above-and-beyond profits.

Reach Out to Young People
Yet another practical approach to recruiting more young workers to the skilled trades is by making a presence in high schools and colleges for recruiting days and career days. Get involved with the alumni association along with associations and schools who are volunteering in Habitat for Humanity or other construction related programs. Get connected with local universities who have programs in civil engineering, construction management and architecture.

Perks to Attract Young People
Some companies are even stepping-up their efforts by offering tuition assistance to help students get a vocational degree. Close to 35 percent of the American labor force are millennials, so it’s more crucial now than ever to focus on recruiting this sector of the population. Millennials are looking for more than just a paycheck from their careers. They also want a collaborative work culture rather than a cut-throat competitive one.Some other employer qualities that they are looking for are flexibility, opportunities to do meaningful work, and competitive compensation/benefit packages. Finally, don’t underestimate the power of promoting a fun work environment. It’s still possible to meet production goals while enjoying your work. 

Brian Binke is the founder and CEO of The Birmingham Group (TBG). TBG is a globally recognized executive search and consulting firm specializing in the construction arena. Over the past 22 years, Brian has established himself as one of the construction industries most respected leaders. He has won numerous awards for his industry innovation and has been recognized as the No. 1 worldwide revenue producing manager for the largest recruitment network of more than 800 independent firms.