The skilled labor shortage plaguing the United States is nothing new – and certainly nothing new in the construction industry. Finding people with the right skills is proving to be a constant challenge, especially as more and more projects begin to pop up again after being put on hold because of the coronavirus.

This decrease in labor has been made even more difficult as shop classes, which exposed many students to the possibility of a career in construction for the first time, begin to disappear from schools across the country. As a result, construction’s skilled labor force is aging at an alarming rate, and many companies are fighting over available qualified labor.

So, what is a construction company to do? Do you not accept new projects or try to work through them with unqualified employees? Hopefully, neither of these things! In this article, we will outline a few creative recruitment methods that you may not have thought of – and hopefully, your competitors have not either!

Partner with Trade Schools

All schools want to see their students succeed. And when it comes to graduating seniors, success essentially translates to “landing a job.” While these individuals probably will not be bringing lots of experience with them, finding young, motivated, and trainable people could still be the best option. An alternative? Start an internship program that can help interested parties get started. See if there are job fairs that your company can participate in.

Regularly Ask for Referrals

Hopefully, you are already tapping your star employees for referrals – offering a referral bonus can prove to be a quick and very effective incentive. However, you can (and should!) be thinking beyond just your current team. Ask your clients, your administrative team, even your neighbor or barber. You never know where you will uncover an amazing referral. And like they say, it never hurts to ask.

Consider the Veteran Community

Many veterans have experience working in construction from their time in the armed forces. This is also a group that is regularly looking for employment. Luckily, multiple organizations can help connect interested parties to your organization. You can go through the U.S. Department of Labor or a smaller organization like Hardhats to Helmets to help you recruit.

Think Simple and Basic

In today’s modern age, this last idea may sound a little silly. But posting your job openings and contact information on grocery store bulletins or light posts around town could result in some interesting leads. Many people have experience in construction, and this could very well be the moment they are looking to reenter the job market.


Photo by Mario Bruns on Unsplash