Even if you are not experiencing it yourself, by now you are probably well aware that the construction industry is facing a skilled labor shortage. The labor pool is smaller than it has been in years, which means that top talent is in high demand. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the number of construction projects is continuing to grow. Many companies are now fighting over the best of the best. 

So, the question becomes: How can you attract the best employees to your company? And, after you have attracted them, how can you entice them to stay? 

Raise pay and benefits

This first and most obvious strategy of attracting and retaining top talent is to increase the pay and benefits that you are offering. The average hourly (cumulative) earnings in construction has continued to increase year over year, and currently sits around 10% higher than the private-sector average. However, wage increases are happening across the entire industry, so if you want your company to really stand out, you will need to do something more. 

Invest in training and retention 

When there is a shortage of veteran laborers, you may have to hire someone with less experience (but a lot of potential) and train them on the job. After this process, you need to make sure that you are doing everything in your power to keep them. Losing a skilled employee can be absolutely devastating to a company. When you take into account recruitment and training costs, replacing one of your valuable team members can end up costing nearly a quarter of a million dollars. Remember that your job does not stop once an employment contract is signed. 

Provide creative incentives 

If you want to attract the best talent and keep them from moving over to a competitor, you need to provide creative incentives that are actually meaningful to employees. Consider things like profit sharing and – as much as your projects will allow it – flexible work schedules. 

Another thing that you should be considering is offering a recruitment bonus to anyone that recommends a new hire to your HR team. Start by asking your top performers for the names and contact information of anyone they think might be interested and a good fit. And, if you are already offering these additional company benefits, chances are they will have plenty of good things to say about your company. 

The Bottom Line

The continued skill labor shortage is putting a lot of stress on construction companies. However, there are still plenty of ways that you can attract and retain top talent. The best thing to do is focus on the incentives that matter most to this audience and make their needs your top priority. 


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