Construction Workers: The Labor Shortage Continues

What makes a successful hire?

One of the ongoing challenges to the construction industry–and therefore a concern to any business planning to build new offices, warehouses, factories, etc.–is the ongoing labor shortage of qualified construction workers.

Young people are not entering building professions in the numbers they used to. So with a smaller labor pool, where are contractors finding qualified candidates to fill their open positions?

Here’s an interesting article from Construction Informer Blog: http://constructioninformer.com/2014/01/13/construction-employers-new-hires-guidelines/

Where are managers finding new talent? Nearly 80% report using online recruiting tools, while 68% offer incentives to employees who refer someone. Sixty-three percent use internships or co-ops, and just about the same amount, nearly 60%, use professional recruiters, external referrals and job postings on company websites.

Respondents also weighed-in on what educational backgrounds had proven to be most successful in new hires. Regardless of whether the new hire was management or trade/craft, respondents said they had the best luck with people having construction management education or engineering.

The top personal skills named by the respondents that were predictive of a successful hire were communications skills (named by 23%), leadership (17%), and strategic thinking (11%). Two of those, communicating effectively and strategic thinking were named as the most difficult to develop in field managers, followed by coaching and mentoring. For project managers, respondents said the most difficult to develop were communicating effectively, strategic thinking, leading others and coaching and mentoring, in that order.

This problem with finding skilled labor is just one more reason you have to be very careful when  you hire contractors. Inquire into the skills and experience of your contractors’ personnel. Better yet, have your Project Manager, who knows just the right areas you should be concerned about, to handle hiring of contractors for  you.

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