Construction Recruitment Trends

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Surety Bond Professionals is a family owned and operated bonding agency with over 30 years of experience. With access to a broad range of surety markets, our expert agents are ready to assist with all of your bonding needs. Continue to read to find out more about construction recruitment trends.

The Current Labor Shortage

The demand for new workers in the construction industry has been greater than the potential supply for years, and that trend continues in the COVID-19 era. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Construction activity was stagnant through most of 2021 but is likely to pick up with government-funded infrastructure spending.

To be competitive moving forward, construction companies need to acquire and/or develop talent that has the right combination of skills for the work to be done. They also need to have a diverse workforce that is in line with what both private and public project owners are looking for. And they need to be able to attract and retain workers in a highly competitive hiring environment.

The Right Mix of Skills

Generations of construction workers were hired for their technical skills and experience. But there is a growing recognition of the need for “soft” skills as well—management skills, communication, collaboration and teamwork, time management, the ability to give and receive actionable feedback, and much more. There is a growing emphasis on developing soft skills through coaching, mentoring, and other on-the-job learning experiences.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)

The construction industry has become far more diverse in recent years. There was a time when a woman working in construction was a rarity, but no longer. And the impetus for increasing diversity in the construction workforce grows stronger with every passing month, especially in government contracting. Many construction companies are working hard to attract women and minorities.

Increasing DEIB requires a different approach to recruiting, from targeting diverse labor pools to blind reviews of applications and resumes (no names or details revealing gender or ethnicity), panel interviews, and a commitment to confront and conquer one’s own unintentional biases.

To make workers feel welcome and valued, they need to have a sense of belonging. That’s the level of employee engagement that results in long-term retention of talent. Developing a culture that values diversity and gives employees a sense of belonging is no easy matter. It begins with recruiting and continues through onboarding, training, and consistently fair and equitable treatment of all employees.

Becoming an Employer of Choice

To be considered an employer of choice in a highly competitive labor market, construction companies must be able to offer wages and benefits comparable to what job candidates could receive elsewhere. But it’s the company’s culture that really makes the difference.

Job seekers are looking for a better balance between their work and personal lives, which is leading many employers in the construction industry to offer childcare options or to subsidize childcare, as well compensate workers for travel demands that keep them away from home for extended periods.

One strategy that earns employee engagement and loyalty is to develop talent internally and promote from within. Establishing a long-term development plan for each worker is evidence of a commitment to their career growth and personal fulfillment—a commitment that typically is reciprocated, as seen in low turnover rates and stronger branding as an employer of choice.

Responding to these three trends alone will go a long way toward meeting contractors’ talent needs.

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