In a construction project, the success of any given project relies on the strength of your skilled labor force. With baby boomers retiring and opportunities for growth consistently popping up all over the United States, more and more opening in constructions firms need to be filled. The millennials have been a hard nut to crack for many construction managers. The skilled labor shortage has left each firm in an arms race, with the skilled millennials being the much sought after weapons. Because of this, from where I stand, millennials are the key that will save the construction industry.
Why are millennials the key?
Millennials are the key to keeping your construction project on its projected timeline, by being good, hard working, innovative, and tech savvy workers. For this reason, it’s no surprise that experienced construction industry recruiters are competing hard for new hires. These recruiters have been skeptical of the millennial generation, but despite some serious negative stereotypes, millennials are incredibly hard working, loyal and productive.
The new generation is the first to ever grow up in the digital age, which has made their capabilities to learn and implement new tech surpass all others. Additionally, growing up with the Internet and limitless tools at their disposal has molded their generation into natural problem solvers. When tools fail, the average millennial can think creatively to solve the problem, and when a new tool emerges, it doesn’t take them long to learn and implement the system. And, most importantly, a millennial loves a good challenge.
Millennials have proven over and over that they have immense pride in a job well done. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and what’s a better industry to find that purpose. For example, taking on the challenge of building a New York City high-rise. Like all new recruits, there are always pros and cons. When building your strategy, expect millennials to be:
- Highly self-sufficient at completing daily routine tasks, but may have limited understanding of top down issues. They often need specific guidance to tackle multifaceted projects that span long periods of time.
- Take negative feedback personally, but require frequent and detailed updates on their job performance. Their egos can be very fragile; and they often feel under-praised.
- In need of work that makes an impact. They crave meaningful work, both in the overall success of the company, as well as in their individual jobs.
- Guilty of short attention spans, especially distracted by the Internet and their phones. They often jump from job to job, as opposed to their parents who stuck with one employer for a substantial length of time.
- Filled with a desire to have a strong work life balance. They work to live, not live to work, yet they are highly driven to be the best and attain the recognition. While this means Millennials want flexible hours, it also means your company gets an infusion of creative and dynamic perspectives.
The millennial generation will change the structure of the construction industry in one way or another. They bring a new set of skills formally unknown to the industry. However, the millennial generation should not be written off because of common stereotypes, they can be incredibly passionate, loyal and productive!