So far 2018 is stacking up to be a busy year for construction companies. However, companies are finding it hard to attract millennials in construction. There are nearly a quarter of a million open construction jobs in the United States, but they’re finding it harder and harder to fill them. Another issue that the construction industry faces is most of the current laborers are in their 40’s or older. The lack of younger workers will make it difficult for the construction industry to fulfill project obligations.
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The Construction Labor Shortage
Because of the high number of projects and the shortage of labor, wages for skilled construction workers are starting to go up. Many construction managers are making close to six-figure salaries. While much of this is dependent on where you live, it’s still true that the average wage has increased in an attempt to encourage more workers into construction. While a good wage is one way to try to attract more young people into the construction industry before the majority of the workforce starts to retire, here are some tips to attract millennials in construction for large companies.
Waiting until the week before a big job to hire staff makes it difficult to choose who the best option for the job is. The best way to combat this is to constantly accept resumes from qualified candidates and extend interviews. Those that are a great match for what positions will be open, or a position the company would like to fill, extend an offer. It saves the company from having to just accept a warm body for a specific job.
However, if time is a luxury you can’t afford, really probe into the character of the interviewee. Some questions will give the company a better look at their character than others. This will prevent the business from hiring people that won’t mesh well with the company.
Knowing that Millennials and Gen Zers are less likely to stay if they believe they’ve learned and reached all they can at that company, it might be a good idea to look at the review structure. First, the general review structure usually falls around annual reviews which aren’t beneficial to an employee. Employees are judged on things that they might have worked on a year before and can no longer change. In a field like construction, there are individual projects. It makes more sense to do reviews after every project so that employees can grow from project to project. Otherwise, they won’t know what they need to do to grow until they’ve solidified bad habits.
Changing Reward Structure
With frequent reviews though, means that yearly promotions or raises should reflect the reviews. Many companies stick to a traditional raise structure that for every year that someone works there, they make a certain percent more. But this only works well with annual reviews. However, if millennials in construction jump from company to company for better opportunities it might make sense to structure your system to prevent great workers from leaving. When reviewing after every project or every couple of months reward great work. Rather than giving raises, bonuses or promoting people based on the amount of time they’ve been there, promote them based on the quality of work. Not only does it show them that you appreciate their work for you, but it makes them less likely to jump to another company.
Offer a Career Path and Mentorship for Millennials in Construction
The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey shows that the majority of Millennials and Gen Z expect to leave the company they work for within 2 years. That’s a low retention rate for companies that want to hire millennials. However, one of the main reasons why they leave isn’t because they’re lazy or don’t like work. Millennials and Gen Z workers are interested in working for places with a clear career path and a mentorship to be able to reach their goals.
Construction is a perfect industry for that. There are clear steps that the millennials in construction can take in order to reach the top of their industry or clearly defined success structures. It’s also easy to offer additional training and mentorship. These two factors are more likely to keep millennials around. Besides the fact that regular training in construction is necessary for everyone, the involved aspect makes construction a good industry for millennials.
Company Branding and Market Reputation
Millennials are more likely than ever to consider a company’s market reputation and brand before taking a job. In this current atmosphere, using a company’s brand reputation is a good way to judge how long they will be around. A company’s reputation and brand are important. Your company can have a great reputation amongst those that know of it, but not be well known as a whole. This will impact the amount of work that a company has and possibly even the longevity of a company. While millennials in construction are looking for a path and benefits, they also want job security.
While your company’s reputation around the area showcases the work they might be a part of, it’s also a great way to appeal to millennials in construction. For example, volunteer projects your company participates in can be a great tool. So does social media pieces on current employees, highlighting why your company is glad they work there. This helps develop a brand and reputation that attracts millennials in construction.
Hire the Right Person for the Right Job
One problem that large companies face is hiring the right person for the wrong job. While it’s not always intentional, it happens. When hiring a worker, it’s important to note their skills and where they want to go in their career. If a worker is interested in a certain specialty or becoming a project manager or foreman, then ensuring they have a path to that role benefits both of you. For they know that your large company will have a role for them at all points of their career, and you have a driven individual. Sometimes though, someone is hired for a job or is put on a job that they aren’t experienced in and isn’t on the path they want. Putting a wrench on a job meant for a hammer will only disappoint both parties and won’t encourage millennials in construction to work for you.
Offer Training and Development
Along with offering a distinct career path, offer the necessary training and development to get there. Not only does training and development help employees reach where they want to be, it also helps your business. Because employees that are up-to-date on best practices in their field they’ll deliver better results. Companies that use the latest lessons in their field have a reputation for being on the forefront. This added with a quality control plan to assure quality will benefit the business’s reputation. So this helps millennials in construction feel the support from your company. And there is a better level of quality and training.
Using Their Platforms
One of the best ways to find and attract millennials in construction is to use the sites that they use. Advertising your company, your reputation, your values, and open jobs on the sites they’re using is more likely to draw their eyes to it. Using your traditional job posting sites might not reach the people you want to reach. More millennials are using LinkedIn and other such sites to find jobs. This makes it important for your business to find those spaces to market yourself to millennials.