Tips for Hiring Top Trade Workers in the Construction Labor Shortage

Tips for Hiring Top Trade Workers in the Construction Labor Shortage

Tips for Hiring Top Trade Workers in the Construction Labor Shortage


During the 2008 recession, construction saw a lull in work. Many skilled trade workers were laid off and had to find new work. As the economy picked back up along with construction, many contractors have seen a construction labor shortage. However, many of these trade workers haven’t transitioned back into construction. With an unemployment rate of 4.1%, businesses in all fields are finding it hard to fill open positions and keep employees if things get tough. Here are some tips to help your business stay competitive in hiring top trade workers in labor shortage.


Construction Labor Shortage

Graph by FRED St. Louis using data by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics

1. Know Your Busy Season

One of the easiest ways to stay competitive is to know when your busy season is. If your busy season starts in summer, then you should post the job in spring. This way you have a couple of months to interview potential hires before you’re strapped for employees. You can choose the best candidate and be selective, rather than taking whoever. Since you have time to vet potential candidates by hiring early. Also, hiring sooner gives you the ability to train the trade workers on how your business works. So you don’t have to stress about getting them up to speed when your busy season starts and have a better edge in the construction labor shortage.


2. Clarity in Position

Another easy way to stay competitive during the construction labor shortage is in your job postings. Specifically, clarity to the position you’re hiring for. The more information about the job, the more likely you are to get the right candidate. You will have to sift through resumes from candidates you’re not interested in if a job posting is too vague and doesn’t offer enough information. A job posting is also a great place to offer insight into what you’re looking for in a candidate, your minimum requirements, your preferences, and what it’s like to work at the company.


3. Showcase Reasons to Work at Your Company

Potential applicants should know why they should work at your company. More young people are looking for companies that offer a work-life balance, competitive pay, and benefits. The best way to showcase why trade workers should work for you is to use social media to portray what it’s like to work for your company. If you have holiday barbeques, Christmas parties, and paid time off, advertise these qualities to potential trade workers.


People want to work for companies that will appreciate them, not just offer competitive pay. Company culture is especially important during the construction labor shortages. Trade workers will look for other opportunities if they’re not fully satisfied with their position, the company, or any other reason. And in this construction labor shortage, it’s important to showcase why skilled trade workers should choose you over other opportunities.


Construction labor shortage

Photo by on Pexels

4. Apprenticeships

Offering apprenticeship positions and pairing with local trade schools is a great way to beat the construction labor shortage. Not only does it allow you to give back to your community, but you get extra temporary labor. And if the apprentice works well with your crew and has skills and character traits you want in an employee, you can hire them on full-time. This gives you a leg up on other companies looking for trade workers in this construction labor shortage. Internships are also a positive way to groom employees into becoming part of your business.


5. Pay Employees for Referrals

Employee referrals are a great way to find candidates. Employees are likely to refer friends from trade school, or they know from old jobs. And the employees will probably feel responsible for the friends they refer because if their referral isn’t a match or doesn’t work out, it will reflect on them. So employees will only refer trade workers they want to work with who are qualified. Employee referrals give you a highlighted group of individuals to choose from who have been recommended. And by using creative incentives, people are more likely to refer qualified candidates giving you a leg up on the construction labor shortage.


So long as unemployment is low, it will be very hard for all businesses to fill positions. It’s especially hard in the construction industry as roughly 2 million skilled trade workers left the field due to the recession and most high schools de-emphasized trade training. It’s up to construction companies to stay competitive during the labor shortage. Through showcasing what your company has to offer and beginning the hiring process early, you’ll be able to attract the right trade workers at the right time this year.

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