10 Tips for Hiring Construction Workers and Skilled Tradespeople
Businesses across every industry in the United States struggle at times to attract and hire skilled workers to fill open positions. Construction firms are no different. In fact, the construction industry as a whole is facing an even greater challenge: finding construction workers and skilled tradespeople during a major labor shortage.
In February, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report that stated most contractors (83%) continue to report moderate to high levels of difficulty in finding skilled workers. The study also found contractors believe this issue will persist well into the summer.
Although the construction industry is facing challenges finding skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen, there are steps contractors can take to address the hiring crisis. Here are ten tips for how to find skilled construction workers during a labor shortage:
- Start with your own company: Start your job search by looking within your own company. Through upskilling, you can provide training to your staff of construction workers and skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen to fill vacant positions. This is a great opportunity for your employees to advance their careers. It’s also beneficial to your company as it will cut down on the time and resources spent looking outside of your company for new employees. Another way to boost employee morale and incentivize your workforce is by setting up an employee referral program. The construction workers and skilled tradespeople on your staff likely have connections with people throughout the construction industry. Offering bonuses for successful employee referrals will encourage your employees to connect potential candidates with you.
- Post on job boards: When trying to find construction workers and skilled tradespeople, it’s important to clearly identify and articulate your company’s needs. Create a straightforward and engaging job post that resonates with your future employees. In it, highlight the specific duties and the desired skills and qualifications you’re seeking. Include your company’s culture and employee benefits. Once you have crafted your job post, upload it to different job search engines, such as Indeed, Glassdoor, Monster, Google for Jobs and Craigslist. Additionally, uploading your job post to more industry-specific websites, like ConstructionJobs.com or GeneralConstructionJobs.com, could help your company meet your demand for skilled tradespeople.
- Try old-school marketing: It’s hard to believe, but not everyone uses the internet to find their next job opportunity. Using traditional marketing techniques, such as posting flyers throughout your local community, can be very effective. It’s also a good idea to let your business partners know you are hiring construction workers and skilled tradespeople. Whether it’s one of your suppliers or clients, word-of-mouth marketing can be a highly effective tool when you need to find skilled workers. By simply picking up the phone or inquiring when you’re out and about in your local community, you may just find the skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen you need—with no impact to your marketing budget.
- Look to the next generation: Attending college is a significant investment and young people are fully aware of the debt they may be left with upon graduation. With baby boomers retiring from the construction industry in masses, it’s up to the next generation to start filling their roles. To attract young people, companies within the construction industry can build their own apprenticeship programs or offer internships to help the next generation see the rewarding career opportunities available to them in the skilled trades. As they gain experience, you’ll establish a funnel of prospective construction workers and skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen. If you’re finding you don’t know where to start, look to organizations like Generation T who are already promoting and advocating for the skilled trades amongst the next generation.
- Use social media: Social media can be an effective way to get the word out about your demand for skilled tradespeople—and to engage with prospective employees. If you don’t have Facebook or Instagram accounts set up, create them as soon as possible. You can use these social media platforms to provide construction workers and skilled tradespeople the opportunity to get to know your company. By using engaging photos, videos and other content, you can entice skilled tradespeople to your business—even those who weren’t looking to change companies! Use captions to highlight your company’s benefits and career opportunities and include contact information. Another advantage to using social media: People may share your company’s employment opportunities with their friends and family members looking for construction jobs. You can also use social media to advertise job opportunities. Yes, advertising on social media costs money, but it can be highly effective in helping you find and hire construction workers.
- Diversify your workforce: Finding a job can be especially challenging for job seekers who are underrepresented in the industry. Consider reaching out to candidates who may be experiencing hard times or major life changes, like military service members who are transitioning back to civilian life. This can be an excellent opportunity for your company to positively impact your community and find construction workers who have years of experience working on teams and completing labor-intensive projects that require a high degree of discipline. You can also partner with organizations that represent and advocate for women and minority groups in construction and let them know you are looking to hire construction workers and skilled tradespeople.
- Attend industry-specific job fairs: Job fairs can be a great opportunity for your company to get in front of construction workers and skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen. This is your chance to talk face-to-face with prospective employees and sell them on the strengths and opportunities available at your company. Highlighting projects and career advancement opportunities are just a couple of ways you can ensure your company stands out from the rest.
- Join a trade association: Joining and participating in a trade association—like Associated Builders and Contractors—is another way to broaden your company’s reach. Attending industry-specific trade shows or giving company presentations at association meetings can help you find the construction workers you need. Networking can also cut down on the time and resources you would normally invest in to find and hire construction workers and skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen.
- Reach out to former employees: Former employees can be vital partners in your search for finding skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen. After all, they know what it’s like to work for your company and can share their experience with prospective employees. They’re likely well connected to your local construction community and can be excellent resources in finding construction workers. Pick up the phone and give your former employees a quick call or send them an email detailing your latest needs for skilled workers.
- Partner with a staffing provider: Finding construction workers to fill your open positions can be overwhelming. To help ease the stress, consider partnering with a staffing provider like PeopleReady Skilled Trades. A staffing provider can help your company find the skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen you need for short- and long-term projects. With connections all across the industry and energy sectors, a staffing provider can connect you with the right people at the right time to help your company complete projects and add to your bottom line.
Learn how PeopleReady Skilled Trades partners with businesses in the construction and energy industries