Improve Your Project Outcomes by Planning for Staffing

Planning for staffing? PeopleReady Skilled Trades offers three critical steps for developing a successful staffing strategy.

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Tip: Boost Your Flexibility by Finding the Right Staffing Partner

Few things are worse for construction leaders than seeing a project start date looming and knowing that you don’t have the staffing resources you need for the job.

Given a worsening skilled trades worker shortage and industry analysts’ talk of a potential recession, it’s more important than ever to start planning for staffing early. Waiting to hire tradespeople at the last minute could mean paying premium labor costs — or worse, costly project delays.

The need to plan ahead for staffing resources is even more pressing when projects require high-demand tradespeople or are located in competitive, hard-to-staff locations. So, where should you start? Here are three steps your company can take right now to create an effective construction staffing plan and prepare for your upcoming projects.

  1. Evaluate your staffing resource needs
  2. Determine your staffing strategy
  3. Choose the right staffing partner

Step 1: Evaluate your staffing resource needs

While this step requires little explanation, it’s key to achieving greater success and more profitable outcomes. Be sure to consider your staffing needs under desirable scenarios like, “What if we land that big project downtown?” or “Could we expand into a new market?” Also, factor in your organizational goals for company growth, improved efficiency and greater profitability. Then, calculate how many skilled trades workers you would ideally need for each step of the construction process for your current and upcoming projects.

If your business is in a region where work is seasonal, your slower time can be the perfect opportunity to evaluate and update your construction staffing plan! Take a few weeks to map out your current staff and then compare that to the team you think you’ll need.

Step 2: Determine your staffing strategy

After establishing your staffing needs, including the specific workers needed, it’s time to build out your staffing strategy.

If you have sustained project demand and the available full-time resources, you might plan to stay the course and keep your hiring in-house. On the other hand, if you think demand will ebb and flow through the seasons or if you lack the internal resources to easily scale your workforce up or down, you may want to consider finding a construction staffing partner.

Or, maybe you find yourself somewhere in the middle. If that’s the case, you may want to consider what we call a Core Employee Staffing Model. In this model, you keep your core workforce on your payroll and call on an experienced staffing partner to connect you with the supplemental staff you need—whenever and wherever you need them.

Step 3: Choose the right staffing partner

If you’ve decided to enlist the help of a construction staffing partner, now it’s time to find the right staffing firm for your needs. The right staffing partner will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your staffing needs are met. Finding a staffing partner can not only help you with planning for staffing ahead of time, but they can also support last-minute requests when you need workers fast.

Keep in mind that not all staffing firms are the same. That’s why picking one with a proven track record in the skilled trades arena is essential. Not sure where to start in evaluating staffing partners? We’ve got you covered. From industry experience to geographic coverage and a commitment to safety, here are several features to look for in a partner.

Bonus tip: Prepare for unexpected staffing needs

As you know, projects are fluid and you can always expect the unexpected. So, how are you prepared to handle changes in scope and timing? Do you have staff on hand ready to work immediately? And does your staffing partner also help you with your last-minute staffing needs?

At PeopleReady Skilled Trades, we have the skilled trades staffing expertise and nationwide resources — including a 24/7 service center for around-the-clock support — to help connect you with reliable, skilled workers when unexpected staffing needs arise. Now that’s the peace of mind you need in a workforce partner!


If you foresee workforce gaps or challenges with your staffing strategy, turn to PeopleReady Skilled Trades as soon as possible.

Since 1987, we’ve connected companies like yours with tradespeople across a number of trades, including carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders, solar installers and more. Whether you need a single tradesperson or require a coordinated plan to dispatch skilled workers across multiple projects, we’ll help you scale up to meet demand. And the best part? With PeopleReady Skilled Trades, you never pay until you have boots on the ground on your job site. It doesn’t get better than that!

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PeopleReady Skilled Trades is a specialized division of PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE: TBI). Since 1987, we have connected tradespeople and work across a wide range of trades, including carpentry, electrical, plumbing, welding, solar installations and more. Whether you need a single tradesperson or require a coordinated effort to dispatch skilled workers across multiple projects, we ensure you have the right people with the right tools, on-site and on time.