Worker Shortage Creates Opportunity for Inclusion in Construction

Is your business recruiting for diversity? PeopleReady Skilled Trades shares five benefits for construction companies to consider.

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5 reasons construction companies should recruit for diversity

Recruiting for diversity in construction is not just the right thing to do, it also comes with many benefits. While we’ll highlight five of those benefits in this article, it’s important first to understand what the construction workforce looks like today. Let’s look at the numbers.

In December 2023, the construction industry had 449,000 job openings — and that number is only increasing. With a growing skilled trades labor shortage comes the opportunity for construction companies to renew their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in construction.

While the construction industry is more open to hiring minorities and women in construction than ever, a 2022 BLS report shows there is still a long way to go to increase diversity in construction. The industry is still overwhelmingly male (89.1%) and white (87.3%). Women account for only 10.9% of workers in the industry, while just 6.7% of construction workers are Black or African American and 2.1% are Asian. Meanwhile, individuals identifying themselves as part of the Hispanic and Latinx community account for 34.2% of the total number of employed construction workers.

While the spotlight is on women during Women in Construction Week, March 3–9, increasing diversity in construction — and inclusion in construction overall — must be a year-round effort. Still, Women in Construction Week is a great time to reassess how your company is doing in the critical area of recruiting for diversity.

Focusing your recruitment efforts on hiring, developing and training a more diverse workforce is one of the most effective ways to begin filling key roles in your company with talent from various backgrounds. You’ll also help the industry as a whole by increasing diversity in construction. Plus, a diverse workforce makes your business more attractive to prospective workers and potential customers.

At PeopleReady Skilled Trades, hiring and recruiting for diversity is always top of mind. In honor of Women in Construction Week, we highlight five benefits of diversity in construction.

5 benefits of diversity in construction

  1. Increase hiring and retention: Companies who actively focus on building diversity in their workforce enjoy direct benefits. A U.S. General Services Administration/Dodge Construction Network study found that over half of companies highly engaged in diversity in construction efforts reported an increased ability to recruit workers. This is more critical than ever as companies must recruit Gen Z workers to fill important roles. Deloitte reports that inclusion and diversity are critical to Gen Zers, and that these factors influence where they choose to work. Make your company a top choice for candidates everywhere by factoring inclusion and diversity into your hiring process.
  2. Spark innovation: Actively gathering input from a diverse workforce can spark innovative solutions that may otherwise never come to light. A report by the Association of General Contractors of America found that when employees feel their company is committed to inclusion in construction, they report an 83% increase in their ability to innovate. It’s important to provide regular opportunities for all the members of your workforce to speak up. Chances are that they will have plenty of new ideas.
  3. Improve company performance and profits: Did you know that diverse organizations are 33% more likely to outperform their competition? That’s according to a Forbes article on diversity in construction which shared the results of a groundbreaking study from McKinsey & Company. The study also reveals that companies with highly diverse boards were 43% more likely to experience higher profits. In other words, you can’t afford to miss out on recruiting for diversity.
  4. Make better organizational decisions: Recruiting for diversity in your construction management teams can lead to better overall decision-making for your organization. The Forbes article also reports that a diverse management team makes better business decisions 87% of the time. The first step toward better business decisions: choosing to recruit for diversity.
  5. Create solutions that ensure long-term success: Recruiting for diversity from underrepresented groups is not just a recommendation — it’s a necessity for the future of your construction firm. Global advisory company Willis Towers Watson predicts limited workforce diversity will be one of the leading risks for construction firms through 2027. Stay one step ahead and start recruiting for diversity today. Your business will reap the benefits in the years to come.

Recruiting for diversity? We can help

If you need help recruiting for diversity, turn to PeopleReady Skilled Trades. Since 1987, we have contributed to inclusion in construction by recruiting the best skilled tradespeople, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, age or other factors. We welcome the opportunity to increase diversity in the construction industry by connecting companies like yours with a highly qualified and diverse workforce who can help you complete your construction projects on time and on budget.

Do you need helping building your workforce?

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.