The booming construction economy in the U.S. is nothing short of great. The labor shortage, though, could quickly bring this progress to a grinding halt. If you’re not already very aware of the labor shortage in construction, here are some quick facts about it:
• There are plenty of general laborers in the construction industry, but highly trained craftsmen are now difficult to find
• 83% of contractors struggle to find the skilled labor they need
• This lack is due to craftsmen leaving the construction industry during the recession
• Approximately 2 million construction workers were also laid off during the recession
• Hiring unqualified workers leads to safety and quality issues
There are many efforts across the nation to combat this, such as recruiting younger generations into the skilled trades. In fact, in 2014 a bill titled the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was drafted to invigorate the skilled labor workforce.
But, these efforts won’t pay off until years down the road. For now, though, construction companies need to know how to capitalize on the increase in construction business opportunities despite this labor shortage.
Here are some tactics for staying afloat without the permanent staff of skilled laborers you need:
1. Use thorough hiring assessments when taking on new staff members. Behavioral assessment tools and background checks will ensure that the members you hire are safe and reliable craftsmen.
2. Start wellness programs to support the health and vitality of your tradesmen. This is especially important for veteran members of your staff, who are often the most dedicated and most skilled due to their age.
3. Implement ongoing training and education of your current staff. This will keep your skilled staff on the cutting edge and help unskilled laborers gain more technical skills.
4. Hire a skilled labor staffing agency to support and supplement your workforce.
5. Collaborate with productivity consultants to optimize your workforce and increase productivity on your worksite.
6. Emphasize safety. Keeping your workers healthy is essential to a robust workforce.
Productivity consulting is just one aspect of construction consulting. Learn about our construction workforce management, which provides Total Labor Support® including safety training.