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Why Is There a Skills Shortage in Construction?

Connecting with Industry Leaders

The construction industry faces a hiring problem or a valuable opportunity—depending on your perspective. As aging craft professionals inch closer to retirement, 58% of organizations are finding it tough to hire the skill they need.
While this skills gap presents challenges, the construction industry is expected to grow to $15.5 trillion worldwide by 2030. It’s clear that construction contractors at the center of the skills gap dilemma have a valuable opportunity before them. Demand for construction labor is increasing—now, contractors must solve the skills gap to seize the project opportunities on the horizon.

What Is a Skilled Worker in Construction?

Before you reshape your hiring process or implement expensive solutions, it’s important to consider who your ideal skilled construction worker is and how their skills can improve your business and the relationships you have with the clients for whom you produce quality work.
The term skilled labor refers to workers who possess abilities, training and safety-minded expertise within their industry. Skilled workers bring proven experience and knowledge to job sites and construction businesses. Skilled laborers may have attended a vocational school, university, community college, technical school, or other educational institutions. They also could have undergone workforce development, such as association apprenticeship training or learned their skills on the job as an apprentice.

How Construction Companies Can Solve For Skills Gaps

Matching open positions with skilled construction labor has become a priority for contractors and project managers across the nation. In a majority of cases, contractors can’t fill positions because the available workers lack education and on-the-job training for the skills required, or it simply isn’t cost effective to recruit, hire and properly train full-time skilled new talent for a short-term project.
Fortunately, the skills gap presents opportunities for construction contractors who must consider the next step for staffing their workforce. If you’re looking for ways to narrow the skills gap between open positions and available talent, here are three ideas you can tap into to get ahead.


Most contractors rely on their A- and B-level core workers consistently. Invest in your best skilled labor by offering additional training. This gives your finest employees ways to grow within your ranks and to close the skills gaps they may have. In addition, it can strengthen your workforce from within and improve your employee retention as employees see the value in their employer investing in them. But training is an investment—make sure you’re investing in the right people. For example, it may be time-consuming and profit-draining to invest in C-level workers who may be de-hired first when workload slows.

Contingent Skilled Labor

Because your lowest-performing and most costly employees have a larger skills gap than your best workers, you may find it challenging to efficiently staff projects. As a result, your productivity and profitability suffer. When it doesn’t make sense to invest in C-level workers for a short-term project, you can partner with a skilled staffing agency like Tradesmen®.

Precision in Skilled Employee Placement

One of the core advantages of collaborating with a skilled staffing agency is the precision in skilled employee placement. These agencies have honed the art of recruiting, vetting, and training craftworkers to meet specific project needs. Whether it’s a short-term project or a specialized skill requirement, staffing agencies like Tradesmen® have a pool of skilled professionals ready to step in and contribute immediately. This eliminates the need for extensive training or onboarding, saving valuable project time and resources.

Closing Skill Gaps Effectively

In some cases, your full-time workforce may lack expertise in a particular specialty area critical for a project’s success. A skilled staffing agency can bridge this gap seamlessly by providing craft professionals with the precise skills required. This targeted approach ensures that your project benefits from the expertise it needs, without committing to the long-term employment of specialized workers. It’s a cost-effective solution that allows you to maintain the highest standards of workmanship.

Flexibility in Workforce Management

Flexibility is a key advantage when working with contingent skilled labor. Construction projects often experience fluctuations in workload. When the demand for skilled labor decreases or specific skills are no longer needed, you have the flexibility to send workers back to the staffing agency without any long-term obligations. This adaptability in workforce management ensures that your labor resources are aligned with project requirements, promoting efficiency and cost savings.

Maximizing Productivity and Profitability

Strategically integrating contingent skilled construction workers into your workforce allows you to optimize productivity and, in turn, boost profitability. Skilled professionals provided by staffing agencies are not only trained and ready but also tend to be highly motivated to perform at their best, knowing that their work is valued for its specific contribution to the project. This can lead to improved project timelines, reduced rework, and enhanced overall quality, all of which positively impact your bottom line.

Learn More About Flexible Construction Staffing for Your Workforce

Solving your construction labor skills gap isn’t something you have to shoulder alone. Tradesmen International® provides a proven CORE+Flex labor staffing strategy designed to help businesses access the skilled craftworkers they need to get jobs done on time and within budget. Let us help you get started with a no-cost labor productivity analysis.
Contact us today to devise a lean staffing strategy and request a free labor productivity analysis and consultation.

Devise a skilled staffing plan today

With a CORE + Flex skilled labor strategy, Tradesmen provides a no-cost labor productivity consultation.

We help contractors plan to run a lean staffing solution comprised of their core full-time workforce. 

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