February 15, 2018 | Sherry Seaton
All signs point to a construction boom in 2018 with the construction industry adding over 30,000 jobs in December of last year and construction spending peaking at $1.27 trillion in November. With increasingly business-friendly regulations and the Trump administration committing to increase infrastructure investments, construction firms are optimistic and 75 percent plan to increase payrolls this year.
As construction spending soars and new projects get underway across the commercial and residential markets, the biggest concern for the construction industry is the severe shortage of labor. The National Association of Home Builders recently found that 82 percent of its members believe the cost and availability of skilled labor are their biggest issues.
This means many construction firms and recruiters are going to be looking to pluck your skilled workers to fill their human capital needs. If your construction workers, contractors and employees at every level don’t feel like they have a defined career path and upward mobility within your organization, they will be easy to lure with the promise of higher pay, better benefits and more opportunity elsewhere.
It’s your job to define and communicate career paths for your employees so they stay engaged, satisfied, and most importantly, employed with you and not your competitor.
You and your managers should start having career development discussions and creating a plan with your employees now. Here are a few tips for the initial conversation:
Beyond the initial conversation, make creating career development plans for your employees a priority for 2018. Not all tactics involve expensive training, salary increases or scope of work changes. For example, creating a mentorship program and establishing regularly scheduled meetings for employees to meet with their managers for two-way performance and job feedback can be tremendously effective in keeping your employees engaged and optimistic about their futures with your firm.
Start discussing your employees’ futures now to avoid dealing with labor shortages not only from growth but also turnover. As a recruiter specializing in recruiting for home builders and construction firms, I can tell you the competition for talent is fierce this year, the stakes are high and construction firms are upping their game to keep their top players.