Labor shortages in construction are nothing new, but they can have an impact on your current and upcoming projects. Since the global pandemic and now the current economy, labor shortages coupled with a high demand for labor can leave general contractors feeling frustrated. Along with an aging labor force, the construction industry has also seen an increase in construction jobs within the last year or so. As the labor shortage reaches an all-time high, here are some ways general contractors can get strategic about maximizing their current efforts while also predicting labor capacity going into the next few months and years.
Why Is There a Shortage of Construction Labor?
The recent global pandemic brought many construction projects and other industries to a standstill as the country worked to find the best solutions and get everyone up and running again. During this pause, demand for products and labor decreased significantly, causing many people to reconsider their job prospects or find new jobs altogether. The war in Ukraine and other global conflicts have also impacted supply chains, which has also ended up negatively impacting a variety of industries, including the construction industry. As many people now return to work, the economy has seen an increase in employment opportunities, which offers those on the job hunt more options than in previous years. The lack of education and exposure to the construction trade has also impacted the shortage of construction labor.
5 Ways Contractors Can Combat Labor Shortages in This Economy
In most industries, waiting until something is a problem before doing something about it can significantly impact the bottom line. When it comes to the construction industry, a reactive approach to workforce fluctuations and demand has left many general contractors scrambling to fill gaps. Labor shortages can have a significant impact on a project and even cause project delays or rushed hires that impact the quality and fit of the company. Instead, consider ways to combat labor shortages before they impact by improving your efforts in various areas. Here are five ways contractors can combat labor shortages in this economy.
Train Current Construction Workforce for Success
To combat the ongoing demand for construction labor coupled with short-staffed construction companies, contractors should consider investing in training and resources to help better support the current workforce. By training the current construction workforce for success, you offer your workers a chance to grow and expand in the field and become trusted, skilled employees you can depend on going forward. Additionally, products and processes in the construction industry continue to evolve, and it is important that the current workforce have access to learning about these new systems and technology. Training and educating your workforce on the latest construction technologies will help everyone communicate more effectively and complete construction projects successfully and with minimal disruption. From worker safety to fleet management, emerging technologies and systems in the construction industry can help you ensure your people are properly trained.
Diversify & Expand Construction Labor Workforce
It is also important to focus on diversity and expanding your construction labor workforce. Training your current employees will help ensure you have a solid foundation, but you also want to be mindful of bringing new people into the fold. As you bring in new workers, they can train under your trusted, long-term workers and see how your company invests time and energy into its workforce to ensure a safe and effective environment. Expanding your labor workforce may come with learning curves, but this also creates more opportunities and roles for everyone, from low-level crew to upper-management employees. To ensure current and new crew members get access to quality training and skills, you want to make training as inclusive and varied as possible. You want your workforce to be able to successfully apply the knowledge they gain to practical application for optimal success.
Get the Younger Generation Interested in Construction
With an aging labor market, it is important to learn how to get the younger generation interested in the construction industry. Catch their attention and make them interested by talking about income and opportunities for growth and expansion. You want to demonstrate to the younger generation how there is stability within the industry. Giving young people hope for a successful career will encourage them to join the trades and find out how they can become financially stable at even a young age. Making connections to how your construction projects help the community will also go a long way with this younger generation, who are interested in sustainable building and supporting the local economy. Another way to connect with the younger generation is by integrating the latest technological advances into your projects.
Plan Your Construction Projects Ahead
One of the most beneficial ways of combating labor shortages in this economy is through planning ahead. When you plan your construction projects ahead, you can take proactive steps toward addressing staffing complications before they even arise. While the construction industry is no stranger to predicting and planning labor, adding attempts at planning for pursuits and awarded projects can help you avoid surprises. When you plan your labor workforce for pursuits, this gives you a wider view of how many jobs you can realistically take on. By staying proactive with hiring and a focus on internal upskilling, you can incorporate all this into your planning to help you move forward in a timely manner with awarded bids.
Take Advantage of New Construction Technology
It isn’t just young people who are interested in new technologies. By learning how to take advantage of new construction technology, you can ensure your construction crew is utilizing the best products and plans to get the job done well. A good general contractor understands the importance of completing a project to the best of their ability, not just focusing on meeting timeline goals. The reality and opportunities of the construction industry continue to grow as new technologies emerge, and you want to be on the starting lines of those innovative solutions. New construction technologies offer a vast array of benefits to your company and projects, including real-time collaboration, accelerated processes, and improved deliverables on efficiency, safety, and profitability.
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Call or visit us online to learn more about how we work together, and we will make sure you have the best forming system for the job.