Construction professionals at work

As part of our mission to provide the construction industry with the latest technologies and insights, we’ve partnered with Fieldwire – the construction software for field execution. From plan viewing to task management, Fieldwire powers over 50,000 projects worldwide with intuitive and reliable tools. In this collaboration, we’ll be sharing content from their expertise one a month to provide more value to the built environment.

With currently 200,000 unfilled positions in construction, our industry should take note of successful talent acquisition strategies from other industries so that we can put them to good use ourselves. Here are four of the most impactful strategies that construction leaders, both big and small, can implement in order to gather more interest from younger talent.

Define Your Mission

Millennials grew up with a ton of information at their fingertips, which makes them more selective about all of their life experiences, from the clothes they buy to the places they work. They want to make sure that their work is going to contribute to something bigger than themselves. Companies that have a clear mission and vision will have an edge over competitors. When millennials decide to invest their time and hard work in a company, they want to make sure their ideals and your company’s ideals are well-aligned. Shawn Van Dyke shares a lot of great insights from his experience creating a mission statement for his company on the podcast Creating Skilled Labor.

Invest in Culture

Having an inclusive environment where your employees feel supported, regardless of their background, ranks as one of the top considerations for taking a job. A recent survey of millennials survey by PwC showed “over half said that while companies talk about diversity, they did not feel that opportunities were equal for all.” Start a program aimed to help those underrepresented in the industry. Small commitments like visiting schools, highlighting minorities in your crew, and volunteering in more diverse neighborhoods can make a big difference.
Investing in something as inexpensive as an off-site lunch with your crew or a Sunday BBQ with family can create a more welcoming culture that will attract new talent.

Provide Mentorship

The PwC survey also showed that career progression is a top priority for millennials, with 52% of them saying that this was the main attraction when considering a new position. Employers in the tech industry know this well and have been great at outlining career plans for their employees (from analyst to senior analyst, 10% raise after 18 months, etc). You can create something similar for your employees, with clear goals and expectations needed to reach the next steps in their development.

Programming teams have been great at pairing young talent with senior developers who can serve as mentors and help them navigate their career from the moment they start at the company. This would be even more beneficial for the construction industry because millennials can teach senior colleagues the latest technologies to be implemented. This is the perfect segue to the last item on our list – embrace technology.

Embrace Technology

This is a big one. Millennials want to work better and smarter. Even tech giants like Microsoft have learned to adapt and embrace newer frameworks to attract fresh talent. Making sure that you’re equipping your crew with the latest technologies will show that the skills they are learning will be valuable in the future. Millennials are surrounded by technology and can also be leveraged as advocates for better/newer processes you can incorporate in the future.  There’s a great article here about technology adoption in the field.
The average millennial spends over 3 hours every day on their phones, so sharing your job openings through mobile channels like social media can also be a great way of improving your job listings’ reach.

People are the most valuable asset a company can have. Currently, millennials are the largest part of the workforce and anyone in the construction space looking to grow will have to develop a strategy to attract them. By defining your mission, embracing technology, providing professional development and mentorship opportunities, and investing in your company culture,  you’ll be sure to start seeing that talent pipeline grow.

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