How to Narrow the Talent Gap in the Construction Industry

February 29, 2024

The construction industry has always dealt with labor shortages. Companies have always struggled with the seasonal nature of jobs and with replacing older, skilled laborers with younger workers. The industry will, however, start facing a larger problem. 

As of 2022, the construction industry needed to fill 650,000 jobs just to keep up with the backlog. On top of that, less than 20% of Gen Z said they would even entertain a job in construction.  If the construction industry hopes to fill the skilled and unskilled labor gap, then they will need to rethink what construction jobs look like and how they handle employees.  

According to McKinsey, “There are approximately 3 million more new job openings in the U.S. alone compared to February 2020. This translates to a historic tightness of the U.S. labor market, with 4 million more job openings than unemployed workers. Digital talent, healthcare, and skilled blue-collar labor are key areas in particular where demand continues to outstrip supply.”

Along with a tightening labor pool, nearly 1 in 4 construction workers are over the age of 55. This means retirements will remain steady, if not increase, over the next few years. Skilled workers are needed now more than ever.

The authors of the McKinsey article referenced above share that “Business leaders should protect pools of talent which are essential to future value creation and have key skills. Layoffs from other organizations may even expand hiring pools for organizations short on hard-to-find skills.”

As recruiters and HR teams develop strategies to attract skilled construction workers who may be leaving other industries, what can companies do now to narrow the talent gap?

  • Identify untapped talent.
    • Too often, good employees who are quiet but diligent are overlooked. Managers take for granted their consistent production and lack of complaints, but those workers could have the skills needed to excel in new roles. Additionally, without recognition or intentional engagement, these employees could secretly be planning a departure. Engaging these employees could be a wise strategy to drive retention regardless of their potential to fill other roles.
  • Train managers as coaches.
    • It can be easy to create a professional development plan for an employee, but skilled workers especially can require additional support. However, managers aren’t always trained as coaches, so with a tool like the Truvelop app, managers receive targeted recommendations and actionable insights for each employee based on their score and goals.
    • In a recent blog post, our Customer Success Team shared, “Ultimately, when organizations adopt a coaching culture, they are strengthening their frontline relationships and improving retention.”
  • Evaluate often.
    • If you’re still utilizing an annual performance review, you are missing opportunities to not only engage with skilled workers but also evaluate current performance and develop a plan for improvement as needed.

With the Truvelop app, managers can conduct employee assessments regularly and quickly. And employees can request evaluations too which could be helpful in receiving real-time feedback at the frontlines and improving the manager-employee relationship.

Companies with skilled construction workers are challenged more than many other industries to recruit and retain talent. With a commitment to a coaching culture and regular employee engagement, construction companies can begin addressing the talent gaps.

Contact us today to learn more about our modern approach to performance management and development and how it solves for retention. Don’t just take our word for it, see what our Customers have to say.