The construction sector has long been dealing with an increasingly chronic labor shortage ever since the break of the dawn. If you belong in this industry, you will experience this ongoing crisis. But the good thing is you are always there because many employers are struggling to find skilled, qualified workers to fill several open positions.
According to Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), the construction sector needs to attract around 546,000 additional workers on top of the typical hiring pace to meet the labor demand this 2023. ABC also states the construction sector averaged over 390,000 job openings every month in 2022, making it the highest level on record.
In this blog, find out the status of the labor shortage in the construction sector, and discover some of the best ways to cope and adjust to this intensifying labor crisis. Discover also how the latest cutting-edge technologies help you combat this crisis most effectively.
Labor Shortage is Affecting the U.S. Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act
The shortage of workers in the industry has made it even more difficult for many companies to take full advantage of the IIJA or The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which aims to modernize railways, roads, bridges, and energy production. Without enough construction workers, projects cannot start, or if they are underway, the project timelines may lapse, leading to more missed deadlines and completion dates.
Also, lead times for hiring additional subcontractors are becoming longer. And other companies cannot accept new construction projects due to labor shortages. Overall, no other industry has a huge gap between available laborers and opportunities wider than the construction sector.
Solving the Labor Issues
Having a better understanding of the reasons behind the labor challenges in the industry and becoming strategic with how you address it can help you finish tasks and projects, even with a smaller workforce – and without compromising your company’s bottom line.
Here we will show you some actionable ways you should implement to combat labor shortage issues within your construction company:
1. Centralize information
From the outside, the construction sector may not seem like a paperwork-heavy kind of business, and however anyone who belongs in the industry knows otherwise. The list of paper documents seems endless, from company policies to blueprints to vendor agreements and subcontractor agreements.
Paperwork is one valuable way of communicating critical information in the sector. However, new workforces today prefer the other ways. Given the new generation of workers, paperwork is seen as a waste of effort and time.
So, a software solution like Pro Crew Schedule will serve as a central documentation hub and give workers access to everything they need. It has a built-in document management system that eliminates paperwork, boosts productivity, improves construction task management, eliminates confusion, and lets workers focus on what they do best.
Go digital and paperless with Pro Crew Schedule.
2. Hire the next generation
Here is the real truth – your construction workforce is getting old. Data presented by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the average age for an American construction laborer is at least 42 years old. Even more disappointing, many U.S. construction workers are now closer to retirement, and this is such a huge blow to the already short supply of workers.
It is no wonder many construction employers reach out to new generations to fill in the necessary roles. To attract the next generation, consider reaching out to local communities and giving presentations highlighting the benefits of working in the industry. Showcase and prove that you have the latest technologies integrated with your business operations.
The new generation is extremely tech-savvy and knows a lot of digital stuff. So, when hiring the next generation, ensure you possess everything that will make you the top choice. Your company should be established and equipped with best practices and top-tier solutions like BIM, construction crew scheduling software, drones, and more.
3. Improve training through automation
Formal training is vital in the construction sector, and an exceptional training strategy plan can go a long way toward enhancing retention.
A software solution like Pro Crew Schedule can standardize and automate training. Its construction crew tracking feature will give you valuable labor productivity insights and real-time crew updates. This software is very useful if you want to standardize and automate your training. With this, the team receives instructions about activity anytime and anywhere.
When training is improved, it reduces stress, enhances safety, boosts morale, and guarantees that everyone is on the same page.
4. Diversifying the Workforce
Diversifying your construction workforce helps a lot in getting more people to reenter your company. There are many things at play here, including some actionable ways to assist you in discovering more talent and educating everyone on the reality of working in the construction sector.
Construction is always seen as a male-dominated industry, often limiting the number of people interested in working in it. Now is the time for you to look closely at women and their talent, skills, and capacity.
Did you know that women are 50% of the general population? They only represent 2.4% of carpenters, 2.4% of electricians, 4% of construction laborers, and 3.7% of supervisors in the construction industry.
Ensure you have been paying attention to all women and consider forming a team with them. Having a group of multi-skilled people as your workforce promotes diversity and inclusivity.
5. Offer Competitive Pay with Perks
While compensation does not seem to play a huge role in the ongoing labor challenges, it is still something you can easily consider. Wages, benefits, and salaries can influence the decision of a certain candidate to accept your job offer.
In this highly competitive labor market, slightly higher pay and more perks are great advantages. This is particularly true, especially in sectors like construction, where specific skillsets and expertise are extremely necessary. Also, if a slight salary increase will encourage your existing workforce and bring new hires your way, then it is worth the shot. As a result, it may save you from turnover costs, talent recruiting, and turning down projects.
Taking the Opportunity to Meet Construction Labor Challenges
While the construction sector continues is expected to experience labor shortages this year continuously and beyond, these challenges also offer some of the best opportunities. If you are part of this industry, use the challenges to reevaluate and reassess what you offer your construction workers. You can start building a culture that attracts and encourages long-term talents from there.
The construction industry is ultimately filled with passionate, hard-working people who are dedicated to their craft. In a crisis like this, it only shows that there are many opportunities to uphold and support the laborers who are part of it in the beginning.
How Cutting-Edge Technology Helps You Deal the Construction Labor Shortage
The simplest and fastest way to address these ongoing labor challenges in construction is to make the most of the leading technologies available today. The right construction software integrated with the best hiring practices can positively impact labor challenges.
Optimize your workforce with Pro Crew Schedule – a sophisticated project management tool designed for construction professionals. Investing in this software solution helps your current and future teams improve overall communication, collaboration, and construction workforce management and streamline any efficiencies.
Here is a breakdown of how the right construction software, like Pro Crew Schedule, streamlines efficiencies on your worksites and improves workforce communication:
- Break down your workflows: This software helps you break down huge, complex projects into minor activities, increasing overall efficiency and productivity. Also, it enables you to categorize tasks and track the crews working on what, when, and where.
- Eliminating misallocations and unnecessary downtime: Your workforce no longer has to waste valuable time on the worksite waiting for a piece of equipment or another group to finish before they start. Pro Crew Schedule has a construction inventory management feature that makes material handling and equipment tracking easy, resulting in more centralized inventory control and reduced downtime or misallocations.
- Focused operations: Manage your construction project how you want to, without getting too concerned with the many tasks. The automation feature of Pro Crew Schedule allows you to focus more on creating strategies that enhance your overall project management.
- Higher-project visibility: It serves as a central hub where everyone can get the latest updates and information about the project – giving you a clearer view of your construction project and where it leads.
- Create informed decisions: With the amount of control, you have in every aspect of your construction business, by simply using Pro Crew Schedule, you can have wider access to critical data and information. This gives you better insights and eventually helps you in your decision-making process.
Pro Crew Schedule provides a simple solution to scheduling, inventory, and overall management in every aspect of your business.
Now is the time to make your construction workforce as proactive as possible by using this single solution.