How We’re Tackling the Shortage of Construction Workers
February 21, 2019
In our last blog post, we talked about many of the trends we’ve been seeing in the construction industry. Number one on the list was the industry-wide workforce shortage that has become a common problem through the construction industry. With a shortage of construction workers for positions of all types, we’ve had to get creative and proactive to make sure we’re able to staff our projects and business as needed.
A quick refresher on how this shortage came to be: with many long-term employees beginning to retire, there have been fewer and fewer workers ready to step into their shoes. From qualified labor to operators to estimators, there just aren’t enough people waiting to fill these positions. We’ve been working hard to plan for these retirements with detailed succession plans for positions company-wide.
Search for Employees in a Variety of Places
While we haven’t solved the problem of this shortage, we are making consistent progress in bringing new employees to Gray & Son. The key for us has been trying new things and pursuing different avenues to find new potential team members. We are proactive with recruitment, going out to trade shows, high schools, colleges, etc. to bring people in. Online recruitment via hiring websites and through our social media is another angle we’ve had success with. We’ve worked with the city and mayor of Baltimore to find people who need work and introduce them to the jobs we need to fill. Our internship program has provided numerous benefits to both us and our interns, and it’s opened up a totally new pool of candidates. While our interns are learning about the business, they also see all of the career potential ahead of them.
We’re constantly brainstorming to come up with new ways and places to meet people who would be a good fit for Gray & Son. Whether it’s someone who’s just finished high school and is looking to get out in the work field or a college graduate seeking more than a desk job, we want to share that there’s likely a job with us that will fit their wants and needs.
Share What Makes the Construction Industry Special
Regardless of which avenue we’re pursuing, it’s important that we share the many benefits of working with us and educate potential employees about the many opportunities available in the construction industry. We’re not just competing with others in our industry for employees – we’re also up against completely different industries who are also seeking new talent. By sharing the satisfaction that can come from working with us, we hope to open up the eyes of an entirely new generation of potential employees.
Part of this is highlighting the benefits and growth potential we offer. We offer traditional benefits like healthcare, life insurance and paid vacations, but we also give all of our employees the chance to really grow and progress in their careers. We’ve hired a trainer dedicated to giving our team members the training and assistance they need to move up, and we’re developing a mentorship program.
While it can be daunting thinking about an industry-wide shortage of new employees, it’s been a good exercise to think outside of the box to find solutions. At Gray & Son, we’ll keep striving to bring new talent to our industry and share what makes working in construction so special and rewarding.