By Brian Flynn, New England Regional Manager
They are departing. Slowly, but steadily the Baby Boomers are retiring from the construction industry, leaving behind a talent gap that construction companies have to fill quickly in order to see their operations run without a problem. If your organization hasn’t already experienced the impact of this transformation, believe us, it will. Are you prepared? In order to cope with the loss of great construction skills, your construction company needs to find the best replacements possible. Take a look at the suggestions below on how to deal with the talent gap in construction.
As mentioned above, the construction industry is undergoing a big change in its workforce. There is no question about it. Reports show that over the next few years, contractors will face great difficulties finding the construction skills for their needs. To make sure your company is not caught off guard, you need to be proactive. Develop a strategy that speaks to how you are going to deal with the talent gap in construction. You can start by identifying your most immediate talent needs and creating a plan of how to address them. Are there key positions in your organization that need to be managed first? Do you know who is going to replace your retiring superintendent? Don’t wait until the moment comes. Be prepared.
Capitalize on Skills
If you still have Baby Boomers working for you, then you have a great asset to capitalize on. You need to take advantage of their experienced construction career and find ways to pass their knowledge on to your new hires. Establish apprenticeships and training programs within your firm, and have your veteran tradespeople work with and supervise your freshmen. This is the best way to create a culture of mentorship and lay the foundation for a workforce that is ready for the challenges of the future. Invest in the younger generation of your manpower by both creating a team spirit and by having them learn from the best.
Another great way to deal with the talent gap in construction is to look for construction skills in new pools of candidates. Millennials, women and minority groups offer great potential to find tradespeople for your needs. Embrace diversity by introducing and adopting initiatives that help you attract more talent. Give diverse applicants a chance and have them work with your senior staff to help them gain expertise. Speak to your current employees about the benefits of diversity for your construction firm and urge them to help you build the company culture for the new generation of tradespeople.
Dig for Talent
Once you take the steps above, then you have to go on the offensive. Instead of waiting for candidates to come to you, you need to get out there and go find them. Job fairs, trade schools and unemployment centers are great places to hunt for construction skills. Talk about your strategy and initiatives to help applicants build a successful construction career within your construction firm. Highlight how you are willing to provide them with the right mentorship and skills practice that will help them meet their professional expectations. Lastly, sit down with your Baby Boomers and coordinate how they can spearhead this passing of knowledge.
Work With the Talent Hunters
What a better way to deal with the talent gap in construction than working with those who have direct access to tradespeople and the ability to qualify the right construction skills for your needs? Do a favor to your construction company and receive the expertise you want when you want it without worrying about scattering your valuable resources. Keep in mind that a construction staffing firm has established relationships in the industry and is able to locate quickly professionals who can sufficiently replace your retiring Baby Boomers. All you need to do is to reach out to them.
Key Takeaways for Filling the Baby Boomer Talent Gap:
- Develop a strategy that speaks to how you are going to deal with the talent gap
- Create a mentorship culture to facilitate the passing of knowledge
- Embrace diversity to attract new talent
- Visit job fairs, trade schools and unemployment centers to locate construction skills
- Partner with a construction staffing firm to find the best talent for your needs
Founded in 1993, TradeSource is a construction labor solutions firm focused on delivering labor solutions to contractors throughout the United States. By supplying skilled tradespeople – where and when they’re needed – we help contractors grow their companies, without the associated costs and hassles of full-time hires. Likewise, we match qualified employees with rewarding and well-paying job opportunities in the construction industry. www.tradesource.com