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The Labor Shortage in Construction: Concrete Steps Employers Can Take to Attract Workers

By Marie Racewicz on July 20, 2021 Categories: Construction

The construction industry’s labor shortage is ongoing because most general contractors have difficulty filling open positions with skilled resources. As a result, projects are delayed or placed on hold, which impacts construction productivity. High material costs and long delays, plus COVID-19 issues, have only exacerbated the labor issues in which the industry has been plagued.

So what can employers do to attract workers to take meaningful steps in helping to solve the construction labor problem?

First, employers can improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in their companies. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just buzzwords; they are good business. Attracting and retaining women and people of colour can help companies combat labor shortages and create a more stable workforce.

“Research shows that companies with diverse teams perform better financially and are more innovative than those with homogenous teams,” notes Roberta Rincon, Ph.D., senior manager of research for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) in Chicago. “So not only is ensuring greater gender equity the right thing to do, but there is an ROI benefit to organisations, as well.”

Second, employers can double down on BIM technology. Given the labor shortage, people managers can get more creative about how to attract and retain workers. BIM technology allows for more flexible business models. BIM software, such as Autodesk, enables remote hiring and labor sharing/shifting by effectively increasing the labor pool to anywhere.

Third, companies can position themselves as a technology leader. Investing and providing training in the latest construction technology such as BIM, Cloud, reality capture, augmented reality, drones, and modular construction, will not only help drive interest in the field of construction to younger generations who expect and embrace modern technology when it comes to their jobs, but also increase efficiency, productivity, and job safety.

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