It’s no secret that the construction industry, like many others, is experiencing a years-long labor shortages. This is not just a localized problem in the U.S., but a world-wide challenge. Fewer and fewer young people are pursuing a career in the construction industry, and companies are struggling to attract the young talent they need. And when millennials do go into the field, they don’t stay as long as expected. Thus, firms are finding it hard to grow workers into leaders who will keep the company running in the future.
In order to recruit young people into the construction industry, they need to feel like they are fulfilling more of a lifestyle engagement than receiving a salary. For millennials, how they live, work, and play is more important than money. Offering benefits like flexible work hours, personal time off, and telecommuting can be favorable to this lifestyle. Millennials also respond well to regular encouragement and feedback, especially from their managers.
On-the-job training is important for gaining experience, but new graduates often feel they should be hired into management positions. You may need to compromise on experience requirements in order to recruit the next generation into this field. Being flexible on positions will attract millennials to a job, and training them in areas they lack experience can boost their knowledge and skill level.
Also consider bringing new, next-gen technology into your company to entice the next generation to join. Since young people have been using technology since childhood, they are well-versed in its use and feel it is more of the norm. If your business doesn’t even have computers, the prospective employee will see your company as old-fashioned, and they are likely to pursue a position at a company that is technologically savvy.
To attract and hire the next generation of leaders, create a mentorship program where executives partner with new hires to teach them the ropes, share leadership styles, and build skills. Education is key for retaining a younger workforce. Institute an employee feedback program, as well, to encourage employees of all levels to voice to their opinions. Not only does sharing thoughts and ideas with peers and executives builds rapport, but it can also bring interesting, new solutions and a fresh perspective to the challenges your company faces.
Once a millennial is hired, your firm should do everything it can to keep them engaged so they will stay. Fostering a healthy workplace environment, offering appropriate feedback, and providing them with responsibilities that encourage professional growth will make them feel like they are part of something bigger and validate that what they do can make the company better. Giving them a wide range of challenges can be a useful training technique, while also helping them build their skills.