The construction industry has a reputation for lacking diversity and inclusion (D&I). Employment figures for 2021 reveal the industry is still dominated by white males who account for 88.6% of the construction industry.

In woke America, industries are being prodded to change their attitudes. Companies across the board have a responsibility to be inclusive. However, there is a fine line between being culturally woke and introducing a diversity policy to appear socially responsible.

Get it right, and recruiting talent from underrepresented groups promises to provide a number of benefits. In the current job climate, it will close the skills shortage gap but can also foster innovation, increase productivity and create a strong team ethic.

Industry reports make a case for diversity. McKinsey found that diverse executive teams outperform competitors by 33%. Gallup reports companies that recruit a diverse workforce experience less absenteeism, fewer safety incidents, 17% higher productivity, and 21% higher profitability.

Company values matter

Companies that show a willingness to hire minority groups are also looked upon more favorably by the general public. Younger generations say they are more inclined towards employers that demonstrate corporate social responsibility and inclusion.

survey conducted by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS), found that over a fifth of young people confirmed racial inequality and discrimination is an influencing factors in their career choices.

The attitudes of younger generations will have a significant impact on the recruitment drive the construction industry requires over the next decade. The current figures do not make good reading.

Only 9% of women in the US work in construction, 7% of which are in management positions. That’s more than ethnic minorities who only account for 8% of the workforce. There are also barriers for the LGBT community.

Fostering diversity

Although the Equality Act was supposed to encourage D&I, the construction industry has been slow to adopt strategic staffing policies. In a time when firms are pressured to assemble a workforce to complete projects on time, filling job openings is a priority. And reaching out to diverse groups provides a logical solution.

Establish recruitment networks

Teaming up with an experienced staffing agency that has a pool of skilled workers on tap is the safest option available to contractors. However, other options include opening up a dialogue with LBGT communities, schools, referral programs, and previous employees that could be persuaded to return.

Look overseas

Workers in less developed countries jump at the chance of earning a higher wage so they can send money back to their families. Looking for talent from outside the US opens up a global pool of skilled workers that may not be available on home soil.

Offer educational opportunities

Young people and ethnic minorities may lack the skills and knowledge required for the construction industry. However, if they are given the opportunities to learn on the job, less represented demographics are more willing to apply for jobs.

Wrap Up

Over the next decade, it’s estimated there will be between 300,000 – 600,000 job openings per year in the US construction sector. Filling job vacancies have to be a top priority for contractors.

Cruitfly specializes in sourcing workers for the construction industry and has a ready-made pool of talent from all types of backgrounds, skill levels, and experience.

Our talented team can help to identify the right candidates and deliver a fast turnaround. Whether you want seasoned specialists, trained laborers, or workers you can train, contact us today and find an employee.