The US labor market appears to be in a paradox right now. Despite the exodus of people leaving their jobs over the last year, mainstream media is reporting a labor shortage.

The official figures reveal a different story. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, over 47 million workers quit their jobs during the Great Resignation. The latest unemployment figures are around 6 million.

Yet there are some 11.4 million job vacancies. There are almost twice as many job openings as there are people to fill them.

Sit back and let that soak in for a moment. How can there be a labor shortage?

The reality is there’s a skills shortage. Construction companies that fail to take positive steps to develop the skills of employees, could destabilize the future of their business.

Opportunities in Times of Crisis

Albert Einstein said, ‘In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.’ Construction industry leaders that reflect on this advice in the current employment climate will probably reach the same conclusion; start building a workforce for the future now.

The US$1.3 trillion injection of investment that is expected to be generated by President Biden’s Infrastructure and Jobs Act is an opportunity that contractors cannot afford to ignore.

Yet Gartner reports that 81% of US companies are unprepared to bridge the gap that will address the talent shortage. Moreover, the time it takes to fill job vacancies increased by 18% last year.

This is a critical time for the construction industry. Talent acquisition and staff retention is becoming more difficult for companies that do not meet the job expectations of construction workers.

McKinsey expects between 300,000 to 600,000 job opportunities to become available in the construction industry each year for the next decade. With a huge pool of jobs to cherry-pick from, employees have the upper hand when choosing which company to work for.

Provide On-The-Job Training

Whilst fair pay and an engaging work environment remain priorities for employees, on-the-job training and a clear career path are the third most important decisions candidates consider when choosing a job.

On-the-job training provides construction companies with an opportunity to build a workforce for the future and solve the skill shortage crisis for your company in the process.

Ongoing training programs are not simply a matter of teaching workers new skills now, it’s a strategy that enables you to retain top talent. Employees need to buy into the company culture. You can read more about how to retain staff here.

An effective way to provide ongoing corporate-wide training is to develop a development program that is led by your most influential figures. When senior management directly interacts with new recruits, you create a sense of belonging and appreciation.

Experienced workers that are nearing retirement can also benefit from taking on the role of a mentor. Baby boomers want to feel as though they are contributing to the future of younger workers – a critical requirement for the construction industry. We have addressed the job needs for a cross-generational workforce here which you will find useful to understand the needs of your staff.

Sign Up With Cruitfly 

Cruitfly is a staffing agency that specializes in sourcing skilled and unskilled workers for the construction industry. If you’re ready to seize opportunities for growth, our experienced staffing professionals can help you to identify the most suitable candidates and build a team that supports business continuity.

Ignoring the skills shortage could put the future of your business at risk. Contact us today to request an employee and start building for the future now.