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Construction jobs grow at double the national rate – but do we have the workers we need?

Posted by James Hawley, Hays US Executive Vice President, on Thursday, Apr 7, 2016

USCP Blog: Fast job growth challenges talent poolA new analysis of US Department of Labor by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) shows construction job growth is up 4.7% over this time last year – compared to just 2% nationally.

But Hays’ Construction Salary Guide found that 85% of employers said there is a moderate to extreme skills shortage. As construction job growth continues, who will fill those jobs?

“Construction firms are finding a way to add staff to keep pace with growing demand for their services,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s CEO.  “But the pool of available experienced labor is small and getting smaller, which is why we will continue to push for measures to expand recruiting and training opportunities for future workers.”

What that means for employers
Employers need to prioritize their recruitment needs by determining what roles will be pivotal in the next one to three years and using digital recruitment tools such as LinkedIn to build a network of those workers. This creates a talent pool you can hire from over the next few years. Ensure your compensation packages are competitive, and if you can't compete on base salary, make sure you are offering better benefits, work environment, and opportunities for career growth.

These shortages are not going to be reduced until employers and educators are working together to develop future talent. Work with your local college to encourage people to enter these high-demand areas and invest in training and developing junior employees to grow your own future leaders.

What it means for construction professionals
With demand high, you can find a career opportunity that fits your priorities - but first you need to know what your priorities are. Look at location, benefits, perks and career opportunities to consider what your ideal job would look like.

For example, career progression was the main reason given for why people leave their jobs, and in the long run it could pay off in terms of more responsibility, bigger projects and faster growth. If you're focused on long-term success, look for roles that go beyond a single project and offer training and development opportunities that will prepare you for the next level of your career.

Learn more about the construction career path. Register for our DNA of a VP of Construction webinar.

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Talk to James Hawley, Hays EVP, about the US Construction market.

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