Construction Talent: How to Strengthen Your Pipeline
Published on by Eric Goodman in Construction
In March 2023, FMI Consulting published their 2023 Talent Study which shows the talent shortage continues to endure throughout the construction industry, and perhaps more importantly, that it’s still getting worse.
Per an FMI survey, 93% of construction and engineering company respondents reported difficulties hiring qualified talent, and more than half reported talent shortages are having a high to severe impact on their companies. This shortage has increased over the past several years due to the retirement of baby boomers (people born from 1946 to 1964), and the resignation or shift of talent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, what can companies do to fix the pipeline? FMI outlined three major initiatives that construction firms can focus on to help alleviate this intensifying problem:
- Focus on the field
- Creating a new leadership paradigm
- Building culture
Focus on the field
Field leaders are an integral part of any construction company but are widely overlooked in terms of training. The landscape of a construction project has changed, with safety and quality requirements, increased pricing pressures, and shifting project schedules, which creates challenges for field leaders.
Unrealistic schedules, finding staffing for projects, and balancing leadership duties while executing the work itself can create an unsustainable environment for field leaders. However, those field leaders who receive the proper training will feel more equipped for projects. Certain questions that can be asked about field leadership include:
- Do our field leaders have the right skills to perform the job?
- Are we providing clear performance feedback?
- Who are our top performers, and have they identified promising successors?
Creating a new leadership paradigm
Per an FMI survey, over the next five years, 22% of executives and 28% of field managers will have turnover within the position, but only 19% of companies have a succession plan for these roles. Certain questions that can be asked about your leadership program include:
- What do our leaders need to know? Do they have the key internal and external relationships to make them successful?
- Have they had exposure to the entire enterprise as well as adequate time running projects and business unit segments?
- Do we have a team of leaders identified today for tomorrow’s business?
An inclusive culture can be a major strategic advantage -and understanding company culture and looking outside of traditional talent sources can help combat the labor shortage. Questions that can be asked about culture include:
- What about the beliefs, values, and behaviors of our team members makes our company unique?
- What stories do we tell, and how can we share these with our employees, our customers, and our recruiting channels?
- How do we demonstrate our company values, both in the beginning of the employee experience as well as throughout their tenure?
Companies that focus on talent throughout the organization and engage employees in decisions will create the motivated and loyal workforce needed to drive the business forward.
The bottom line
While addressing the talent pipeline is a consistent and intensifying problem for construction leaders, there is also opportunity. Knowing how to build and develop training and leadership programs, and translate them into cultural growth can be crucial to success.
If you’d like to talk about how these trends may impact your construction business, or want to find a better, more efficient process or improve your bottom-line business results, contact us for a free consultation with one of our top construction industry pros. As always, we’re here to help.
You can also watch our construction industry forecast event with FMI on-demand, explore how digitalization is increasing productivity in the construction industry, or explore construction industry compensation and benefits trends with our 2022 Compensation & Benefits study – available now for a free download.