Ask any general contractor what one of the biggest challenges facing their business today is, and we’re betting that you’ll hear “workforce shortage” a fair amount. And it’s a problem that’s not expected to get any better anytime soon.
According to a report in Forbes, there’s a current shortage of nearly half a million construction industry workers. What’s more is that more than 40 percent of the current active U.S. construction workforce is expected to retire over the next decade, which is only likely to exacerbate the problem if the trend isn’t reversed and more people don’t begin to enter the workforce.
But the bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what types of workforce challenges firms are dealing with – owners still expect their projects to be finished on time and, ideally, on budget. And it’s simply not healthy to run your available workforce into the ground, as it can lead to both physical and mental fatigue that may result in errors and safety lapses.
So what can firms do to resolve staffing issues, even if the fix isn’t a permanent one? In this post, we’ll discuss some short-term construction workforce fill-ins and how to properly leverage them. Here’s a look:
Construction Staffing: Short-Term Fill-Ins and How to Leverage Them
Work with a Staffing Agency Firm
Need workers to give your available workforce the necessary time off so they have an appropriate amount of time to recover both mentally and physically? One avenue to explore is working with a construction staffing agency. Staffing agencies employ reliable trades professionals that can fill in and put work in place. Contractors can work with agencies to staff workers by skill set, level of experience or industry. Since staffing agency workers are experienced, they can fill in for however long and ensure that the project doesn’t skip a beat when it comes to its schedule. Contractors can work with agencies for as little or as long as they need more workers on-site.
Staffing agencies can also help provide short-term fill-ins. For instance, if a contractor wants to give its workforce time off around the holidays, a staffing agency can work to help staff the project so that it doesn’t have to pause work or even demobilize completely.
Embrace Innovation and Automation
While ensuring proper manpower is essential for completing a project on time and on budget, another way to accelerate efficiency is to embrace innovation and deploy such tools on-site. For example, certain innovative devices like exoskeletons can help reduce worker fatigue and keep workers safe when performing certain tasks. Robotics can automate certain tasks and take human error out of the equation. And smart safety tools can help monitor a worker’s vital signs and prevent access to certain areas of a site that may be unsafe or off-limits.
In today’s construction environment, many trades professionals are hired one day and start on site the next. And while finding them is easier said than done, it can be accomplished with the right recruiting strategies at your disposal. While some recruitment efforts are more of a long-term ploy (i.e., attending job fairs and partnering with skilled trades training programs), others are more practical for generating short-term results. This may include posting online ads, whether it’s through trade publications, paid social media or another avenue. Firms may also elect to incentivize their current workforce with compensation bonuses if they refer other professionals who eventually get hired. Even working with a recruiting firm can generate immediate results.
Contact Ace Consulting Today
For more information on short-term workforce solutions in the construction industry, contact us today. We work to not just find professionals that can staff projects, but the right professionals to staff projects. We use a proprietary vetting process to ensure that only qualified personnel are working on your project. Contact us today to learn more.