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Tips for Finding and Retaining Talent for Your Contracting Business

07/10/2024 Blog

joe holland 80zz1s24nag unsplash 2000x1125 1The need for skilled professionals in construction has become a pressing challenge for the industry. It is estimated that construction companies will need to hire nearly 501,000 additional workers in 2024 to keep up with demand, leaving some companies wanting to explore a myriad of solutions to help fuel a workforce pipeline.

Regardless of how many skilled professionals a company needs, there are options business owners can consider to attract talent. Here are five strategies that can be implemented today to help build a qualified workforce for your business.

1. Promote the Career

Increase interest and attract candidates by promoting the long-term career opportunities — not just the benefits entry-level positions offer — that working with a construction company can provide.

Competitive pay, new technologies and tangible outcomes from the work done each day can be attractive benefits to highlight. In addition, the industry offers multiple career paths, ongoing training, and opportunities for professional and personal growth beyond an entry-level position — all benefits that might appeal to prospects.

For new and current employees, developing an onboarding strategy that provides on-site training, mentorships and additional resources can be an effective way to help team members grow their skill set. A policy to promote workers from within can also incentivize growth and attract top-tier talent.

2. Participate in Job Fairs

Now is a great time to engage in events that help make connections with talent interested in the trades. The construction industry is seeing a real shift in interest among young adults. Gen Z is becoming the Toolbelt Generation as more of this generation are choosing trades over traditional college study. Young people are recognizing the value of skilled professions and leaning into the job demand, competitive wages and long-term career potential the industry offers.

Reinforce this perspective by showing students they can have a lucrative career in construction by participating in job fairs and career days. One of the primary advantages of engaging with these events is the opportunity to build personal connections through direct interaction with interested candidates. Contact local schools or partner with other businesses to organize and host a few of these events each year.

In the competitive landscape of skilled trades, participating in career fairs is not just advantageous, it is a strategic move toward business growth and success. Check out this resource from Build Your Future for helpful hints for career day exhibitors.

3. Implement Technology

Online job boards and virtual marketing strategies are proving to be successful ways to reach potential candidates.

One option contractors can use is CareerStarter, an online job connection tool that helps construction firms search for, recruit and hire people interested in entry-level construction jobs. By creating a free company profile, you can promote your open positions, search for candidates and schedule interviews.

Another way to implement technology to reach a younger audience is by using social media. More than 78 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds use Instagram, while other platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, and X (formerly known as Twitter) are also popular. Creating social media content that can capture attention and highlight the career opportunities in construction can be helpful in finding new talent.

4. Work With a Recruiter

Some positions are just harder to fill, so for certain roles consider working with a recruiter. Recruitment professionals can often access candidates that may have been a challenge to reach without the additional resources a recruitment service can provide.

Companies can consider hiring an outside talent acquisition firm or add a recruiter to the current team to facilitate the talent search, conduct interviews and assist with making final hiring decisions.

5. Partner With an Educational Program

Finding qualified talent that is trained with the unique skills companies look for continues to be a challenge for the industry overall. One solution businesses can consider to enhance their prospect pool is to partner with community colleges, vocational schools and other programs that offer a way to enter the construction workforce. These programs can use financial resources and in-person training to help boost students’ interest in the trades and to pair them with apprenticeships and job opportunities after completing their education.

Partnerships between construction companies and education groups are especially strong when they both use the National Center for Construction Education and Research’s (NCCER) standardized construction curriculum and credentials. Contractors can partner with a school that already uses NCCER, or they can sponsor the school to start an NCCER training program. By using the same standardized construction education, companies can create consistency with the education learners receive, and the training offered to current employees.

In addition, educational programs are a great way to help talented young workers and to promote healthy growth in the industry.

Retaining Top Talent for Your Contracting Business

Finding qualified talent is only part of the equation of building a sustainable workforce. Retaining employees through strong employee retention strategies like offering competitive pay and benefits, investing in company culture and prioritizing workers’ job satisfaction can be attainable and measurable solutions that result in positive outcomes for your professionals and your company.


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