The construction industry is facing challenging times. The average age of workers in the construction industry is 42.5 years. This means that the construction workforce needs new blood within the next 20 years.
A study estimates that by 2025, the global workforce will be made up of 75 percent of millennials. And the problem is that for the millennials and Gen Z’ers jobs in construction companies are not appealing.
This is why attracting and retaining young construction labor talents is very challenging. If you are looking to attract and retain millennials and Gen Z candidates to your organizations, here are four statistics you should know and ten actionable tips to implement right away in your construction company.
4 Key Stats About The Millennial And Gen Z Workforce
- They are already planning ahead. Up to 36 percent of millennials and 53 percent of Gen Z employees are keen on leaving their current position within the next two years.
- Flexibility is important to them. 22 percent of millennials and 19 percent of Gen Z employees reported they are likely to quit organizations that don’t encourage flexible working practices.
- They are tech-curious. A whopping 91 percent of Gen Z employees report that they would be more attracted to organizations using sophisticated technology.
- Up-to-date technology infrastructure is important. Organizations using substandard technology are likely to repel 42 percent of millennials.
Source: Unsplash, Alt: If you are looking to attract and retain millennials and Gen Z candidates give them something to be proud of
How to attract millennial and Gen Z candidates into the construction industry: 10 actionable tips
1. Give millennials and Gen Z’ers something to be proud of
More than ever, millennials are looking for careers that give them a feeling of purpose. A study by Bentley University reports that 84 percent of millennials feel that making a positive impact on the world is more important than being recognized as a professional.
This highlights that the next generation of young professionals want to achieve something they can be proud of.
To attract millennial and Gen Z candidates, consider putting forward the positive impacts your organization has on the world. If you cannot find any, consider participating in or contributing towards projects that make a difference.
These can include supporting community and social development or even protecting the environment.
2. Encourage positive social interactions in your construction labor business
When deciding whether or not to work for a company, 52 percent of millennials consider a healthy workplace culture to be important.
This highlights that the next generation of talents places a higher value on the company's culture than on its brand. Since most workers in the construction industry cannot afford to work remotely, they very likely spend more time at work than at home.
It is critical you encourage positive social interactions within your workforce. Company events, informal gatherings, and other activities that bring your team together can make your company more appealing. Also, consider sharing all these moments on your organization’s social media profiles to get the attention of millennials and Gen Z candidates.
3. Flexibility & work-life balance is important
Flexibility has gradually become one of the key perks young professionals look for when choosing a job. According to a poll by American Express, 75 percent of millennials agree that a successful organization should have flexible working options.
Moreover, respondents of this survey concur that organizations should not impose a rigid structure on their workforce.
Millennials and Gen Z professionals value flexibility as it allows them to better manage their work-life balance. If your organization has flexible working options, be sure to highlight these perks in your job vacancies.
As mentioned in the section above, use the power of social media to communicate about benefits you offer with your current, and potential future employees.
If you currently do not offer flexible working arrangements, consider implementing at least one of the following: flextime, reduced hours, compressed workweeks, or even remote work.
Source: Unsplash, Alt: Millennials and Gen Z professionals value flexibility as it allows them to better manage their work-life balance
4. Learning and mentorship opportunities for your construction labor force
Millennials and Gen Zers seem very interested in active and ongoing learning opportunities. They recognize the need to stay up to date with the latest trends and discoveries. A survey reveals that more than 50 percent of millennials and Gen Z adults believe that regularly updating their skills and knowledge will benefit their careers.
To attract young professionals to your construction company, you have to provide them with learning opportunities. This can be in the form of upskilling workshops, coaching from experienced professionals, or even through mentorship programs. Offer these learning sessions at regular intervals to show you care about their personal development.
5. Career development prospects
Just like millennials and Gen Zers look for learning opportunities, they also pay extra attention to their career development prospects. A study by Glassdoor reveals that 87 percent of millennials value career progression possibilities. While some may characterize millennials as impatient, it is clear that they are highly motivated and expect to see results as soon as possible.
To get the attention of millennials and Gen Z candidates, you must be able to show them what to expect in terms of career growth. Since millennials like to be challenged, show them what they should do to climb a step further. Keep in mind that they may look elsewhere if they realize they do not have any room for career growth.
6. Understand and use their full skill spectrum
Different employees, regardless of the generation they belong to, possess different levels of skills. Nothing is more discouraging to an employee than seeing that their skills are underutilized. Studies reveal that only 28 percent of millennials feel their current employer uses their skill set to its full potential.
Potential young talents should feel you are interested in understanding their skill spectrum. Right from the interview stage, gauge their complete skill set. From there on, encourage them to fully use their skills in their daily job. Review at regular intervals, and provide adequate feedback so that your new recruit knows how to improve.
7. Decent compensation package
The compensation package you offer to your candidates is crucial to their final choice. Your proposition directly reflects their value to your organization. According to a report by MRINetwork, 28 percent of millennials selected “compensation and benefits” to be the top priority when considering a new job.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to compensation and benefits. Do your homework and see what is being offered elsewhere in the construction industry. Additionally, before putting your offer on the table, plan ahead of time and calculate potential increases in package benefits as your recruit career advances.
8. Supportive company culture
Millennials want to be reassured that their job is important and that their employers value them. Feedback, mentoring and coaching young professionals shows your support and belief in their abilities. Moreover, they want to contribute to the success of their organization.
Allow your younger recruits to come up with unique solutions and recognize their accomplishments. Linking millennials and Gen Zers with more experienced workers can do the trick. This shows you care about what they are learning and support their development.
9. Clear communication, vision, and targets
A clear company vision is especially vital for millennials just starting out in their professions. Business owners may link their vision to their staff by painting the larger picture. This provides employees with a clear feeling of purpose as well as an awareness of how their efforts fit into the overall goal.
Clear and concise communication is an absolute must. Prospective candidates should already know where they will fit in right from the interview process. This keeps them engaged, challenged, and encourages them to join your construction organization. If they feel connected to the end goal, this can even inspire them to stick to your company.
Source: Unsplash, Alt: By highlighting your organization’s interest in innovation and making use of the latest technology, you will very likely grab the attention of millennials and Gen Z candidates
10. Encourage innovation and use of technology in your construction business
Most millennials and Gen Z’ers have received general education that somehow incorporates the use of technology. Moreover, the last couple of decades have strongly encouraged innovation in almost all industries. These have now become key components of their business thought process.
By highlighting your organization’s interest in innovation and making use of the latest technology, you will very likely grab the attention of millennials and Gen Z candidates. Is your next construction project using eco-friendly materials? Are you using apps to track and manage your construction assets? Make it known to the public. The key here is to demonstrate innovative efforts.
Off you go
With each passing day, the current construction workforce is getting older. The industry needs new blood more than ever, and the competition for talent is getting stiffer. As things stand, it seems there will be no workaround possible.
Many construction companies will need to rethink their position and adapt to the aging workforce. Attracting millennials and Gen Z’ers may just be the move to take their business to the next level.
About Author: Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern, easy-to-use mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate, and streamline their maintenance operations.