According to the second quarter US Chambers Commercial Construction Index, over 90% of the contractors and construction managers surveyed reported having a difficult or moderately difficult time finding skilled workers, representing a serious national construction labor shortage. This shortage is expected to grow more severe over time, as the Department of Labor projects growth in construction and extraction occupations to add a need for 747,600 new jobs from 2016 to 2026, faster than any other occupation or industry. And it’ll require a comprehensive management system to keep track of all that work.
To a contractor, the industry outlook looks good, so when you find good hands, you need to keep them. The days of counting on good people to sit at home beside the phone waiting for your call back during the slow months are over. Yes, we know, you could probably double your volume of work tomorrow if you could find those elusive “good hands”. This is more reason to hold onto anyone with potential, and never let them out of your sight, for they could find work elsewhere quickly and easily in the growing market.
Keeping hands in times of construction industry growth requires a little bit of thought and effort. It doesn’t mean you have to buy everybody a new work truck. But you may want to take a little more time to get to know everybody on your crews a little better. Make regular rounds and know who’s working at your jobsites and ensure quality work is done.
But the real bottom line about keeping good people in a growing industry is providing them all with a steady paycheck. And the best way to make sure that happens is to bid more work and keep them busy all year long. That doesn’t necessarily mean expanding your bonding capacity either. It may mean bidding on smaller or exclusive projects to cover the time between larger ones.
Whatever it means to your company, PlanHub is here to help you find every size of project to meet the needs of keeping your workforce busy and away from the help wanted ads. PlanHub’s contractor software offers a unified bid management system to keep all your projects and workers organized. Keep your crew on the go, and contact us for more information today!