The great news: the home design and construction industry is boomingThe not-so-great news: we don’t have enough talent to fill critical roles. All the demand in the world — and all the dollars that go with it — don’t overcome the construction labor shortages we’re facing. So…. what does?

Labor Shortages Are Hitting the New Housing Industry Hardhiring

During the recession of 2007-2009, 1.5 million construction workers left the industry for other occupations. This mass exodus reached a crisis point when the economy rebounded and demand started growing. And growing. Fewer than half of those workers came back, leaving a critical shortfall of both skilled and unskilled labor. 

Age plays a role: the average age of employees in the building trades is 50. Many are leaving the industry for other jobs or retiring.  

At the same time, vocational training has been devalued, with schools pushing STEM and college-readiness. Many young people perceive going into the trades as grueling or lacking in advancement opportunities. While untrue, it has resulted in fewer younger workers entering the field. The percentage of young construction workers has fallen 30% from 2005-2016. 

 Skilled trade jobs (carpenters, plumbers, masons, electricians, plasterers, etc.) are the hardest to fill in the country and take the top spot in terms of vacancies — and have since 2010. 

Finding Solutions to Build a Strong Workforce hiring

 How are home construction firms attacking the talent shortage? A few ways: 

  • Hiring more women 
  • Hiring more military veterans 
  • Offering more extensive on-the-job training opportunities 
  • Recruiting year-round (not just ahead of the busy season) 
  • Building relationships with trade schools 
  • Offering student internships  
  • Focusing on retaining current employees (e.g. financial incentives, employee appreciation/engagementprograms)

But they’re missing something.  

Attracting and retaining the skilled and unskilled laborers you need to satisfy your customers and grow your business isn’t just a challenge. It’s a keep-you-up-at-night problem. The solution lies in marketing your business to the community in innovative ways.  

Consider using video to highlight a fun team activity or event. Showing how your company nurtures a culture of employee appreciation. Promoting and valuing a team atmosphere can be a key differentiator, and video is a great way to highlight that.   

But that’s not enough either. The next step is leveraging this asset and telling your story to those who can help you fill labor shortages. Post your videos on your website; integrate them into your blog posts or articles; send them out in emails; and, perhaps most powerfully, go social.

Social media has the power to help you extend your reach, engage with those interested in the construction industry — and even create interest in those who never considered entering the field. Attack on multiple fronts: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter each cater to different demographics, and you can create targeted video content that resonates with these audiences. 

Labor shortages are hitting all of us in the industry: fight back. By emphasizing your culture and telling your story through strategic video, you can gain the edge you need to win talent over to your side.  

If you need help attracting, and retaining, skilled workers, contact Haven today. Connect with us to learn more about what we can do for you. We’re your ally in the war for talent.