5 strategies to retain construction workers in a competitive labor market

Construction business owners can bolster their recruiting efforts by focusing on these areas
A dedicated mentoring and apprenticeship program is one way to develop a pipeline of skilled workers. (Photo: Annie Gray, Unsplash)

Apprenticeship and mentorship. Apprenticeships let experienced workers pass on their knowledge to aspiring employees, while mentorships facilitate professional connections between existing colleagues. Employers can get a leg up in a competitive market where skilled workers are considering numerous job opportunities.

By displaying a great work environment during an apprenticeship, employers can funnel candidates directly into their companies. This setup is also beneficial for individuals who need experience but don’t want to work without pay.

Mentorships train people on how to accept advanced roles when older employees leave. These positions can go unfilled due to a lack of workers with matching skill levels. Nurturing talent from within makes it easier to fill these high-responsibility jobs.

Tuition reimbursement. Tuition reimbursement is a major benefit for those working toward higher education. Going to college for the first time is an exciting opportunity, but it can be hard to pay for without help. As a result, many people apply for financial aid. In fact, 85% of first-time undergraduates sought assistance in the 2016-2017 school year.

Employers can assist their workers through tuition reimbursement plans. The company typically pays the employee a predetermined amount for expenses, such as books and classes. Other versions of this program require the employee to pay for their education up front and submit a reimbursement request later.

Whichever way companies decide to implement it, this strategy can be a great asset for increasing job loyalty. It’s also a recruitment method to help construction professionals train the next generation of leaders—an essential task for those looking to foster interest in the field.

Offer construction workers a chance to grow

Retaining employees involves appealing to their fundamental wants and needs. Individuals want to feel welcomed, supported and safe at their jobs. They also need to see opportunities for learning and career advancement.

Environments lacking these qualities don’t hold talent for long, which is why construction managers benefit from refining their HR strategies. Experienced and ambitious employees can provide next-level service and, eventually, leadership.

Holly Welles is a writer with a focus on construction and real estate. She writes for Construction Executive, Trimble and other industry publications. Find more of her work on her own blog, The Estate Update, or reach out on Twitter.

Holly Welles

Holly Welles is a writer with a focus on construction and real estate. She writes for Construction Executive, Trimble and other industry publications. Find more of her work on her own blog, The Estate Update, or reach out on Twitter.

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