With an aging workforce and shortage of new labor entering the industry, contractors find themselves in a stiff competition for the best and the brightest new employees.

In 2018 — and for the third consecutive year — the #1 concern among contractors was recruiting and retaining employees, according to the 2018 Maryland Construction Industry Survey. With a strong construction economy, work is coming in, but the competition for construction employees to perform that work remains fierce.

So, how can you ensure that you’re continually attracting new talent?

Millennials want to work at companies where innovation is a priority

The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey showed that while 32% of millennials believe innovation and creativity are essential qualities of a potential employer, only 24% believe their employers are actually focusing on it.

Millennials aren’t afraid to question the status quo, so it’s no surprise that they would be drawn to companies doing the same. Organizations need to showcase the innovative steps they are taking in order for the entering workforce to be interested in joining their ranks — and sticking around for the long haul.

Is your company seeking out projects that focus on sustainable design, using new materials, and employing new technology in the construction process? Is your company planning for the future of construction and finding new ways to make processes more efficient? If so, make sure to put this front and center in your recruitment strategy, as it will be a big attraction to potential millennial candidates.

Integrating technology into your processes proves you’re interested in moving forward

Millennials grew up with technology, and it plays a pivotal role in how they live their lives on both a personal and a professional level. It only makes sense that young people will look for companies that use and embrace technology.

Young employees don’t want to fill out a paper timesheet by hand every day. They expect to access emails and documents on a mobile device out in the field. They want 24/7 access to what they need to do their job well, and they want to be using the platforms that eliminate redundant or tedious processes of the past.

There are technology tools every construction contractor should invest in. Ask yourself whether your company is using technology effectively, or better yet — ask a millennial.

The top companies are putting a focus on breaking the stereotype

Contractors who want to bring on and retain the best talent need to provide new grads with cutting-edge technology. One great example of this concept in action? Brasfield and Gorrie, one of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms, is leading the charge in attracting and retaining a purpose-driven, tech-savvy workforce.

A recent article on their website states:

“We’re aiming to break through this stereotype and attract a technology-driven generation of diverse workers. We must face that today’s graduates seek technology and purpose in their career decisions. Recognizing this trend is key to our recruiting efforts, we are reaching out to schools throughout the country that offer more specialized technology programs and seeking to connect with students in various paths of study, including aviation, robotics, engineering, computer science, and architecture, who have an interest in construction.”

In addition to recruiting candidates who demonstrate a vested interest in technology, the Brasfield and Gorrie team also hosts technology demonstrations — including leading-edge equipment like an unmanned aerial vehicle and Oculus Rift goggles — for student groups to help change their perception of the opportunities that come with building a meaningful career in construction.

Why it all truly matters for your organization

Getting on board with technology means more than just attracting the best talent; it’s essential to ensure your company doesn’t get left behind. In an industry where efficiency, scalability, and risk mitigation are key focuses, your willingness to embrace the tools needed to achieve them will mark the difference between lasting success and obsolescence in the years to come.

Interested in careers at Brasfield & Gorrie? Learn more here.

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