Chapter Corner

Newsroom & Insights: January/February 2015

Beating the Manpower Shortage: Recruit and Hire Like an Employer of Choice

A person doesn’t have to search long or hard to find an article that references the lack of skilled labor or the manpower shortage in the construction industry. FMI’s Construction Industry Talent Development Report confirms that approximately 50 percent of general contractors and construction management from firms across the U.S. report experiencing a shortage in skilled labor. Moreover, the impact crosses a number of area specialties including mechanical, plumbing, heavy highway, and civil contractors. These shortages are not limited to large companies, but also affect firms that would be considered small to mid-size. Additional confirmation of the limited labor pool is cited by a survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders where members reported an increasing number of shortages in skilled craft labor including carpenters, excavators, and bricklayers. The report further referenced that, due to the lack of skilled workers, there were wage increases and delays in completing projects on time. The labor shortage is confirmed and the impact is being felt.

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Updating the Playbook

Every three years, electricity becomes a little safer with the adoption of new National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements, and 2014 saw the latest updates. Staying abreast of code expansions is essential, and it’s also an opportunity for electricians to learn more about innovative safety products. Many of the latest devices are more versatile, solve problems, and save time.

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Contingent Skilled Labor: A Strategy to Decrease Hiring Costs and Challenges

If you’re like most IEC contractor members, your business did experience some level of growth in 2014. To further accentuate that good news, McGraw-Hill’s 2015 Dodge Construction Outlook forecasted a 9-percent increase in construction spending for the coming year, with building in both the commercial and single- family housing sectors expected to grow by 15 percent.

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Four Elements of Workforce Development

Over the next five years, and particularly along the U.S. Gulf Coast, the demand for skilled industrial construction craft professionals is expected to exceed the current supply by a significant margin. In states like Louisiana, major public-private partnerships have been created to determine the extent of the demand/supply deficit and develop programs to address career awareness and recruiting, training capacity, craft professional retention, and training program delivery. Industrial construction associations and individual contractors are engaged in the Louisiana efforts and similar efforts across the United States.

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Attracting, Hiring, and Retaining the Best Employees

These days, hiring people is all about quality, not quantity. In decades past, companies hired large numbers of people, especially during lengthy periods of economic growth. Then, when the economy tightened, many companies had to let people go. Then, the process started again. In recent years, most companies have learned their lessons: Rather than hire large numbers of average employees and then downsize them later on, savvy employers are now judiciously hiring a smaller number of employees, focusing on the highest quality they can get, and then working hard to retain them.

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You're Hired: How to Recruit and Interview Employees

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