Chapter Corner

Shirley Ramos

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.

The Value of Training in Good Times and Bad

The construction industry is beginning to see the light of day. Companies are no longer struggling with layoffs and are beginning to hire again. The anxiety of paying the bills is being replaced with thoughts of growth and expansion - or at least getting companies that survived back to what they once were.