With a large number of boomers retiring and leaving the construction workforce, many positions are slowly becoming available. The issues that many construction companies now face is how to replace such a large portion of its workforce, and recruit the right candidates. To address this, businesses have began altering their hiring practices, and have made a greater commitment to attracting millennials. The current generation of millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – are now the largest cohort, surpassing the Baby Boom. These statistics may be alarming to some, but forward-thinking companies are taking this opportunity to target this largely inexperienced, yet promising, group of workers.
The question becomes, how does the construction industry compete with the arts, entertainment and technology sectors for the attention millennials? The answer lies in creating creative recruitment strategies that will appeal to millennials and young people. The rest of this article outlines specific strategies your business can use to get ahead of the competition and become a more attractive option for career-driven millennials.
The Top Five Strategies For Attracting Millennials:
- Commitment to new technology: Undoubtedly, Gen Y is much more technologically savvy than its boomer counterpart. Technology has become an everyday use for millennials in their social lives, for entertainment and for communication. Moreover, millennials are open and willing to adapt and learn about new technology. Presenting your business as one that invests in technology and innovation will help set you apart from traditional construction companies. Make it clear to potential workers that your company is on top of the latest tech trends, such as cloud software or mobile apps. This will help keep your millennial audience remain intrigued and interested in working for you.
- Make safety a priority: Plenty of millennials are willing to sacrifice a big salary for a work environment that they want to keep coming back to. With this in mind, it is impossible to deny that the construction industry is often hurt by the inherent danger that many of its jobs entail. One way to attract millennials is not to hide the fact that the industry has its risks, but to highlight how your company makes a commitment to avoiding and preventing injuries and accidents. Safety, along with health and well-being are extremely important to Gen Y. Acknowledging that your company has extra measures in place shows your dedication to millennial values of safety and health which will only help in making your workplace a more attractive option.
- Instill a positive/fun work culture: Building upon the previous strategy, a workplace’s culture and environment is often a top priority for Gen Y. In addition, millennials want to feel appreciated and thrive when receiving plenty of feedback. A positive work environment does not only mean you provide fun activities, it means that you are open and honest with your employees. Strategies to create a more positive work culture includes team-building activities, team outings and friendly competitions. Furthermore, begin conducting one-on-one meetings between managers and employees to further instill a more collaborative, team-driven culture. By doing this, your construction company will begin to develop a corporate culture that is often seen among young startups and tech businesses. By utilizing similar tactics, your construction company will become much more attractive in the eyes of millennials.
- Abandon the traditional job interview: To attract millennials into the construction industry, try thinking of fun ways to connect with candidates. It is no secret that most people don’t like job interviews. To appeal to millennials who prefer hands-on, immersive experiences, one idea could be instituting fun meet and greets at construction sites. Utilize a new building or structure to help bring the job to life. Rather than sitting in a boring office, give candidates a more memorable experience. For millennials weighing different professions and career paths, providing them with a unique perspective or a day-in-the-life will help your company stand out from the crowd.
- Target college and university campuses: A career in construction is rarely promoted as a viable option at universities and colleges. Because it is unlikely that this trend will be reversed, attending college and university job fairs and career fairs may bode well for your business. Getting to speak with young people face to face and promoting your company in a way that appeals to millennial values will help in attracting a younger workforce. Not only will this strategy help present your company as a thought leader in the industry, it informs and educates them regarding the benefits of a career in construction.