How Full-Time Hiring and Retention Strategies Can Address the Industry’s Labor Shortage Crisis

The spring construction season this year may experience a shift in the way companies recruit new employees. Although initial data in January suggested a decrease in construction job demand, the number of open positions that contractors sought to fill increased again in February, as reported by the Associated Builders and Contractors.
Contrary to earlier expectations, the construction industry continues to face labor shortages. This resurgence in hiring is a positive sign amidst challenges such as high interest rates, concerns of a recession, and slow progress in the country’s infrastructure rebuilding efforts.
However, there is a shortage of available workers to fill the available positions. Many firms choose not to bid on certain projects due to a lack of staff to complete the work, as indicated by the Associated General Contractors of America.
This sentiment is echoed by contractors who report a healthy volume of projects, but not enough personnel to carry them out. In particular, North Texas has been cited as an area with high activity levels but a visible shortage of experienced labor. Seasoned tradesworkers with five or more years of experience are becoming increasingly scarce, and as the most experienced field workers retire, there is a shortage of new talent to replace them.
Addressing this issue calls for a significant shift in how the industry identifies, recruits, and retains skilled workers. One emerging trend is the growing preference for full-time, year-round positions rather than seasonal or project-based work. This change in workforce expectations is leading some industry experts to predict that major players will soon begin hiring more full-time tradesworkers.
Taking control of one’s own workforce by hiring full-time tradesworkers, as opposed to relying on subcontracting, is seen as a potential solution to the ongoing labor shortage in the construction industry.