If you didn’t already know it, there is a problem in attracting a younger demographic to the construction industry.
In 2000 the average age of the construction worker was 37.9 but ten years later this was 40.4 years of age.
Everybody, from driveway paving contractors to asphalt companies all over the country is having the same problems when it comes to the recruitment of younger people – namely millennials.
So how does your construction firm help attract younger workers?
And what are the specific issues holding back a younger person from joining the construction industry?
WHITE COLLAR PREFERENCE
Over the years there has been a huge expansion in young people taking up college degrees.
Perhaps it is inevitable, that these younger people are instead heading to tech firms, where they see an immediate need for their very expensive education.
Not that long ago, the generations preceding them have entered into construction jobs, even with a higher qualification and worked their way to a higher position.
Nowadays, it seems that the younger worker is either unwilling or unable to do this. The reasons for this could simply be that they see better opportunity elsewhere or perhaps there is a problem with upwards progression within some construction companies.
Either way, this is a problem that needs action, otherwise there will be no younger workers into the profession!
HOW TO REMEDY THIS
Is your company investing in training opportunities? If so, then you need to publicize them, if young people don’t hear about opportunities then they won’t know about them!
And if your company doesn’t currently invest in training, then it is about time that they did. Young people need to see that there is a future for them in your organization.
Career advancement is a major reason that millennials are turning away from blue collar jobs.
But there are other reasons as well – and some of these boil down to workplace culture.
To put it simply, the construction industry suffers from a poor reputation with regards to sexism and other discrimination issues.
It may be unfair, but memories of the past, when construction workers wolf-whistled females on the street, still persist. Let it be known that this sort of thing is not tolerated in your organization and make sure everyone knows it. Have it written into your codes of conducts and emphasize that you will not permit any bullying culture of any sort.
Hopefully, this will help attract some younger employees to your company.
One of the biggest barriers to millennials choosing construction as a profession, is quite simply the dangers associated with it.
It has been suggested that younger people are more risk averse than their parents’ generation. This could all be the fault of greater emphasis on safety and making sure every precaution is taken.
Unfortunately, whichever way you look at it, construction remains an industry that will always have some element of risk.
Also, other professions may offer the safety net of health insurance and other perks, that perhaps the construction industry has not traditionally done.
HOW TO REMEDY THIS
Show your firm’s commitment to safety. Employ safety managers and let potential employees know about your firm’s great safety record.
To some extent, construction firms are having to pay catch up here.
Offering greater perks, health insurance and other enhancements are going to be necessary, to compete with a completely risk free office job.
Big up the good aspects of the job – out in the fresh air, new challenges, physical fitness and emphasize the emotional wellbeing of your employees, if you want to attract millennials into your construction firm.