Attracting the Next Generation of Construction Professionals

Over the past few decades, workplace culture has evolved in dozens of ways, big and small. The way employees view their work is wildly different from what it was even a short while ago. Employee retention and overall loyalty are far lower than many industry veterans expect.

This holds true for the construction industry just as it holds true practically everywhere else. If you want your firm to attract and hold the next generation of professionals, your approach cannot be the same as it was thirty, twenty, or even just a few years ago. Today we’ll try to dispel some common myths about attracting and retaining employees, as well as providing some tips on approaching this the right way.

Dispelling Myths About the Next Generation  

The “next generation,” which is to say the 20 to 30-year-old professionals that construction firms are looking to recruit, often have many assumptions made about them that need to be addressed. We’ve put together some of the most common myths about this era of professionals to help make sure your firm doesn’t misstep in its effort to recruit.

Myth #1:
You’re All In This Together  

The way many older adults compared to younger adults view work often differs even at the most fundamental level. We can debate about the reason for this but it needs to be accepted regardless.

While not a universal truth, most younger adults don’t view work as anything more than a source of income. They don’t have a “work family” or necessarily care about the success of the company on an emotional level. To put things into perspective, as many as 76% of full-time workers would leave their job if offered a better opportunity.

Earning employee loyalty is not easy. It’s possible, and we’ll give tips on how soon, but never expect it at the outset. Even if you are genuine friends with an employee, it doesn’t mean they will always stay if the going gets tough or a better opportunity presents itself.

Myth #2:
The Newcomers Are Lazy  

Millennials and Generation X have a reputation for being lazy and ungrateful. In part, this may come from the point above; most don’t make work a part of their identity the way older generations often did.

COVID-19 has reinforced what already a fairly negative outlook on traditional workplace culture. Furloughed or even fired, often with no workplace safety net, the pandemic has many workers viewing a job only as a paycheck and any associated benefits.

No matter the image they project, it’s far better to think of this new generation as viewing work almost exclusively as transactional. They work and you pay. If you want 110%, then you will most likely have to either pay more or find a way to incentivize.

It’s also worth noting that most don’t expect hard work to pay off because too often it doesn’t. Modern companies often fail to give reasons for working hard beyond some empty talk of everyone “being in this together.” If you aren’t conservative with pay increases and promotion opportunities for those who excel, that can be just the incentive employees need to push themselves harder.

Myth #3:
They’re Lucky to Have You  

Although this one may sting, it’s the truth. Construction is something of an employee’s market right now. There’s been a shortage of construction employees for some time and the pandemic has not helped with this matter.

People looking to enter the construction industry have some options and that isn’t likely to change. There are exceptions, such as places in the United States where construction is halted or highly limited due to the pandemic, but employers aren’t doing well in those areas either.

This means your firm needs to sell itself to potential employees. Why should they choose you? They’re certain to have applied to multiple construction companies at once and, as we discussed, are going to take whatever the best offer they receive is (even if you’ve already hired them by the time they receive another call).

Tips for Employee Retention  

Now that we’ve examined some common misconceptions about how new employees approach work, let’s discuss how to attract and retain new talent.

Perhaps one of the most important ways to retain talent is a solid onboarding process. Many employees leave only a few months after starting their job. A solid onboarding, helping them to feel appreciated and prepared for the tasks they’re going to be doing, can help keep talent much longer.

If you’re not sure how to improve your onboarding process, try Arcoro. This an HR tool that Bangert can provide you. It’s capable of streamlining much of the HR process, eliminating the need for daily paperwork, showing employees what benefits they qualify for, and more. It even makes ACA compliance easier than ever.

Benefits are important to workers now more than ever. Even post-pandemic, you can expect this generation of workers to view safety nets like healthcare plans in a brighter light than ever. Ensuring the benefits you offer are easy to see and track can go a long way to keeping talent happy.

There are plenty of other valuable tips for retaining talent available online. At their core, most come down to two things: incentivizing hard work and making an employee feel appreciated. Even things as simple as paying for special training an employee is interested in can help them feel appreciated while also benefiting your company.

Technology can help give your company the edge it needs to keep ahead. More and more, young adults entering the workplace expect a job to feel modern and well-equipped for the digital age. Tools such as what our company offers can make a genuine difference in how new employees view your company.

Bangert Can Help With Employee Retention And More  

At Bangert, we’ve dedicated ourselves to improving the efficiency and capabilities of construction firms through various software solutions.

If you’re looking to hire the next generation of construction professionals, our HR software can help your workplace feel modern and your new employees prepared and appreciated. In turn, this can help with employee retention and more!

Interested in our software but worried you won’t be able to utilize it fully? Try ONE OF OUR WEBINARS, as we review our software offerings and help you learn how to use them!  

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.