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Last Modified: April 27, 2024

It’s no secret that the construction industry has been dealing with a labor shortage. Recent studies have indicated that over 80% of construction firms reported difficulty in finding qualified candidates.  However, the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on certain areas of the economy represents an opportunity for construction companies to solve this issue.

Where did everyone go?

At the height of the housing marketing, pre-2008, the U.S. added 900,000 construction jobs. However, during the 2008-2011 recession, construction companies shed about 2.3 million jobs.  Many of those workers found positions in other sectors such as hospitality & retail.  Those sectors stand to be decimated by social distancing and other pandemic response measures in the short term.  According to the US Private Sector Job Quality Index Team, over 37 million positions could be vulnerable to layoffs in the near term.  With appropriate stimulus and support measures delayed due to conflicts at various levels of government, a lot of people will be looking for work.

Companies can build a pipeline of candidates now.

Here are a few things companies can do to get started recruiting workers.  Even if you can’t hire them immediately, having a pipeline of candidates for when things turn around is a prudent investment.

  • Be visible in your local markets through social media
  • Share messages about your work culture, compensation, etc…
  • Have a section on your company website to highlight open roles
  • Encourage those affected by COVID-19 to apply

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