The pandemic of the last several years made negative changes in the global labor market. The construction sector is not an exception. The labor shortage is one of the sharpest questions general contractors face almost every day. Even the most efficient recruiting programs and digital transformations in the company cannot solve this issue fast and risk-free or with zero stress for people.
Moreover, automation and the switch to digital-friendly environments even provoke growing labor shortage showings in the building sector. But workforce limitations should be reasonable and initiated by general contractors to speed up operations and routine processes (for example, after the implementation of construction pricing software, it is possible to cope with estimating and costing tasks faster even with only one specialist instead of 2-3 estimators will stay).
According to the latest survey of the Bridgit analysts, 70% of construction companies face rising voluntary redundancy statistics in case labor shortage experience was based on poor analytics. It means that people who stay in their working positions feel inconveniences together with extreme loads of tasks. The best strategy to combat the challenge of the overstressed team because of the imbalanced workforce is to audit your labor resources timely.
Where to Start When It Comes to Audit Your Labor Resources?
It is better to calculate all the workers in the company and create the so-called roadmap with the whole hierarchy specifications according to the directions, departments, and other characteristics. Take a closer look at the win-win approaches other firms use. It means that you can tailor your strategy for all the ongoing improvements like you do with digital transformations and the implementation of digital tools for a paperless and result-driven environment.
Note that using high-quality software for the performance of most office routine tasks like estimating, costing, quoting, reporting, risk management, and other operations are possible to automate and simplify for your specialists through the best-matching digital tools. For example, the labor shortage is applicable if your pre-construction team uses modern project bidding software with templates, automated data processing, and other hacks that replace their manual tasks with AI-based algorithms.
3 Ways to Combat the Challenge of Labor Shortages
Neither the Great Recession nor a crisis, nor a pandemic can ruin your workflow if you know how to cope with such a challenge as a labor shortage. Your recruitment strategy can be perfect. But the company might feel all the negative consequences and perform extremely poor results in comparison with the main competitors in the niche. The most common risks the labor shortage issues bring to general contractors;
- Poor performance of the thinned-out team (workers cannot cope with the increased loads of tasks and raised responsibilities).
- Growing voluntary redundancy because of overloads and numerous stressful situations (poor or lack of training, increased number of duties, many novelties on the working position, etc.).
- Bad workforce planning and scheduling (as a result, deadlines can be missed, and projects might be failed).
- Low-level profit margins are caused by low-grade teamwork.
The list of weak spots can be even longer. Each general contractor can add their own sharp problems because of the labor shortage challenge. But it is better to prevent all the negative impacts timely. Take a closer look at three efficient ways to combat labor shortages in your company.
1 – Project Planning Comes First
Sometimes big companies think that labor shortage is step number one to overcoming huge expenditures planned for their labor costs. Undertake the zero step that requires precise project planning. If you see that the team of 10 workers is enough to perform this or another construction order, search for more projects for specialists who are free for now!
The same story with overloads. If you plan your project properly, your teammates will not face overworking hours and exhaustion in their positions. Additionally, count on high-grade bidding software for risk-free estimating, quoting, and budget planning in general including labor resource planning.
2 – Improve Your Recruitment Background
Onboarding and training programs matter. Especially when it comes to digital transformation strategies applied in the company. But do not underestimate the power of recruiters. It is better to count on professional recruitment approaches. This way you will hire competent specialists that will close gaps properly and not bring new challenges in the office and on-site.
3 – Pay Attention to Hard and Soft Skills
If you hire only entry-skilled workers, do not be surprised that you cannot meet all your requirements in the context of your resource management and labor cost planning. It is better to keep the balance between the hard and soft skills of your team. Onboard new workers qualitatively to be sure that they will cope with all their tasks fast and efficiently. Sometimes new entry-skilled laborers demonstrate better results due to their high-level soft skills like communication properties and result-drive.
To sum up, general contractors should apply the most comprehensive approaches to combat labor shortage issues in their companies. For this purpose, add to your strategies more recruitment professionalism, focus on the hard and soft skills of your workers, and pay attention to project planning that includes high-grade resource planning and management.