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Top Construction Sector Trends That Recruiters Should Know About

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The construction industry is one of the top employers in Canada and the United States—and it’s continuing to grow.

If your staffing agency or HR department works closely with the skilled trades, you’ve likely noticed changes in the construction sector, especially in the last few years. New technologies, demographic changes, effects from the pandemic, and shifts in government policy have all impacted construction at every level, from onsite workers to the C-suite.

What should employment agencies and HR teams know about the construction industry right now?

As recruiters in the skilled trades, it’s critical to stay up to date on industry issues. Knowing the prevalent topics in each sector allows you to better understand the concerns of your clients and candidates so you can serve them better.

To help you stay up to date, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top issues in the construction industry right now. Below are the topics that recruiters should be thinking about as they staff jobs in the sector.

Labour shortages

For many sectors with skilled workers, labour shortages are ongoing—and construction is at the top of the list. With more workers expected to retire over the next decade and the sector poised for additional growth, this trend is expected to continue.

As labour shortages persist, the role of staffing agencies is more important than ever. If you work with clients in construction, your organization’s ability to quickly and effectively place candidates who are ready to work will be increasingly valuable.

Automation

A top concern for many workers in construction is the rise of automation. For many skilled workers, the prospect of losing jobs to new technologies may be keeping them up at night.

The good news? Automation is a long way away from replacing human workers in most construction jobs. Much of the day-to-day work in construction is still too complex to be replaced by machines, and the work that machines can do tends to consist of only the most repetitive or dangerous tasks. For this reason, automation is forecasted to be beneficial for workers, reducing workplace injuries and replacing only roles that are either monotonous or risky.

Drones

Another technology set to transform the construction industry? Drones. The unmanned crafts have countless applications in the sector, from enabling companies inspect dangerous areas without risks to workers to generating updates for stakeholders and lowering the costs of surveying mapping. Importantly, drones can also take over waste measurement, a construction process that is typically time consuming and difficult.

Although drones are changing the nature of some jobs, they also open up new opportunities for workers. With the drone use growing, demand for roles related to the operation and management of drones will increase as well.

Sustainability

A number of sustainability trends are on the rise in the construction industry, driven by a global push towards greener practices in the sector.  Companies are moving towards more energy efficient design, eco-friendly landscaping, green supply chains, and sustainable materials. The practice of refurbishing and repurposing older buildings and materials is also becoming more prevalent.

Watch this trend closely. As countries take action to meet their emission targets over the next decade, the move towards sustainable construction practices will undoubtably impact both companies and workers.

Supply chain disruption

The global supply chain disruptions that began during the pandemic are continuing to affect nearly every industry, and construction is no exception. Shortages of lumber, paint and coatings, aluminum, steel, and cement, and other materials are holding up projects for weeks and even months, leading to widespread project delays.

The disruptions are affecting both timelines and costs for construction companies—the impacts of which will undoubtably complicate staffing.

Modular and pre-fabricated construction

Modular construction has been around for years, but recent technological improvements, as well as mindset shifts in the industry, are causing a significant wave of investment in this area. The boom is great news for both workers and construction companies. Companies will see lower costs and more efficient production, while workers can expect improved safety as a result of more work being conducted offsite.

Experts say that this trend is expected to grow. Keep an eye out new opportunities for workers in modular and pre-fabricated construction on the horizon.

The bottom line

The construction industry is changing rapidly right now. Although there are challenges, there is also a tremendous amount of opportunity. New technologies are enabling companies to spearhead projects that are more innovative and sustainable than ever before, while simultaneously improving safety for workers.

Staffing agencies are uniquely positioned to enable innovation by matching workers with emerging jobs in the industry. It’s an exciting time to be working with the construction sector, and your team has the chance to be at the centre of the action.

Is your staffing agency looking for a software solution to save your team time and resources? Built for Human Resource departments and staffing agencies, Labourly™ is a simple, intuitive solution for managing your skilled workforce. Book a demo call with our team today to explore options for your business. 

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