YP Perspective - ABC Keystone

Outcome of the Global Pandemic: Hiring Crisis

by: Kyle Lukoskie, MBA, Operations Coordinator, CB Construction Services

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On the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies across the industry are eyeing a bounce back with a backlog of work and not enough manpower to complete the projects. Aside from a reduction in skilled tradespeople, the competition among companies to hire the most qualified individuals is another hurdle plaguing our industry. As someone who solicits career opportunities for qualified individuals, this process has been more challenging than ever.

What sets one company apart from another when a candidate is job seeking? Monetary compensation, benefits and work-life balance, among other aspects, are considered, making these factors at the top of many benefit packages. However, it is not just the construction industry that is offering competitive benefits which others within the industry may consider. Entry-level jobs can offer upwards of $20 per hour for a less labor-intensive position. How much less is an individual willing to make to still see the wage outweighing the downsides of our industry, including mandatory travel, early start times, and a wide array of environmental elements? Unfortunately, this rhetorical question should be at the forefront of hiring professionals’ minds when engulfing themselves in the volatile job market.

It may seem like the wise move to compensate new employees and seasoned workers alike to deter their move to another company or industry. Nevertheless, this will ultimately lower the profit margins by increasing labor prices, and to continue to bid competitively the increased cost will be added to the customer’s price. When competing in the private bid arena, customers are being faced with rising material costs in addition to proposed labor increases. The end result is jobs going over budget and not being awarded in a timely manner, if at all.

The way forward is shaky and unknown. For the select few that are qualified and seeking a new career, they must be adequately compensated to join your team. Other avenues to reduce job costs must be explored to offset the rising labor costs and avoid an extra outlandish burden to the customer. Moreover, looking for unique incentives that will entice those highly competent individuals is a way to ensure the longevity of the company’s labor force. Regardless of the desired path one takes, the result is the same, an adaptive approach to the employment process.

Posted September 22, 2022