We’ve noticed that many construction professionals are struggling to find good, local talent. All over the country, there is a definite talent gap in the industry. With the rate of students graduating with degrees in construction management steadily declining (about -2.8% per year), the skills gap will only continue to grow.

In Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins – key markets in Colorado construction -- there seems to be a resistance to hiring anyone who is not from the immediate area. While the mentality makes sense and could have worked in the past, it is causing firms a lot of pain right now.

The Talent Gap

In the US, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a hiring manager in construction who isn’t struggling to find good talent. About 91% of those surveyed said it’s difficult to find skilled workers. There is an average of 300,00 open construction jobs in this country each month, and the field is expected to grow 12% by 2026. This is a much faster rate than in all other occupations.

With older, experienced construction professionals retiring, much of the industry is relying on young talent to fill the gap. The problem is that the millennial generation was conditioned to choose one path ahead of them – school, higher education, then an office job. Because of this, many never considered a career in construction. And now, we’re faced with a devastating shortage of skilled labor in many markets.

The Issue in Colorado

Historically, clients in Colorado have had the ability to be more selective in regards to the talent available locally to them. However, due to the increased challenges within the talent markets, high-quality candidates who are both local and available have become a rare commodity. The majority of top-level talent is typically employed with confidence in their employers’ pipelines, in a relatively stable work environment.

To combat the high needs for experienced, quality talent in the construction sector, a more open mindset to relocating professionals to the market may provide access to skill sets and high performers outside of the highly reduced (and already well-fished) local talent pool.

How to Solve This

One way to combat this issue is to make a longer commute worthwhile to more local talent. Few people want to drive an hour or more to work, but they will for the right compensation. However, it’s difficult to gauge what will persuade each person. For some, health benefits will seal the deal. But for others, a higher salary will make all the difference. If you don’t want to get into negotiations or go through trial and error, this may not be the right strategy.

Or, managers and contractors can actively recruit relocators. As previously stated, Denver and the surrounding areas are increasingly popular, so talented professionals could be willing to relocate there. They may even be actively seeking the opportunity to relocate. These people are more likely to accept work in an area to which they are moving, or want to move. Though they may not have experience in that particular market, they very well may have the skills and other experience you need for your next project.

Hiring managers will also want to explore new ways of recruiting, such as working with our expert team of recruitment consultants at Michael Page. While your current recruiting process may only target active candidates – those seeking a new opportunity – working with Michael Page gives you access to candidates who may not even be on the market. We have vast networks which can give you access to top talent that no other firm is currently contending for, which offers more opportunity to attract top talent. This is particularly invaluable right now.

We also allow you to avoid some of the major pitfalls of the hiring process. Many candidates lose interest or patience through the interview process, we keep candidates engaged and move the process along effectively. With the help of Michael Page, you can roll out the red carpet for top talent, making them more inclined to join your organization.

If you’re looking for talented construction professionals, please reach out to the expert recruitment consultants at Michael Page. Additionally, you can submit a job description here.

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