Recruiting Top Talent for Commercial Construction Companies Ch. 10

by | Sep 22, 2021 | Uncategorized

Recruiting Top Talent in 2021 for Commercial Construction Companies

Are you a commercial construction company struggling to recruit top talent in 2021, leaving some of the most important positions unfulfilled? You’re not alone. Surveys show that 80% of construction companies are struggling to find the workers they need (Source: Digital Builder)

Finding and recruiting top talent for the commercial construction industry has become increasingly more challenging in recent years. Some of these positions that are difficult to recruit for include:

  • Construction Manager
  • VP of Construction
  • Estimators
  • Project Supervisor
  • CMO
  • VP of Marketing
  • Project Manager
  • National Account Representative
  • Territory Manager
  • and many more…

But, what makes these positions so difficult to fill? What changes have left the commercial construction industry with so few quality candidates to choose from?

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Here are the Top 5 Reasons for Talent Shortage in the Commercial Construction Industry:

Reason #1. An Aging Workforce

The industry has relied heavily on the workers with decades of construction experience for many years, and this group within the industry are beginning to retire and leave the sector. With such little experienced talent left, it is becoming increasingly difficult to train enough new workers at the same speed that experienced workers are leaving, as well as the difficulty of retaining experienced talent to train the new employees (Source: KHL Group).

Reason #2. Outdated Hiring Processes

Another reason for the shortage in talent is due to hiring processes that have not been adequately updated. With so many technological changes in recent decades, the hiring process has had the opportunity to change dramatically – but the commercial construction industry hasn’t quite caught up. 

The younger generation coming into the workforce has grown up with technology and expects its use in everyday life, requiring contemporary hiring processes to meet technological standards. Members of the workforce are being streamlined into other industries by the use of this technology, restricting the flow of talent to commercial construction (Source: Digital Builder).

Reason #3. The Market Crash of 2008 is Still Having a Negative Impact on Talent Shortage

Many industries across the world experienced layoffs during the market crash of 2008-09, and talent in commercial construction was not excluded. With unavoidable layoffs occurring during the crash, many workers were left to find work in other sectors, and the later improvement of the market saw fewer workers returning than had previously left. This has created an incredible dent in the number of workers, despite improvement in the market since then (Source: Agency Central).

Reason #4. Rapid Changes in Technology

With the incredible boom in technology in recent years, commercial construction has changed greatly, and much too quickly for employee training to keep up. Technological changes have also resulted in modified requirements to meet position demands, making it more difficult for new talent to get into the industry. This has caused a great decline in talent available for recruitment in the industry, especially for some of the highest-ranked positions (Source: Utting, DUoT; Print).

Reason #5. Lack of Interest from Young Workforce

The nature of the commercial construction industry itself has proven to be less than ideal to newcomers to the workforce. Commercial construction can often be a difficult industry in which to work due to long, demanding working hours. This makes it difficult to especially recruit amongst newcomers to the workforce. Lack of interest from the younger generation plays a large role in the difficulty of recruiting new talent to the workforce leaving commercial construction behind in 2021. (Source: Utting, DUoT; Print).

Top 3 Hard to Fill Positions in the Commercial Construction Industry:

  1. Commercial Construction Project Manager Candidates

Project managers are so important to the success of commercial construction as they establish relationships with project owners, acting as the direct liaison between the project owner and construction team. Exceptional project managers are difficult to find and expect high compensation for the work they provide. Effective project managers are often sought after, meaning they are rarely directly searching for work. (Source: Atlantic Group)

  1. Commercial Project Superintendent Candidates

Project superintendents are crucial to a project’s completion but are proven to be difficult to recruit for commercial construction companies. Good candidates are not easy to find and often have to be trained internally, but this can be difficult due to the incredible demands of the position. Superintendents work so often directly alongside clients, making them incredibly important to the success of a project, from client concept to completion (Source: Atlantic Group). 

  1. Estimator Candidates

Estimators perform such an important task for commercial construction companies as their job pertains to the overall cost of projects, yet 43% of survey respondents in the USA reported their difficulty in recruiting adequate talent (Source: AGC). Estimators oversee the finances of the entire project from the cost of labor, materials, equipment, and more, making them vital to the success of a project. Being such a key factor of a project’s completion, difficulty in recruitment can have serious effects on companies’ success. 

Tips to Recruit High-Quality Talent

  1. Recruit and Train from Within

A great way to ensure you are recruiting quality candidates for important positions is to act on the potential of current employees. Improving upon the skills of your current workers can allow them to become the perfect fit to fill your most coveted positions. This also promotes career satisfaction in your employees as they can aspire to work their way upwards within the company (Source: BuilderTrend).

  1. Pursue Passive Candidates

Plenty of quality candidates remain open to leaving their current position for better opportunities elsewhere. With positions like project managers and superintendents so tough to fill, offering better opportunities to high-quality talent who work for competitors is a great way to fill the top positions at your company (Source: BuilderTrend).

  1. Never Stop Recruiting

Even when you have developed a great team of employees, you just never know when someone on your team quits or gets quickly fired. Keeping your eyes peeled for new talent will ensure that your company can stay on top now, and into the future as industry trends and talent inevitably change (Source: When I Work).

  1. Fill Positions Fast!

If you are looking to fill your top positions quickly with the best talent in the industry, reaching out for help is always the best option. As a long-time trusted recruiting search firm in the commercial construction industry our team here at Definitie Search Partners can guide you through the entire process, using our arsenal of knowledge to find the best talent for you. 

Finding top talent can be tough to do on your own. We want to help you to take all the heavy lifting, so you can focus on what you do best.  Book a free discovery call today. 


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