Bridge the skills gap

As executive recruiters we get calls from companies every day interested in hiring us to look for talent. The market has certainly changed and after some very rough years things have started to pick up in a big way in the construction industry. We hear time and time again that there is a serious and severe skills gap.

So how did this skills shortage come to pass and who is to blame? I think most people have a tendency to blame the employees for this lack of skill but could it be the employers that have partially created the problem. Could employers own actions and tendencies be contributing to this lack of available talent.

Most construction companies tend to focus on short term goals first without careful consideration of strategic recruitment goals, skills development and succession planning. Most are thinking about “right now” at the expense of planning and developing resources for the future including talent. It seems that few companies are focused on training and developing their people.

Also there is still a lack of confidence which is causing some to close up ranks and focus more on productivity and protecting profitability rather than developing talent and increasing the ranks.

With most companies expecting an increase in business activity over the next few years it seems that something has to give. If current staff levels remain stagnant more pressure will be put on current employees. This could eventually make it more difficult to complete projects on time and commit to new ones. It will also make your overworked and stressed employees more vulnerable to being recruited.

Companies have to be willing to take on a large part of the initiative and help bridge the training gap. Of course in an ideal world we all want people that can “hit the ground running” but these folks may not always be within reach, or in your hiring budget. In the absence of that perfect catch that meets all of your qualifications why not develop the people at your fingertips and help them grow into your next superstars. It’s a long term investment in your most valuable resource, your people.


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