There’s a long-standing perception of construction jobs: physical and dirty, workers in orange vests and hard hats digging with shovels. Yes, there are still plenty of physical jobs. But this image no longer matches the reality of many modern job sites. The industry is facing a looming labor shortage. People aren’t entering the field.
But there are plenty of exciting, rewarding and less physically demanding jobs available thanks to tech-enabled job sites. It’s up to the industry, though, to better market positions to attract new talent.
Here are three areas the industry should focus on to make these careers more attractive and combat preconceived notions of construction jobs:
Is that an excavator or a spaceship?
OEMs have innovated in a big way, adding bells and whistles that improve the way a job is done, as well as the operator’s comfort while using backhoes, dozers, skidders, cranes and other machinery. These days, stepping into a modern excavator is more like climbing into a spaceship – a comfortable spaceship with better seats and climate control. Not only does this equipment look sleek and shiny, but the technology in the machines themselves are helping operators improve productivity and efficiency. This technologically advanced equipment is a great recruitment tool for those who would traditionally get their hands dirty on a job site and for people interested in working outside in the field instead of traditional office spaces.
Attracting the video game generation with interactive tech
Millennials – and even younger generations now entering the workforce – grew up looking at screens, using smartphones and playing mobile and video games. They’re a connected generation, and are bringing these skills and interests to the workplace. Implementing – and showing off – this sort technology aimed at engaging workers can be a big selling point. Marketing how job sites or training programs are using advancements like Virtual and Augmented Reality, drones and GPS tracking can help capture younger talent’s interest.
Working hands on with data in office jobs and project management positions
While there are plenty of physical jobs available, it’s not strictly labor or equipment operation. Companies are focused on efficiency and getting smart about their operations; they’re adopting technology like GPS vehicle tracking systems and advanced analytics, leading to an increased need for office-type work. New positions are available in areas like fleet managers, project management, safety managers and IT professionals. These jobs are also becoming tech-enabled as construction companies look to data analysis to improve operations and profits. The growing industry trend of 3-D model-based processing, or BIM (Building Information Modeling), is also driving the need for talent in both the office and the field who are familiar with these new technologies. There is a real need for construction companies to raise awareness for these non-physical jobs that talent might not be as readily aware of, but are critical to a company’s success.
Learn more about how GPS tracking is transforming the construction industry.