The construction industry’s workforce is aging at a rapid pace and showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With a shrinking labor force, the construction industry is looking for new talent. The obvious group they’ve set their eyes on is…the millennials. Millennials now make up the largest generation in the workforce and are eager for growth and new opportunities. Recruiting millennials for construction is no easy task though. With the many misconceptions they have about the construction industry, millennials aren’t too motivated to abandon the visions they’ve had for their futures and college careers.
If millennials won’t directly come to construction, construction needs to come to millennials. The best way to attract new talent to the industry, is to lure them in with technology. The construction industry is making big strides with innovative technology, which appeals to the younger workforce. Millennials are a generation of progressives, innovators, and communicators. The relationship between technology and construction is becoming stronger, from LEED certified building using recycled and green materials, drones to scope out sites from a new perspective, to VR used to get a clear and safer vision of the job. These aspects of the industry are up the right alley for millennials to get their technology fix while earning good money.
Jobs in the construction field aren’t limited to outdoor, seasonal, and physical labor, contrary to popular belief. With the growing use of technology at construction sites, the door for opportunity is left wide open for millennials to get what they want out of a career.
Bringing millennials into the industry
The big question to ask is why don’t millennials want to go into construction? There are many answers individuals have to such a loaded question. Most of those answers come down to the fact that they revolve around a strong misconception about what construction work is really about today. When millennials think of construction jobs, they often imagine working outside in dangerous environments and only working in the spring or summertime. While there are many jobs that do in fact conduct work in these type on conditions as it is necessary, there are other opportunities in construction that may appeal more to the millennial generation.
Millennials are very invested in the use of technology. Smartphones are attached to the hip or hand, and they often spend more time in front of a screen than other generations do. There’s no turning back from here, so why not use this to your advantage as a construction company?
Construction companies have begun to catch up with the times and have started to utilize technology on the job site and in the offices, that greatly boost safety and productivity. The growing use of mobile technology, software, and tech gadgets have helped the industry make big strides in how work is accomplished.
- Mobile technology on the job site including smartphones and tablets strengthen communication between team members.
- Construction software development has come a long way and has helped companies become paperless, collaborate, organize, and streamline tasks.
- Technology gadget use between the job site and office is continually evolving. Recently, many companies have adopted the use of drones, VR (virtual reality), 3-D printing, and robotics.
Technology is the bridge to close the gap between millennials and construction. While millennials want to spend 4+ years at a University to earn a Bachelor’s degree and get that big, fancy job afterwards with the big, fancy salary, they don’t see how construction fits in and often completely overlook the field. Engineering and design are two of the most popular fields that millennials go into because they believe that’s where the money is at. True, while engineering and design are profitable areas of work, they are also versatile areas of work. Construction technology and management opens doors for millennials to utilize their inherent skills and learn even more while on the job.
Attracting millennials into the construction technology field is a big task while there is much misconception around the topic, but it is doable. The best way construction companies can go about luring the millennial generation into the industry, is to start promoting their tech-savvy and innovating goals and current usage in order to let them know how the industry has developed from what they’ve grown up thinking about construction.