When it comes to construction hiring, diversifying the workforce has been a long-neglected issue contributing to the nationwide worker shortage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the construction workforce in 2021 comprised 11% women, 12.1% racial minorities (including Black or African American, Asian, or other identity workers), and 32.6% ethnic minorities (including Hispanic or Latino workers).
Increasing the rates at which gender, racial, and ethnic minorities are hired and incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion into your firm can allow you to tap into a reservoir of labor resources while creating a modernized and future-proof working environment.
Expanding your recruitment and talent strategy to include older workers, neurodivergent individuals, veterans, and LGBTIQ people allows you to counteract the effects of the labor shortage and ensure your construction firm’s survival.
Here are reasons you should consider hiring construction workers with diverse backgrounds, how to attract diverse talent, and how the SmartBarrel device can assist you in doing so.
Why hiring diverse talent benefits everyone
Diversity in the workplace and on the job site has been statistically proven to have a positive impact. Along with increasing productivity (a direct result of readily available labor), a McKinsey study showed that companies with gender diversity were 25% more profitable, while companies with ethnic and cultural diversity were 36% more profitable.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are markers of innovation, with workers from different backgrounds bringing fresh new ideas to the table and providing a readiness to fill in labor gaps. It makes good business sense and shows that a company is willing to adapt to changing social landscapes.
Representation can also allow firms to appeal to more diverse clients and take on a wider range of projects by breaking down language barriers. In addition to the moral implications of inclusion and the promotion of ethical hiring practices, construction companies will find that diversifying their workforce benefits everyone, from the bottom line to business owners.
How to attract diverse talent
There are many ways to diversify your workforce, such as modernizing key components of your company’s operations and changing your construction laborer hiring and recruitment practices.
Incorporate new technologies
The construction sector has generally been slow to change and adapt to new technology. The result has been stagnant productivity, generational skill gaps, and, most importantly: a diminishing appeal in attracting new workers. Less efficiency gives off the image of poor working conditions, which can repel young and older professionals.
Modernizing with technology improves workforce efficiency and lets you diversify what kind of workers you’re drawing in. In other words, by investing in automation, your company can boost productivity and encourage prospective workers with broader skill sets to apply and join.
Incorporating new software and tools like the SmartBarrel device can help support laborers and ease the administrative burden while upskilling your workforce. It also shows an openness to adaptation and exploring new tactics, which naturally attracts prospective candidates looking to make their mark in the workplace.
Adjust your construction hiring practices
Changing your construction hiring and recruitment process can help you bring in a wider variety of talented workers.
Consider, for example, evaluating candidates on more than just the number of years they’ve been in the industry or their conventional educational background. This prevents whittling applicants down to the same traditional criterion.
Instead, find ways to assess how they approach tasks and gauge their critical thinking skills. This may include administering tests or making questionnaires a part of your screening process. By removing certain barriers, you’ll be able to pull from a unique talent pool and bring in fresher perspectives.
Some companies have even chosen to forego resumes that identify a person’s gender, race, or ethnic background to focus primarily on a candidate’s practical skills.
When going through the interview process, it’s also important to be aware of potential unconscious biases that could eliminate perfectly qualified candidates. Companies often counteract this by conducting panel interviews rather than one-on-one interviews. Not only does it fill in blind spots, but it can increase objectivity.
The interview panel, too, should ideally be diverse to prevent bias.
Make your commitment to diversity clear
A simple statement of your company’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion on your career site and job descriptions can encourage more variety in the types of candidates applying for open positions. Emphasize that your company offers equal employment opportunities.
Your company’s website can also include statements from and portraits of currently employed workers to encourage and welcome candidates from all walks of life to apply.
Offer targeted apprenticeships, scholarships, and internships
Apprenticeships have been a common way of hiring construction workers, but gearing opportunities specifically towards underrepresented and minority groups can not only potentially provide you with future full-time employees, but help you diversify your workforce.
Companies sometimes work with educational institutions to promote scholarships and invest in potential workers.
How the SmartBarrel device can help
Upgrade your construction technology to attract new, diverse talent when hiring construction workers, with SmartBarrel. The SmartBarrel device is a plug-and-play, solar-powered, and weatherproof solution that’s LTE-connected and built to last.
The SmartBarrel device increases efficiency and productivity by automating daily log compilation and timecard clean-up tasks. Close generational skill gaps and attract new groups of workers with smart, intuitive, and easy-to-use technology.
Safety tracking features make your job site more secure and include personal protective equipment verification and incident reporting.
Your job site will also benefit from accurate manpower and time tracking, as workers check-in and out through a biometric facial verification scan. Other features include work summaries and incident reports collected through SMS, a dashboard view to access reports and timesheets, and Procore integration.
With new technologies and updated recruiting practices, you can support your existing workforce while attracting diverse talent accustomed to new tactics and innovation.
Looking to modernize your workforce? Book a demo with SmartBarrel today!