How to Survive the Labor Shortage and Keep Your Business Running

Today, businesses face a labor shortage and staggering unemployment across the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be more than one million job openings in the construction and extraction industry by 2022 due to an aging workforce.

These jobs won’t be filled by older workers leaving the industry; they require skilled individuals with relevant experience.

Unfortunately, not enough people are willing to take these positions or can’t because of their inability to pass certain tests. As a result, construction sites have stalled and businesses have halted production.

How can you keep your business running during this critical time? Read on for advice on how you can tackle this problem head-on and maintain your company’s productivity.

Hiring the Right Employees

Before you hire a single employee, it’s essential to understand the skills gap in your industry. If you’re in the construction business, for example, you should know the difference between an ironworker and a plumber.

Similarly, it’s crucial for you to understand the different certifications and licenses required for certain positions. Ask yourself: What does my company actually need? What does my industry need? What can my company provide for customers? Next, develop a plan for finding candidates who meet your business’s needs.

Schmooze with your local contractors’ associations or trade unions and attend job fairs; these are excellent places to meet potential candidates.

Training New Employees

Finding qualified candidates is only the first step in bringing new people into your business. Now, you must train them. Training takes time and resources, so it’s essential to hire employees who are already skilled.

When you do hire new workers, select candidates who are eager to learn and able to pick up skills quickly. Teach them the ropes, help them progress in their careers, and provide them with the tools they need to succeed.

In addition to providing on-the-job training, consider offering certification classes, online courses, and seminars. These can help new employees get up to speed more quickly and give them an edge on the job.

Utilizing Technology to Help You Stay Productive

In many industries, technology has proven to be an asset for growing businesses. In construction, technology can help to streamline many aspects of the business from scheduling to project management.

Consider investing in technology that can automate processes, like computer-assisted construction management software.

This type of software allows contractors to streamline the management of their business by automating tasks like estimating and scheduling.

In addition, it allows you to integrate with other business software, such as email marketing or customer relationship management software.

Computer-assisted construction project management software can help you optimize your processes and increase your productivity.

Automated Processes

When you’re managing a project, you need to keep track of all the details to ensure the job moves forward smoothly.

Problem-solving is part of your job, but it’s essential that you keep track of the information you receive. You can do this by saving emails, notes, and messages in a cloud storage account like Dropbox.

Doing so allows you to access information from any device and keeps your information safe and secure. Consider purchasing software that allows you to automate processes, such as payroll, estimating, and project management.

This will help you keep track of all the important details, eliminate human error, and give you an edge on the competition.


It’s possible that the skills gap doesn’t affect your company, but it does affect your suppliers. If you rely on a supplier for materials, for example, and they have a shortage of qualified employees, you may experience delays.

You can mitigate this problem by outsourcing parts of your business. For example, consider outsourcing payroll or human resources. Outsourcing, however, isn’t as simple as hiring a third-party company.

You’ll need to review all of your options, determine what each company offers, compare prices, and carefully select providers. Doing so is essential, as it can help you avoid delays and even complete your projects ahead of schedule.

Partnering with Contractors

It’s not always necessary to outsource services and hire third-party contractors. Instead, consider partnering with contractors in your industry.

Let’s say that you need an ironworker. Instead of searching for a single ironworker, you can find an ironworker contractor and hire them as a team.

This allows you to hire multiple ironworkers and have a team dedicated to different tasks. Partnering with contractors is also a great strategy for finding additional employees.

If you’re in need of more bricklayers, for example, partner with bricklayers who are in between jobs. You can give them work and help them earn money while they’re looking for their next position.

Retaining Employees

You can’t expect your employees to stay with you forever. In fact, the average employee tenure is 3 years. Some employees leave for better jobs or higher pay, but others leave to start their own businesses.

While you can’t do much about the former, you can help the latter. Offer benefits, such as health insurance and a 401(k) plan, that other businesses don’t offer.

Be respectful of your employees’ time, provide them with a comfortable work environment, and give them room to grow in their careers. Your employees are your best workers and deserve to be treated as such. Retaining employees means retaining your best assets, which will help you stay productive.


The construction industry has a major skills gap that has brought construction to a halt in many areas.

If you want your business to stay productive during this time, then you need to make sure that you hire the right employees and train them properly, keep your processes automated, and outsource any parts of your business that can be outsourced.

You also need to retain your best employees by providing them with a comfortable work environment and benefits, like health insurance and a 401(k) plan.