There are nearly a quarter of a million open construction jobs in the United States, but most construction firms and contractors are finding it harder and harder to fill them. Consider too, the challenge that most of the current laborers are in their 40’s or older (generation X and baby boomers).  But what about the younger generation? What about the millennials?

Today, millennials account for 50% of the workforce. By 2030, they will comprise a whopping 75 percent. Companies need to prepare, and it will be the smart business leaders who think about how they can attract and leverage the digital native generation to infuse their organizations with fresh ideas and new approaches. Unfortunately, industries such as construction, are more challenged than others in attracting and retaining millennial workers. Don’t risk your long-term success. Think today about how you can bolster your roster with a steady stable of new, millennial talent.

1.What They Want

There’s a good deal of research available about what this generation wants in the workplace but it’s not necessarily what you’d expect. It’s much less to do with perks like stocked fridges and ping pong tables, and more to do about contribution, purpose, and work/life balance. They are also inquisitive, entrepreneurial and progressive. Constant iteration is normal for this generation, making millennials adept at embracing change, rolling a company’s pivot and adapting to new ideas and strategies.

Provide interesting work, learning opportunities with an onsite project and autonomy to keep your team engaged and to attract new talent. Develop a framework that will help them to learn and grow, while avoiding micromanagement once the team member is fully onboarded. Offer more regular feedback after a project completion and reward based upon performance, not necessarily tenure.

2. How They Interact

Millennials are digital natives, having grown up with technology. They grew up with the internet and have been trained to look there for all the information they need. They’re connected via smartphones, laptops, tablets, and PCs and are accustomed to instant access and delivery (Uber, Amazon, etc.). They prefer their communication to be bite-sized: easy to digest, instantly understandable with images and visuals to hold their attention.

Millennials want to make an impact, regardless of the job’s scope.  So welcome even your youngest contributors and don’t fall into the trap of thinking that employees need to “put in their time” before they can suggest new ideas.

3. How They Want to Work

A 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey showed that 32% of millennials believe innovation and creativity are an essential skill an organization should offer. They want to use the latest technologies and work in innovative environments. For construction firms, this doesn’t mean paper and pen. Instead, it means digitized tools and automated processes. It means touting your new construction methods or approaches, such as sustainable design and new applications.  Embracing new technologies—drones, virtual reality, augmented reality, BIM, project management and more—demonstrates your team’s commitment to innovation and the potential to revolutionize the building sector. As digital natives, it’ll speak their language and give them an opportunity to participate, collaborate and contribute.

We’re proud to offer our clients the most innovative, cost-effective and easy to use field intelligence solutions. With a worker’s first approach, Rhumbix has modernized construction field operations, helping builders go paperless in the field and improving how they track, measure and manage labor productivity to be more profitable.