The construction industry is facing a labor and skilled worker shortage. Millennials and Generation Z are more drawn to universities offering degrees in technology, business, medicine, and the arts. They’re less likely to enter the construction workforce, and that means the construction industry needs to work harder and smarter at recruiting them by totally rethinking recruitment strategies that worked on the generations before them.

Why Aren’t Younger People in Construction?

In order to understand why the construction worker shortage may get worse and why younger people are less likely to choose a career in construction, one must analyze repeated messages given to younger people throughout their years in school.

The Push for College

Reports indicate that more millennials are in college than any other generation, and it’s expected that most Gen Z will attend college. This is because most millennials and Gen Z can recall being encouraged to get a degree from times as early as their elementary school years. This, unfortunately, has had a negative impact both on trade industries and the young people getting degrees. Millennials currently find themselves facing the largest student debt of any generation and are struggling to find work in a world that is considering their degrees less and less valuable.

Millennials are also realizing, too little too late, that college and white collar jobs are not for everyone. Higher pay often seems enticing, but millennials were never really given a chance to realize they may find trade work fulfilling. Generation Z is being given the same message.

Using the Best of Both Worlds

The construction industry shouldn’t be threatened by college. Rather, construction and trade firms should be utilizing what universities offer to entice younger people. Construction companies should be offering internships and tuitions reimbursement. They need to let young people know they can offer exactly what universities do. Because at the end of the day, young people are searching for the same stability older people we’re guaranteed.

Construction and trade firms can also use recruitment software like Refered to make recruiting and retaining hourly employees easier. Talk to one of our experts about using Refered for your company today.

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