How to Attract Gen Z Employees to the Construction Industry

Gen Z workers will be essential to helping the construction industry overcome a labor shortage. PeopleReady Skilled Trades shares six ways your construction firm can recruit Gen Z job seekers.

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6 Tips for Recruiting Gen Z Workers in Your Construction Firm

Forty-one percent of the construction industry’s workforce is expected to retire by 2031, according to ADP. As Baby Boomers leave the industry at an increasingly fast rate, recruiting Gen Z employees to fill important roles should be a priority. However, this group has unique work preferences and career goals that require a different recruiting approach.

PeopleReady Skilled Trades shares six ways to attract Gen Z job seekers into careers in the skilled trades.

  1. Highlight the financial benefits of construction jobs
  2. Emphasize and model use of technology
  3. Offer apprenticeships and vocational training
  4. Supply mentors to aid in employee growth
  5. Promote career advancement opportunities
  6. Ensure a positive work-life balance

Highlight the financial benefits of construction jobs

Gen Z has seen previous generations struggle financially with student loans and education costs. Yet, despite the costs, there’s no guarantee of success in college or of employment in their field of study after graduation. In fact, 60% of college freshmen drop out and 30% of graduates don’t use their degrees in their jobs, according to Forbes.

A construction career for Gen Zers is financially attractive for several reasons. Following are some benefits to highlight in your outreach efforts:

  • Faster track to the workforce: Depending on the trade, skilled workers can earn trade school certifications in as little as two years—some certification courses could even be as quick as a few months. Moreover, skilled trades apprenticeship programs allow people to work and earn money in the field while they learn.
  • More affordable than traditional education: The comparative ease of entry into construction and the trades reduces the costs related to education and training. Trade schools are less than half the cost of a four-year degree based on numbers from CollegeBoard. These schools also have their own financial aid programs to help minimize loans and out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Additional career support: Many trade schools have job placement programs and other career development opportunities available. By partnering with these schools, employers can connect with future job seekers before they complete their training.

Emphasize and model technology use

The growing use of technology in construction improves efficiency and productivity. For example, the use of drones can be used for land surveys and inspections. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence, machine learning systems and simulators have a variety of practical applications, ranging from asset allocation to structural design.

These tools and resources are a great method of recruiting Gen Z workers to the construction industry, as this group values innovation and embraces the latest advancements in technology. In fact, 91% of Gen Zers say that a company’s technological sophistication impacts their interest in applying for jobs, according to a National Asphalt Pavement Association study.

Offer apprenticeships and vocational training

The oldest Gen Z workers were born in 1995, with many witnessing the impact of the Great Recession in 2008-2009. More recently, they’ve seen working life upended by the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, Gen Zers are eager for career stability, according to a recent Axios study.

Designing and offering apprenticeship programs can also benefit your recruitment efforts. Construction apprenticeships show Gen Z workers that you are invested in their success. They provide hands-on experience and training that helps them become creative problem-solvers with valuable skills. As a result, they are set up for a successful long-term career with your construction firm.

Supply mentors to aid in employee growth

While millennials have embraced the rise of remote work, Gen Z is different. According to a Yahoo Finance study, less than 30% of Gen Zers prefer remote positions. Instead, they value in-person connections which create an immersive work environment.

Further, 82% of Gen Z employees report that it’s important their supervisors help them set performance goals, according to a study from the Springtide Research Institute. Offering a mentorship program can help Gen Zers hone their skills while showing them there’s a path to leadership roles in the construction field. Meanwhile, the mentor can assess their skill set to further engage their talents and interests.

There are long-term benefits for your construction firm as well. Mentors can provide immediate and consistent feedback to ensure the best quality output. As a result, you’ll have more well-rounded and confident workers in a short amount of time.

Provide career advancement opportunities

Gen Z workers are less likely to be interested in a job that doesn’t offer career growth opportunities, according to a LinkedIn survey. Above all, they thrive on learning new skills and desire an employer to support their goals. Upskilling and reskilling programs can help attract and retain workers, providing them and your construction firm greater stability.

You can use your job descriptions to showcase these opportunities within your construction firm, letting candidates know there’s a career track leading to future roles with more money and added benefits. Therefore, they’ll be more interested in applying to your job postings.

Ensure a positive work-life balance

As they enter the workforce, Gen Zers are more interested in achieving a proper work-life balance. A recent GOBankingRates survey finds that 42% of adult Gen Z workers make work-life balance a top priority when looking for a job.

While the construction industry doesn’t typically lend itself to remote work, there may be different scheduling options for employees, like flex time or compressed work weeks. There are also a variety of ways companies can reduce stress and increase job satisfaction among their workforce. PeopleReady Skilled Trades recently put together a list of recommendations that can help you retain workers and create a great work environment.

How PeopleReady Skilled Trades can solve your construction staffing shortage

By partnering with PeopleReady Skilled Trades, we’ll provide the Gen Z workers you need to grow your construction firm. We team with colleges, universities and local community groups to source the best candidates for your business. Whether it’s a single worker or an entire workforce across several job sites, PeopleReady Skilled Trades is ready to deliver the workers you need, on-site and on time.

We can provide skilled construction workers and tradespeople, including:

  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Painters
  • Plumbers
  • Skilled laborers
  • And more

Since each job site is different, we can also provide general laborers to support your needs. As a result, your projects are completed on time and within your budget.

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PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company, specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor and highly skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of blue-collar industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, waste and recycling, and hospitality. Leveraging its game-changing JobStack platform and 600-plus branch offices across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, PeopleReady served approximately 94,000 businesses and put approximately 220,000 people to work in 2021.