Workforce Planning Tips for Your Busy Season

During your busy season, your construction company likely needs more workers to help meet deadlines. See our construction staffing tips for successful workforce planning.

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Ways to ramp up your workforce during peak times

As the peak construction season gets underway in certain areas of the U.S., many construction companies are ramping up their hiring efforts. After all, bringing on additional skilled tradespeople during your busiest times helps you fully capitalize on the favorable working conditions and ensure projects stay on schedule.   

However, the ongoing labor shortage means construction staffing is still an issue for many construction companies. So, what can you do to ensure you have the workers you need for your upcoming projects? We’ve outlined three steps you should be taking right now to prepare your current workforce and attract new construction workers and tradespeople. 

Step 1: Engage your current construction workers

  • Evaluate commitment and satisfaction.
    Before your busy season gets into full swing, take the opportunity to check in with your tradespeople. The Work Institute’s 2023 Retention Report showed that many causes for turnover are preventable, so the time and effort you invest can pay huge dividends in retention. Be sure to gather feedback with one-on-one or small group meetings and ask your team about important topics like career development opportunities, flexible scheduling and work-life balance.
  • Offer competitive incentives.
    While the construction industry posted higher than average wage increases in 2022, Construction Dive recently reported that 80% of contractors are having a hard time filling their open positions. With stiff competition for skilled tradespeople, construction employers must be able to stand out from the crowd. Now more than ever, it’s important to compare your overall compensation package with other local companies. Meanwhile, you might consider promoting health and wellness benefits, available bonuses, and career development opportunities to enhance your hiring and retention efforts.
  • Invest in employee upskilling.
    Training and development programs, like WorkUp by PeopleReady, are another proven way to increase employee engagement and retention. If you have rock-solid employees who are willing to learn, provide them with a clear path to career advancement. For larger companies, development can take the form of reimbursement for relevant courses and certifications. Smaller companies may choose to build skills through less formal mentoring and on-the-job training. Regardless of the structure, these programs are good for employee morale and company loyalty.

Step 2: Identify talent gaps, along with contingency measures

  • Kickstart recruitment and onboarding early.
    Based on your current employees, committed projects and anticipated timelines, identify gaps in your workforce or skill sets. Of course, experienced tradespeople or those with specialized skills will be hired quickly, so don’t delay your construction staffing efforts. If you need further assistance, a construction staffing agency can provide comprehensive support. PeopleReady Skilled Trades will supplement your workforce with highly skilled workers while PeopleReady offers entry-level and general laborers.
  • Prepare for likely turnover.
    The construction industry experienced a 5% separation rate every month between 2012 and 2021, as reported by Occupational Health & Safety. Having a contingency plan ready — like offering part-time work to semi-retired construction workers — can help you avoid costly project delays. You can also partner with a construction staffing agency to supplement your current workforce with temporary staff.
  • Be ready to scale up when needed.
    With market fluctuations and supply chain issues, your construction staffing strategy needs to be flexible. Consider building your labor plan around a core group of tradespeople, with the option to scale with temporary workers when needed. This supplemental workforce can alleviate stress for your employees and help your company complete more projects on time and on budget. A construction staffing agency like PeopleReady Skilled Trades can help you build a staffing model similar to this, sometimes referred to as a core employee staffing approach.

Step 3: Support your workforce throughout the season

  • Recognize stellar workers.
    Do you have outstanding tradespeople that you can count on every single time? Make sure they know they are appreciated. From a simple recognition or “thank you” to companywide acknowledgement, a little recognition can have a big impact on your hiring strategy. Formal programs, such as Respect the Craft by PeopleReady Skilled Trades, are a great way to recognize workers for their contributions.
  • Create a healthy work environment.
    Encouraging work-life balance and supporting mental health can benefit your workforce as well as your bottom line. During a labor shortage, it may be tempting to rely heavily on your current workforce to meet new challenges, but stress and burnout can lead to increased turnover and safety issues on site. Managing workloads and allowing flexibility where your workers need it can help. Meanwhile, your commitment to a healthy work environment can also increase your pool of candidates. Gen Zers prefer jobs that offer work-life balance and have made it a top priority in their job search.
  • Promote your safety measures.
    Safety should always be top of mind for your construction company. Investing in PPE and advanced safety training shows your workers that you’re committed to their safety. You can also use job postings and social media to highlight your safety procedures. This could prove to be a differentiator that attracts more job seekers to your open roles.

Workplace planning with support from a construction staffing agency

Proactive workforce planning can go a long way toward ensuring a more productive busy season. Our construction staffing services will help you scale to meet project demands at any time. If you need general laborers, skilled laborers or tradespeople for any of your current or upcoming projects, our team is here to help.

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PeopleReady, a TrueBlue company (NYSE: TBI), specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor and highly skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, retail and hospitality. Leveraging its game changing JobStack staffing app and presence in more than 600 markets throughout North America, PeopleReady served approximately 83,000 businesses and put approximately 226,000 people to work in 2022.