Skip to main content

Diversity in Construction Resource Library

29 Aug 2023

How to Scale Hiring and Create a More Diverse Workforce in Construction

How to Scale Hiring and Create a More Diverse Workforce in Construction

What Are the Hiring Challenges for Home Builders? 

A convergence of factors contribute to home builders’ staffing challenges in both the skilled labor and white-collar segments of their workforce. Builders must confront interconnected problems, new and old, ranging from the aging skilled labor workforce to The Great Resignation, all of which contribute to shrinking talent pools for employee recruitment and higher turnover.

However, the construction industry’s talent pipeline isn’t just lacking young people, it also lacks diversity. Despite the fact that women account for half of the overall workforce, just 11% of construction workers are women. That number is slowly climbing, however, construction still has the lowest participation rate among women of any of the major industries tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, behind Mining, Transportation and Manufacturing.

Minority participation in construction is also low. Black and Asian workers are underrepresented at 6% and 2%, respectively. And even though Hispanic or Latino workers account for one-third of all construction employees, they’re not equally represented at all levels—90% of construction managers are white.


Hiring More Diverse Candidates in Construction 

These pipeline issues are on a collision course with one another. Addressing bias and discrimination in construction is essential for cultivating the next generation of construction industry talent. Gen Z represents the most ethnically and racially diverse generation in history, meaning the home building industry must confront its diversity and aging worker challenges at the same time. Home builders need a diversity recruiting strategy.

With so many factors beyond their control—from materials costs to supply-chain issues—it drives home the need to focus on factors builder teams can influence. Improving the hiring process is a great place to start. Home builders need to quickly fill their candidate pipeline and increase diversity. And, it’s not enough to simply fill roles with warm bodies. To avoid the high costs and lost productivity of making a bad hire, each new hire needs to count.

It’s a tall order for recruiters in this highly competitive market. But with the right data and tools, talent teams can quickly identify viable candidates, evaluate them more effectively, and set them up for success in their roles.


A Good Starting Point for Hiring Construction Talent: On-Target Job Descriptions

A critical starting point for widening the builder talent pool is a job analysis, a scientific approach to understanding the mindset, competencies, and skills that are most relevant and critical to success, typically done in partnership with an industrial-organizational psychologist.

The job analysis process enables home builder teams to think carefully about their recruiting decisions and why they are making them, including the development of a job description. Using generic job descriptions based on templates or descriptions found on Google can exclude exactly the kind of construction candidate talent teams want to attract. And such generic job descriptions may not accurately and completely convey what’s needed for each particular position at a home building company.

As a result, job applicants are more likely to be mismatched for the role, increasing the likelihood of making a bad hire and all of the pitfalls that come with it: performance issues, employee burnout, staff turnover, and poor collaboration.


How to Find the Candidates You Need: Streamline the Hiring Process

Another crucial step in employee recruitment is to streamline the hiring process, removing steps that add time without generating additional insights. The talent shortage has shifted the power dynamic in favor of the candidate. If candidates are required to regurgitate information they’ve already provided or to perform time-consuming test projects, that can quickly turn off in-demand applicants.

Builder talent teams need to refine their hiring process, with the candidate foremost in mind. By performing a job analysis, talent teams will gain an understanding of the skills, traits, and aptitudes needed to be successful for a particular position and those qualities that are extraneous.

Building the hiring process around the job’s core requirements empowers talent teams to provide a more efficient process while in parallel creating a more transparent experience where candidates are given clarity on why they’re asked to perform certain tasks, along with feedback after each interaction. This also allows candidates to better evaluate if a home building company is the right fit for them and gives recruiters the insights they need to make better hiring selection decisions.


Read more at ProBuilder

View all Diversity in Construction Resource Library