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4 Construction Recruiting Trends to Recognize Now

To land the best talent, factor in these current realities. 

It’s a unique, candidate-driven market at the current time. Thanks to the skilled labor shortage, companies are spending more of their time on recruiting efforts than ever before. Here are four trends we’re seeing when it comes to recruiting construction talent.  

Some of the best talent is not on the market  

With unemployment in the construction industry near zero, the best talent isn’t necessarily looking for a job — they already have one. But many savvy construction professionals are nonetheless establishing relationships with the top industry recruiters. In turn these recruiters are partnering with their clients on hiring that talent away from other companies. 

If you want to build a dream team, it’s time to consider upgrading your recruiting methods to attract passive candidates. The traditional method of posting ads to job boards typically attracts only active job seekers who are unemployed or miserable at their current job. Organizations can improve their hiring process by working with a single recruiter and getting a full commitment to making their search a priority. Working with a firm that works exclusively in the construction field will ensure a high level of success.  

RELATED: 5 Ways to Attract Top Construction Talent 

Candidates are demanding higher pay  

Many commercial construction firms are unable to fill open positions with qualified workers given the current labor shortage. Because it’s a very competitive candidate’s market, candidates are demanding higher pay, and getting it. Some roles that firms are struggling to fill include project manager, superintendent, engineer, estimator, sheet metal worker, carpenter and concrete worker. Be prepared to pay more for these employees.  

Companies are hiring for potential, not just skill  

In an effort to combat the skilled labor crisis, more companies are resorting to training and hiring workers who may not have all the skills they need but who have intangible qualities of intelligence and drive, thus showing great potential.  

To get new employees in the door, more companies are:  

  • Planning to hire recent college graduates and offer on-the-job training 

  • Increasing their outreach to former employees 

  • Hiring driven, motivated unskilled workers and putting them through on-the-job and/or formal training 

Available talent is snatched up fast 

Similar to professional sports, the top free agents in the construction industry don’t stay on the market long. Companies that can be decisive and make an offer before their competitors do have a much better chance of landing the candidate. Organizations that have a streamlined hiring processes not only have access to higher-quality hires, they also enjoy higher acceptance rates from candidates.  

RELATED: To Build Your Own Workforce, Create an Apprenticeship Program 


Brian Binke is the founder and CEO of The Birmingham Group, a globally recognized Executive Search and Consulting firm specializing in the Construction arena. You can reach Brian directly at [email protected]

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