It is no secret that finding skilled workers is a top challenge for restoration and remediation companies today. In fact, it is the top challenge according to R&R’s 2021 State of the Industry report released in August. 

Sixty-six percent of respondents consider this a top challenge now and into the next year. Along with that, increasing wages for certified employees is number two and retaining labor is the number-three challenge.

Restoration and remediation companies struggling with finding, attracting, hiring, holding onto or paying quality talent are not alone. That said, a lot of coverage exists on this topic, including thought leadership and best practices on what employers should do to address these challenges — how to attract top talent, how to onboard them effectively, how to keep them, and how to help them help your company for the long haul. 

But how do you really know if any of those are areas and approaches your company should be investing in? How can you be sure which areas and approaches you should be focusing on to solve your workforce struggles? 

In this episode, Dr. Abirban Basu, chief economist with Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), sheds light on the real what and why behind a historic labor shortage, specifically in construction. He clarifies what is going on in the world, how it is shaping the perceptions people have on working, and thus what they want from employers in restoration and remediation today. 

“Job seekers these days have become like consumers,” Dr. Basu said. “In other words, they are really picky about the jobs they’re willing to fill. They’re looking for certain things. They’re looking for flexibility. Obviously they’re looking for pay and benefits. But they’re looking for meaning, including social meaning, in these jobs. And it’s very difficult to check all these boxes. And that’s one of the reasons employers are having such difficulty filling available positions.” 

This episode covers:

  • The historic national labor shortage including jobs available versus people not taking them
  • The state of supply and demand for workers in the construction industry
  • The correlation between pay up and job opening filled
  • Key factors that got us here and are keeping us here, from cultural to generational to economic (e.g. fertility rat, immigration, unemployment benefits)
  • What workers want and expect from employers today (e.g. purpose, work-life balance, easier work for comparable pay)
  • What ABC’s latest construction backlog indicator and contractor confidence index suggest about the state of the construction industry
  • Notable trends impacting restoration and remediation contractors for better or worse
  • Why restoration stands to be one of the more rapidly growing industries looking ahead 

Check out this episode of Ask the Expert to learn more. You can watch the video here or listen to the audio version of our conversation here. You can also find our show on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Just search for Restoration & Remediation Ask the Expert, then hit Follow.