REPORT: Construction Hiring Slump Persists – Is Upskilling to Blame?


CCS Construction Staffing

A new report shows that upskilling is a highly practiced trait throughout the hiring process, but this practice is causing some serious consequences in many industries. The low unemployment makes it hard enough to bring in qualified construction recruits. Now, upskilling done in the post-recession economy has left few specialized workers available for your most ambitious construction projects. You may have a few questions:

What is “Upskilling”?

Upskilling is a technique hiring managers use when posting a job description or advertising an opening within the company. The creator of the job listing will “upskill” a role by exaggerating the educational and experience qualifications in an effort to bring in candidates with high-caliber resumes. For example, for a construction receptionist position that used to require an associate’s degree? That same job will now be upskilled to require a bachelor’s degree and two years of customer service experience.

Why is Upskilling an Issue?

In the construction industry, it’s tough to recruit talent as it is. Upskilling is often used when labor is plentiful, but it often has an adverse effect on the hiring process. One source says it takes an average of 25% more days to fill a vacancy than it would have ten years ago. It’s difficult to find the right candidates now because of upskilling that occurred in the late 2000s and early 2010s. Hiring managers had a wide pool of candidates available and utilized upskilling to recruit the best talent available, leaving only less qualified workers.

How Do I Find Qualified Workers?

First, when you create a job listing, think critically about what you need the prospective employee to achieve. Prevent upskilling by requesting only necessary requirements, and staying realistic about your company’s needs. If you can’t find the right workers, consider hiring a less qualified candidate that proves to be a quick learner during the interview process. Taking the time to train a new staff member in a specific trade will benefit the worker and hopefully encourage loyalty and leadership.

Looking for more ways to find the perfect team members for any construction job? Contact CCS Construction Staffing. We have a pool of qualified construction candidates to choose from, and plenty of resources to help you edge out the competition. Contact us today to learn more.

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