How to retain millennials in construction and why it’s important

Chelsea Cole / Buildertrend

Here’s why attracting and retaining millennials for a career in construction is so important for the future of your business

In 2020, it was estimated that 23%, nearly a fourth, of the world’s population was considered as belonging to the millennial generation. And according to Pew Research Center, millennials overtook baby boomers to become the U.S.’s largest generation by half a million in July 2019.

By 2024, it is projected that three out of four U.S. workers will be millennials, according to online resource Construction Executive. This will greatly impact the construction industry as over 40% of the current construction workforce will retire by 2031.

So, why is this important?

As baby boomers are retiring and leaving the industry, hiring millennials in construction will become a priority. This makes it essential for business owners to get to know the younger millennial generation. Understanding millennials – how they work, what they want, how they interact – will help construction business owners both attract and retain top talent.

What’s important to know about millennials?

Many people assume millennials are fresh out of college, but the truth is, many of them have been out in the workforce for a while with the oldest of the generation entering the professional world in the late 1990s. Given this common misconception, employers tend to make assumptions about millennials given their younger age. And although not all assumptions are true, there are a few commonalities between millennial professionals.

  • They are comfortable with and prefer using technology. The millennial generation has grown up with the ever-changing advances in technology and more than likely had access to computers and internet at home or school. Using new technology comes naturally to them and oftentimes, they prefer to use technology over traditional processes. This is why it’s so important to implement construction tech such as Buildertrend.
  • They are expert collaborators. Millennials know how to work as a team in order to get things done. In this generation, working on group projects for school was the norm, which makes them ideal candidates for a career in construction. They’re great at communicating and working with a team to complete projects.
  • They look for a sense of purpose in their employer. Millennials take a special interest in wanting to create change or make a positive impact through the work they do. This means they will seek out companies with a strong mission and values when making career moves.

What do millennials want from their employers?

The millennial generation knows what they want and expect more from their employers. Here are some of the top elements they look for:

  • Career advancement: In order to keep millennials engaged, it’s important to keep work interesting and provide learning and skill development opportunities. Putting together a framework and providing regular feedback will help them grow.
  • Healthcare: In any industry, providing employee healthcare is becoming obligatory, and it’s a benefit that is most commonly expected by millennials when searching for job.
  • Flexibility: Yes, offering perks is great, but the millennial generation looks for opportunities that will allow them to contribute and make an impact while maintaining a work-life balance.
  • Opportunities to give back: Millennials want a sense of purpose in their career and often look for companies that prioritize and value giving back to their communities.

How to retain millennials for your construction business

As labor and skilled trades shortages in the construction industry are continuing to grow, it’s crucial to have more millennials in construction. In order to increase employee engagement and retention in the industry, it may be necessary to make changes to your company culture and management strategies.

There are three key factors to remember when looking to retain millennials in construction:

  • Focus on progress not time. Millennials tend to prefer flexibility when it comes to their work schedule. They are more concerned about their output and project outcomes than the amount of time spent on the job.
  • Avoid micromanaging. The millennial generation likes to be given the opportunity to work independently with the trust and confidence they receive from their managers to get the job done.
  • Provide opportunities for growth. By offering millennials skill-building opportunities and paths for career advancement, they are more likely to remain engaged. They will stay loyal to your business and will be less likely to look for positions outside the company.

Let Buildertrend help you attract and retain millennial employees

The millennial generation is savvy when it comes to technology. They grew up with it, and they generally have a good idea of how to use it. Managing your construction business with tech such as Buildertrend will not only give you an edge above your competition, but will make you more appealing to the younger generation seeking a career in construction.

If you’re looking for better systems that will help to attract and retain top talent for your construction business, schedule a demo today.


About the Author

Chelsea Cole
Chelsea Cole

Chelsea Cole is a technical copywriter at Buildertrend

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