How did we get here and where do we go now?
Year after year, the labor shortage ranks as one of the top issues in the roofing industry. It seems that finding qualified workers continues to be a concern for nearly every roofing company. So, how do we turn this cycle around? First, let’s look at where it all started, more than a decade ago.
The start of labor shortage can be traced back to The Great Recession. When this hard economic time hit, the construction industry felt the pain. In this time, the construction industry as a whole eliminated over 2 million jobs. This accounted for 40 percent of the work force – 40 percent! That is a hard blow to an industry, but the worst part was that once the economy began to recover and jobs became available again, many of those workers never returned. This brings us to the issue we are still seeing today; more job openings than we have workers.
Looking at the current workforce, it paints a tough future for the roofing industry. Look at the large number of professionals reaching the age of retirement. There is currently not enough new talent joining the force to off-set the mass number of retirements that we will see in the next 10 years. It is important that we begin to attract new professionals and while we still have our skilled and experience contractors to educate them. But, we are running into another issue – Millennials are not showing interest in the roofing industry.
It is projected that Millennials will account for nearly half of the global workforce by 2020. One of the problems that will affect the industry is they do not have any experience or knowledge of construction or roofing jobs. In addition, many other career opportunities offering benefits such as flexible schedules and appealing cultures are more attractive to them. We are seeing that many companies within our field are having a hard time adapting to the Millennial mindset and relating to and managing their younger employees.
So, what can we do to reverse the shortage and address the ever-changing generational challenges we are seeing? Continue reading the full article to learn how we can find a solution by increasing the number of skilled workers, eliminating wasted time on the job site and more.