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The landscape of the construction industry never stops changing, does it? This field demands that every company pays close attention to current trends, or gets left in the dust. At RAWSO, we believe that there will be new challenges and opportunities over the next few years in our great industry, and that for the most part, they come down to one simple thing ― attracting and retaining the best people for the long run.
In today’s construction world, a lot of companies simply can’t find enough good people. It’s a problem that’s compounded even more with added opportunities, and the growth of the construction industry on the whole. What some companies don’t understand is that you can’t just remain set in your ways, throwing your hands up and saying “we can’t hire millennials!” We’ve got tons of millennials working for us, and they’re great employees ― you just have to understand what they want, and how to get them to give you their best.
The difficult labor trend we’re seeing in construction today is not going anywhere. People want to work somewhere that makes them feel appreciated and taken care of. On the flip side, we’re also looking for passionate people who enjoy this job and like the place they work. It’s a true win-win for both sides when you can find that, but it isn’t easy! A lot of the “A” players that every company wants to hire are going to want to stay together and build teams. We think that’s an advantage for us, but it’s a disadvantage for a lot of companies that aren’t getting their act together and treating their people right.
There’s an opportunity here for forward-thinking companies. For us, developing top-notch training programs to develop our young employees is crucial. In the past, we often relied on hiring people with experience to help us build our company. Too often we flew by the seat of our pants, focusing on trying to hire guys who had the skills we needed ― whether or not they fit in with our culture was a secondary concern. Today (and going forward), we want to focus on hiring people that fit our culture, instead of encountering a situation where we need an experienced operator and simply hire whoever we can find that has the seat time.
RAWSO is in an exciting position right now, because we have an experienced leadership group that loves passing down their knowledge to the next generation. Now that we have that core group putting us in a more flexible position, we can hire people who fit in with the culture of our company. Instead of just hiring anyone with seat time, we can look more toward hiring people who fit our core values, and whatever skills they’re lacking we can teach along the way. Think of it almost like a sports team ― instead of just signing a starting lineup, we’re able to develop a bench that provides us with depth, and enables us to focus on our future success.