Attracting and Retaining Talent in the Construction Industry

April 8, 2019

Retaining and attracting talent is a high priority regardless of your industry. However, talent acquisition and benefits packages can differ in construction when compared to other industries, due to the complexity of contracts and competition between companies for top talent.

Attracting Talent for Your Business

Larger companies often have more resources to focus on talent retention, which makes it harder for smaller businesses to recruit the talent needed. In order to attract more experienced talent, it is important to evaluate your company benefits and determine if those benefits are competitive, especially compared to larger companies from which the seasoned talent is coming. While it may be difficult to stay competitive with some of the benefits offered by larger companies, there are many opportunities other than traditional benefits that attract workforce.  Some of these hiring strategies could include ownership interest in the company, larger opportunities for individual growth, work/life integration knowing there are timeframes and deadlines on construction projects, retention bonus programs, and anniversary awards. Additionally, outside of traditional benefits like medical and dental, the construction industry has favored elective benefits like accident and hospital indemnity. Not only can these benefits offset the cost of the underlying medical, they can offer employees a more robust benefit package.

Hiring the Next Generation

Oftentimes, owners of smaller construction companies will seek experienced talent from larger construction companies, finding employees who are looking for better work/life balance or proprietorship in the company. A large draw for employees going to a smaller business is more control and an ownership interest in a company. Experienced candidates are also able to excel in their position quickly; an asset to a smaller business that may have more limited onboarding resources and training programs than larger construction companies. The limited onboarding resources and benefits focused on more experienced professionals can make it challenging to fill junior roles. In order to fill junior roles, companies may need to change their approach to benefits in order to appeal to the younger generation. Influenced by the accessibility and speed of technology, millennials are looking for a more tailored approach to benefits.

The future of benefits for millennials will be geared more towards our daily consumption. Benefit options will become more tailored to personal needs, with individuals allowed more control in levels of benefits and options of care. Along with benefit changes, higher level of transparency and flexibility in both the workplace and benefits offerings may lead to an increase in attracting the millennial workforce. Another area of change for the next generation is an increase in contracting – even with the current demand for non-permanent jobs. With ACA regulations, it is rare for an employer to not provide medical insurance to full-time employees, which can be cost prohibitive given the lean margins in the construction industry. This generates a demand for 1099 contractors. While employer medical coverage is not required or even available for independent contractors, you can offer the non-traditional benefits, as mentioned above, to make positions more appealing.

While your construction business grows and you search for the right talent to fit your company’s needs, consider how to incorporate these methods of talent attraction and retention. Your construction company will continue to succeed with the right employees and the right company benefits package to keep them happy and healthy.


Richard Schneider

A Tax Partner in Cherry Bekaert’s Washington, D.C. practice, Rick has more than 30 years of experience assisting companies in the real estate and construction, hospitality, private equity, and government contracting industries. Clients in these areas seek Rick’s guidance with industry-specific tax planning and reporting matters.

As a member of the Firm’s Real Estate & Construction, and Government Contractor industry groups, Rick focuses his practice on sophisticated planning and structuring for mergers and acquisitions; REIT IPOs; real estate transaction planning; joint venture and partnership restructuring; tax planning for S corporations and their owners; multi-state reporting; and compliance. He also has significant experience working with construction and home building business and their owners.

Kyle Frigon

As a Director with Cherry Bekaert Benefits Consulting (CBBC), Kyle is responsible for developing professional relationships with companies, business owners and affluent families. To minimize exposure to legal and hazard risks and to optimize total risk transfer spend, he ensures clients have access to the appropriate CBBC resources and innovative solutions that help manage their employee benefits and risk management strategy.

Kyle has over 12 years of experience in the insurance and financial service industries. Prior to joining CBBC, Kyle managed the strategy, implementation, and employee engagement for many complex clients and largest employers in the United States. As the lead consultant and project manager, Kyle was responsible for integrating innovative solutions with clients’ healthcare strategy to maximize value of the overall benefit offering.