Many industries around the country are experiencing labor shortages, making it difficult to keep up with customer demand. As a business owner, you may find labor shortages one of your biggest struggles. This guide covers a few Tennessee-specific labor shortage statistics. We’ll also review a few strategies you might consider to ensure sufficient staffing for your construction or laborer business.
Tennessee Labor Shortages Statistics
Tennessee, like much of the country, has experienced its fair share of labor shortages. Some industries most impacted by labor shortages include pilots, air traffic controllers, mechanics, and manufacturer workers. The construction industry, which Tennessee relies on to keep up with increasing resident and tourist demand, is also experiencing one of its biggest historical shortages.
Experts claim that the construction labor shortage has reached half a million workers. The state of Tennessee alone has an annual increase of 4.5% in demand for construction workers each year, meaning it will likely only become even more difficult to fill positions.
Top Strategies for Filling Construction Labor Shortages in Tennessee
Here are a few top strategies that Tennessee business owners can implement to fill labor shortages in the construction industry:
Reward Your Employees
Today’s workers value much more than payment. They care about the total compensation package as much as their hourly or salary rate. Offering bonuses or project incentives that allow employees to increase their earnings based on their loyalty and work ethic can be an excellent way to satisfy them. Frequently review the compensation package to ensure it’s appealing enough to reach a wide range of employees. Focus on the must-haves, which include health insurance, retirement benefits, and disability coverage. Some employers may throw in a few extra perks, like gym membership, paid parental leave, or more paid vacation days.
Of course, today’s workforce also values work-life balance. In addition to encouraging employees to take requested time off from work, it can also be helpful to ensure all team members use all of their allocated vacation days. If you’re unsure what your employees want, just ask. In many cases, the best way to learn what employees want is to ask them for feedback, and this simple conversation can significantly reduce low retention rates.
Help Interested Workers Complete Licensure Requirements
Sometimes, expanding the available pool of workers is the best way to fill labor shortages in an industry. Working as a contractor in Tennessee requires workers to complete all the state’s educational and testing requirements. Assisting aspiring contractors to achieve their Tennessee contractors license with the promise of a job after successful completion can be an excellent way to fill your team.
Tennessee also requires its contractors to complete ongoing education. Giving your team members ample time to study and submit required paperwork ensures they can continue working for you. Setting up informational programs or providing your workers with the resources they need to learn about new trades or ongoing education can also help you strengthen your existing team of workers.
Revamp Your Hiring Process
A slow or inconvenient hiring process can make it difficult to attract and maintain quality team members. Go through your hiring process as if you were looking for a job, and identify any areas of improvement. Request all team members complete an entrance and exit interview so you can compare the two and look for any common themes. Use this information to revamp and improve your recruiting and hiring process.
Make Safety a Priority
Most workers accept some degree of risk when pursuing a career in construction. Yet, this doesn’t mean you should ignore all safety risks on the job site. Workers who feel safe and secure in their positions are less likely to seek alternative employment. Make safety a priority by conducting routine inspections and following all OSHA guidelines. Require all employees who operate heavy machinery to have the proper training and certifications. Promote a clean job site with ongoing maintenance and cleaning tasks.
Choosing managers or team leads with these same safety priorities is also important to maintaining a good culture. You can’t be on the job site every hour of every day, and choosing the right management staff ensures safe and satisfied workers.
Most industries in the country are experiencing labor shortages, with construction reaching an urgent demand for over half a million workers. Tennessee construction business owners may have to get creative to fill these positions, including reworking the compensation package and prioritizing safety. Assisting aspiring workers in achieving licensure can also be an effective strategy.