It has been a few years since I have seen the craft labor market get so tight in a Q1. But we all knew it was coming and all signs point toward the tightest labor market we have seen in a decade. The time is now to start lining up all your options and plans to make sure you will get the resources you need when you need them. Here are some things to consider.

  1. Manpower Forecast

Assuming you bid the job using P6 or another similar program, you should have a good idea about the man hours required and what kind of schedule you will run. Looking at indicators like the critical path, you should also have some sort of idea what your weekly or monthly manpower needs will look like assuming everything stays on schedule and other factors remaining the same. So now you have some great data to start considering.

2. Current Labor Market

This can sometimes be like forecasting the weather in New Orleans. One thing most people have agreed upon is that the labor market in 2019 will start out extremely tight and then only get worse – will it get worse in March, May, October, no one can be too precise, but it will be restrictive for sure. A lot of people are planning on rolling with the conditions as they come up, and this is “ok” as long as you actually made a plan to achieve this.

So now we have our MANPOWER FORECAST and our CURRENT LABOR CONDITIONS data. This is a great start.

Construction Companies Construct

This is a point that a lot of companies out there sometimes forget. The Recruiting arm of most companies (construction or not) represents somewhat of a juxtaposition of sorts. I believe that my clients are some of the best Industrial Construction companies in the world – it is truly amazing seeing these companies realize success on their projects year over year. But are they a Construction/Recruiting company? Do they devote the same amount of resources to developing their recruiting capacity and skill as they do developing their main reason for being – construction? There are some companies who actually have historically over achieved in recruiting (reasons discussed below) and then there are some that recognize that they focus entirely on the skill set that makes them money (Construction) and have a multi-tiered approach to Recruiting.

Let’s just accept that that there are a few Industrial Construction companies out there that do have highly capable recruiting departments. Over the years they have devoted a lot of resources to developing this capacity and now have momentum. Aside from some one off positions they have difficulty with, they are able to tackle each order effectively. Then there are companies who did what so many American companies did years ago, and that is farm out most areas which were not part of their core competencies and revenue generators. In short, whether it is due to rapid growth or focusing on core business, lots of companies have made the decision to either farm out this area entirely or at least add an outside component to their plan. These are the companies I am focusing on.

Adding a Capacity to Your Recruiting

Doing this is free. Yes, free. Since Construction is my clients’ primary focus, it makes sense that they partner with a good craft staffing company in order to cover all their bases and have a solid back up plan in case they find them selves in urgent need on a project – and it is free. Using a collaborative “pay as you play” approach, construction companies can easily prepare for unforeseen events and needs at no cost to themselves and have a better chance of handling any pitfalls in their staffing plan.

It gets even better. We can be put on notice of potential needs that are not realized yet so we can prepare resources to be deployed at a moments notice. There is still no cost incurred and the company has a fully executable plan in place with resources available even if it turns out they do not need them. This is a true collaborative approach to engaging a craft recruiting company and ensuring you have the best chance at success in terms of resources.

Be Prepared For The Labor Shortage

2019 is going to be a busy year in our industry. Cover all your bases and take the necessary steps to put a sound resources plan in place and don’t forget to include Dutch Resources in your plans – we align our efforts exactly with our clients and their project goals because our success only comes from our clients’ successful projects. Call or email today (404) 822-9089 or .

Darrin Vander Toorn