In the midst of a national labor shortage heavily affecting the building industry, many companies are struggling to hire and retain talent, particularly with major competitors like Amazon and UPS aggressively recruiting new workers. Also, company CEOs pushing for a return to in-person employment could risk losing their younger team members who enjoy the flexibility of remote work.
According to John Burns Real Estate Consulting, the unemployment rate has reached 2.4% for college graduates and 5.4% for high school graduates while the number of retirees in the last two years exceeded expert forecasts.
At our annual client conference last week, several of the most successful CEOs shared what they are doing.
- Pay increases: A manufacturer competing with Amazon for talent gave 20% raises this year, and expects to do the same next year. At the roundtable discussions at our conference, stories abounded of huge raises being offered to lure away land acquisition experts, construction superintendents, and almost every skilled position. These stories also coincided with record-level profitability for almost everyone, which means they can afford to give the raises today. They are just afraid that the good times won’t continue.
- Cultural enhancements: A home builder CEO rattled off (from memory) a litany of amazing initiatives his firm had implemented over the last 2 years that clearly is part of the reason they have vaulted into the top 100 lists of best large companies to work for in America, best companies for women, and best companies for millennials. This company also has one of the highest margins in the industry, and I believe their turnover is quite low.