The Why and How of
Attracting Tech-Savvy Construction Talent Now
March 10, 2022
In recent years, the promise of time- and cost-saving efficiencies has been the driving force behind the digitalization of traditionally manual processes in construction, helping to meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive market while also attracting new tech-savvy construction talent.
But beyond simply being more attractive, there is another distinct advantage to having a digitalized project management environment there when this new talent arrives.
Because they are native tech users to begin with, not only will they fill needed roles but will be able to come in and easily embrace your technology, helping to evolve it — and your business — farther and faster. So, how do you get started?
By showcasing your own commitment to digitalization within your construction business. Since it makes sense to meet today’s construction talent where they are, here are some key areas you’ll want to explore as you chart your path to success. What follows are some construction software capabilities that play well to tech-oriented experiences and familiarity.
Digitalized timesheets speak to construction talent now
For the Millennial and Gen Z generations, technology is second nature, a part of everyday life. To them, reverting to manual processes or anything paper-based is inefficient, let alone unfamiliar. In reality, digitalized timesheets are far more efficient and accurate, especially when accessed and updated from the field — through an app on their smartphones or an on-site mobile device. Taken a step further, if your timesheet software connects with functions like accounting and scheduling, it’s a sign to this generation you’re taking advantage of the workflow and data-sharing efficiencies to be gained through systems integration.
The freedom of mobility for today’s construction talent
It’s remarkable how connected new workforces are to technology, whether through their smartphones or tablets. Far from being merely a convenience, mobile-friendly technology enables them to do more in less time and with less effort. So how mobile-friendly is your technology? Think of the software you currently use for your projects. You may have scheduling, commissioning, or document management. Ideally, they have a mobile component. Why? Because it helps keep things moving out on the jobsite where most of the action is, and where much of your project’s data is generated and captured. So, to attract your future workforce to the construction site, show that you embrace mobile technology. They’ll feel more confident and relevant when they can use their innate tech skills to help capture the data that will be used to track project progress and performance. Remember, today’s construction talent sees the mobile devices they use as just as much a valuable construction tool as power drills and jackhammers.
Elimination of paper-based daily logs
Want to further win over the incoming workforce? Eliminate paper. The Gen Zers, even more so than the Millennials, are environmentally conscious. They prefer to work for companies that are actively part of the solution to excessive paper waste, not contributing to the landfills. It might be a challenge for some construction companies to make an immediate leap to near-100% virtual documentation. But one place to start is with the daily logs, or daily reports. They require collecting job details that will serve as an ongoing log not just for the current project but as reference for future ones. With capital projects lasting as long as several years, that documentation can really add up. Not to mention, it’s quite labor-intensive. What kind of solutions will appeal to the tech-oriented? Apps with daily log capability. They efficiently and quickly allow you to record and store photos, videos, screenshots, notes — anything and everything that documents each day’s activities that can be used to better manage the project. It’s a solution that not only reduces impact on the environment but introduces time and effort efficiencies the younger generations have come to expect of technology.
More accurately tracked quantity claiming for today’s construction talent
It’s hard to know what your actual project productivity is on the jobsite if it isn’t accurately quantified and tracked against established benchmarks. This is what quantity claiming is meant to do. Traditionally, spreadsheet printouts have been used by the front line to claim quantities of work performed. Aside from the inherent risks of dealing with manually updating hard copy spreadsheets, translating completed work into more easily trackable performance metrics could be cumbersome.
This is another opportunity for construction companies to set themselves apart from those who continue to rely on these traditional processes. Leveraging technology here is not only a way to be more productive, but to track just how productive the work is in relation to the benchmarks. Using software that can execute claiming schemes on a mobile device — with quantifying options to choose from — introduces more accurate, real-time insight into project performance. It’s another way to further differentiate your company in the eyes of the tech-savvy construction talent you want to attract.
Communication channels between the back office and the field
For most if not all of their lives, the Millennial and Gen Z generations have been using technology to stay connected and communicate. They’re native to seeking out and sharing information using mobile devices in particular. The more advanced construction software platforms provide an open channel for real-time interaction between the field and the back office — something the young tech-savvy would expect and even respect.
And when it comes to construction projects, access to project team members is as important as access to project data, ranging from drawings and daily logs to schedules and performance metrics. Using software that houses all that data within a single, cloud-based repository paves the way for real-time collaboration and decision making among project teams who can simultaneously reference the same data. And it may even help close the gap between the younger workers’ tech skills and the veteran workers’ real-world experience.
Overcoming the “old-school” perception of our industry by incorporating more construction software technology will help you meet and take full advantage of the tech demands of the new wave of construction professionals. Exploring your options? InEight construction project/business management digitalizes once manual on-site and off-site tasks, helping you attract today’s best and brightest construction talent. A demo can show you how.