Contracting industry trends companies must embrace to meet the emerging challenges of the future?

Contracting Industry Trends

3 Contracting Industry Trends Your Business Needs To Embrace

1. Qualified workers are in short supply

Contracting industry trends show a consistent rise over the past several years and is expected to continue to grow in 2017. Despite this growth, 70% of contractors say that they are having a difficult time finding qualified workers or professionals to fill these growing positions.

Not to mention, the average age of currently employed contractors is over 40 years old.

Experts believe the gap between number of available jobs and skilled employees will continue to increase in 2017 and beyond.

Many companies have attempted to innovate out of this problem by increasing pay, benefits and training opportunities, but I believe technological innovation may be more effective.

To attract new talent is to attract younger talent.

Millennials have been bombarded for decades with messages about pursuing careers in technology. “Technology is the future” after all. The contracting world may not be known for it’s cutting edge technology, but that needs to change. Consider how Augmented Reality (AR) is being used in this video:

Incorporating cutting edge tech may be a big investment for smaller companies up front. But contractors can amortize that investment over time while generating a solid return on investment (ROI) from some of the more mundane labor it might remove (allowing your professionals to focus on the work that really matters).

As an added bonus, you can offer employment opportunities that attract a younger audience by giving them the chance to learn and master cutting edge tech while on the job.

If you need a case study to prove that what I’m suggesting works, simply take a look at the military. I personally had skilled tech professionals helping me identify enemies with cutting edge tech, thus allowing me to focus on safely commanding my troops through the various battles we encountered.

2. With a Younger Workforce Comes Generational Challenges

Another contracting industry trend that may arise in 2017 is the conflict between generations. More and more millennials are entering the job force who have very different work ethics and sets of skills than different generations in the field. This difference of opinion may cause conflicts to arise, in particular between veteran employees and new employees.

The keys here are winning hiring processes and constant professional development. Leaders in every industry have to commit themselves and their workforce to constant learning.

Carving out even a small amount of time each month for your managers to learn how to communicate in a cognitively diverse environment can pay off great dividends (again, something the military does very well).

Managers who have regular conversations with their employees about mutual goals and expectations can set up their teams for success and avoid future conflicts.

3. Environmental sustainability

The contracting industry (specifically construction) produces 25-40% of the world’s carbon emissions.

As our national and global focus becomes more fixated on addressing “greeen” issues contractors will have to make changes to avoid negative attitudes from the public.

This is not any easy feat for the construction industry and will take many years to accomplish. Making significant changes in carbon emissions requires an entirely new project management approach focused on reducing energy emissions and water consumption. Taking care of the environment is a social obligation that the construction industry holds and must make steps to maintain.