Let’s talk about labor and hiring challenges for a minute. It will be a topic that we will talk about in depth at Constructech Technology Day, but a new report points to an interesting trend that is important to keep an eye on.

We have been discussing the labor shortage here for years and recognize that in construction there are nearly 90% of contractors that are reporting a skilled labor shortage. Too often, people point to the same solutions: reaching kids younger, using technology to fill in the gaps, and even greater government policy to help the matter. Quite frankly, I am concerned it isn’t going to be enough to fill in the gaps when the boomers retire in few years.

Now, we need to consider another factor. We know there is a labor shortage among skilled construction trades, but what if the industry will also face a shortage among its tech staff as well? We need to be looking across the board at where the shortages are—at the jobsite and even in the IT department.

Here is what the new report from Robert Half Technology suggests: security and cloud skills are in high demand. In fact, 67% of hiring managers plan to expand their IT teams, yet 89% say it’s challenging to find skilled professionals. Construction is listed as one of the key industries planning to expand IT teams by adding new positions through the end of the year.

In general, respondents are looking for the following skills immediately: cybersecurity, cloud security, cloud computing, cloud architecture, business intelligence and reporting services, database management, and virtualization and ERP (enterprise-resource planning) implementation.

These numbers across the board are simply too high. Even if construction depends on technology to help fill in the skilled labor shortage at the construction jobsite, it is going to need skilled labor in the IT department to help manage all the emerging tech.

What are your thoughts? Do you see a skilled labor shortage across the board—from the jobsite through to the IT department? Or are you finding it is easier to fill some areas rather than others?

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Laura Black
Laura Blackeditor