Can PR help you recruit a more diverse construction team?

It’s no secret, and in fact it’s almost a tired notion, that the persisting skilled trade labor shortage has turned from an ongoing challenge into almost the norm in the industry. From plumbing and HVAC service providers to full scale commercial construction contractors, the blue-collar recruiting pool remains shallow and intensely competitive. As an agency specializing in construction public relations, we know the plight all too well.Diverse construction team works on project

A major contributing factor to the shortage is the lack of women and minority members applying for positions in the skilled trades.

An article by Building Industry Association of Central South Carolina on Groundbreak Carolinas reported:

According to labor force statistics from the Current Population Survey and analyzed by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the share of women in the construction industry is currently at 9.86 percent, although women make up almost half—47 percent—of the total working population.

This illustrates an immediate and massive opportunity to increase the talent pool. Likewise, the construction industry needs to begin the process of intentionally teaching minority students about the promising opportunities in the skilled trades early on in their educational careers. Pete Strange, chairman emeritus at Messer Construction, stated in ENR:

If we are recruiting talent from vocational education schools and universities that are not graduating the demographics of their communities, we have no hope for change in our companies. Recruiting at traditionally Black colleges is a start, but investing in scholarships for minorities and women and supporting those students with paid internships will be evidence of our changed expectations. More effort will be needed in engaging students and their families as informed consumers of education. Waiting until the junior and senior year career day to inform students of the path to success gives them neither the time nor the incentive to go back and take courses that they missed. The next step is to teach the teachers.

Can PR help?

At Ripley PR, we want to see both the skilled trade labor pool deepen and become more inclusive, more diverse. If your construction company wants to reach more diverse demographics while attracting top talent, here are some ways that partnering with the right public relations team can help.

  • Press Releases and Media Outreach – A construction public relations agency with an experienced media relations team can issue timely press releases announcing your recruiting efforts and secure key media placement in outlets read by potential job seekers.
  • Hiring Events and Recruiting Campaigns – Strategy is critical, and you shouldn’t plan your events alone. Partner with a seasoned team to coordinate impactful events and campaigns that will establish your company as a sought-after place of employment.
  • Dynamic Social Media Ads and Consistent, Educational Content – Choosing an agency with an in-house content team will ensure that even your blog and social channels have consistent messaging. From hyper-targeted social media ads to eye-opening blogs about opportunities in the trades, a content team can keep career opportunities with your company top of mind for job seekers.

To learn more about how we can help your construction company with recruitment efforts, contact us at Ripley PR today by calling (865) 977-1973.

Grayson Shockley

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