What today’s skilled trades really want

There was a time not long ago when a construction worker would gladly meet a hiring manager in the yard (at the crack of dawn!), do some performative work, answer a few questions, maybe take a paper-based skills assessment and then eagerly await a phone call to learn if they’d got the job.

This of course was back when labor was aplenty and construction companies were in the driving seat. Now, with record-high labor shortages and unprecedented amounts of information in the form of insider reviews and ratings, skilled workers possess unparalleled negotiating power at the hiring table. And, construction companies are feeling the pain— with 80% of them reporting skilled labor shortages as their number one business challenge 6 years in a row.

And while much has been written about the cause and effect of the industry’s labor shortage and many longer-term solutions are underway to attract, train and upskill new talent pipelines, very little progress has been made to improve the industry’s current recruitment processes and technology stack so that construction companies can start winning at recruiting skilled workers today.

And so Skillit spent 2021 surveying and interviewing hundreds of construction hiring managers and thousands of skilled workers. We learned what construction workers in 2022 really need in order to be hired, what they value in an employer, the skills they’d like to acquire, why they stay or leave their employer and what hiring managers can do to optimize their recruitment funnel for them at every stage.

One of the biggest trends we encountered was that the growing majority of skilled construction workers today expect a smooth, fast and convenient recruitment experience and are increasingly consuming work as they do with their Netflix or Amazon Prime account - treating their job like a subscription they can start and stop at any time; always scrolling for a better deal and expecting to leave and return at the push of a button.

We also discovered that:

  • 88% of skilled construction workers are seeking full-time W2 employment

  • 74% of construction companies say workers are easily able to attend their interviews while 55% of workers disagree

  • Digital technology is the #1 skill construction workers would like to acquire in 2022


Skillit vs. Traditional Construction Staffing