While Contractors are enjoying an unprecedented period of growth, the need to hire skilled professionals for both in-office and in-the-field roles puts pressure on the current diminishing skilled labor force. In an attempt to attract prospective new hires, construction companies are turning to social media.

Before the number of skilled-labor begins to rebound, as an industry we must first acknowledge how and why we have reached this current phenomenon globally. At the turn of the century, researchers identified seven contributing factors in the shortage of skilled labor: Decrease in the use of traditional techniques; Rise in entrepreneurship; Poor image of the industry; Unfriendly/harsh working conditions; Inadequate training; Low participation of women; and Globalization.[1]

The use of online platforms and systems to recruit is not new. In fact, 44% of US employers are increasing their use of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn during the recruitment process. Notably, there have been more specialized construction-oriented platforms, like GroundUp, that provide a more holistic approach in support of both job seekers and employers.

The online hiring process consists of three steps: attracting, screening, and contacting candidates.[2] The crucial part of this process is the first step, attracting and connecting with the best candidates. The rise of social media, and the impact of tech giants like Google, has facilitated this process by allowing employers to target their ideal client, and alternatively, their ideal candidate.

How does the Construction Industry connect with and engage with prospect hires?

Social media platforms give you the opportunity to showcase your company, culture and team, as well as effectively highlight the projects you complete. In a job market that has a 3% unemployment rate and a 434,000[5] deficit in the construction workforce, having an active presence on the social media platforms where your candidate exists is a great way for them to connect with you. By highlighting what the company is like as an employer, in addition to being a service or trade, the inbound recruiting process begins. Inbound recruiting is the idea that you are always recruiting; you are always hiring.

To be successful in breaking through the noise on social media, you should maintain an authentic and consistent messaging to grow your brand and bring value to those that follow your company. Social media can, and should, be used to educate the population to help refute the negative factors that led to the diminished skilled labor workforce. This not only builds brand awareness for your customer, but also creates a recruiting opportunity.

Ways to get in front of potential candidates include: geo-tagging locations; utilizing hashtags; engaging on threads as the business; and connecting with local trade schools and union apprenticeships.

“Social media is a vital part of our recruiting efforts at Hourigan because we get our name in front of at least 35% off today’s construction workforce that consistently carries a smartphone.[6] Platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook also provide us the opportunity to share our core values through the stories of our current employees and invite potential hires to join us in our vision. I believe we will start to see more jobsite photos and videos on these platforms in 2020 in order for those outside our industry to visualize what they could do on a daily basis and how they might be more fulfilled in their work.” – Matt Daum, 27, Assistant Superintendent with Hourigan Construction in Richmond, VA.

Filling the Void

In the meantime, how do we fill the void? For those already in the workforce, finding ways to make them more efficient is really the only practical answer. “The productivity of construction companies is set to increase 20-25% for those businesses that embrace the new technologies and use them to substantially increase productivity”.[4] From automation to software, the industry is rapidly changing how people work together to get projects done. As more software is built to cater to the needs of either the office or the field, DADO has been developed to bridge the gap.

DADO is the only construction data-and-documentation tool that closes the divide of “office” and “field” by giving everyone on your team the power to instantly retrieve the most current data and documents. By simply speaking or typing into any computer, smartphone or tablet, DADO is the ultimate search engine for shop drawings, plans, specifications, submittals and more.

The Construction Industry is not known for quickly adapting to new trends, but we can begin to capitalize on the technology everyone carries with them all day in their pocket – their smartphone. Through smartphones we have the ability to engage with our communities, connect with the ideal clients to grow our businesses, influence younger generations to replenish our labor force, and utilize apps and software to work more efficiently.


1. PDF: Construction professionals’ perception of a web-based recruiting system for skilled labour
2. PDF: Winning War for Talent: An Experimental Evaluation of Online Recruitment Campaigns Using Twitter
3. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-91860-0_23
Employer Branding in the Digital Era Attracting and Retaining Millennials Using Digital Media July 11 2018
4. https://www.enr.com/articles/48464-ifs-predictions-for-engineering-construction-infrastructure
5. https://www.forbes.com/sites/columbiabusinessschool/2019/07/31/the-construction-labor-shortage-will-developers-deploy-robotics/
6. https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat11b.htm