With labor a constant concern throughout the construction industry, experts say investing in the right people is more crucial now then ever. Whether or not there is a recession, indicators point to the continued challenge of insufficient skilled workers for the jobs at hand. Ever greater attention to people, along with leveraging technology will drive smart construction companies forward.
First Things First?
Although economists remain murky as to the potential for a slowdown (aka recession), the construction industry’s need for workers is quite clear. For example, the latest analysis by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Opening and Labor Turnover data found that on a year-over-year basis, construction industry employment has increased by 311,000 jobs, or 4.2%. As Erica Floyd, Editor-In Chief of Equipment Today sums up: “Investing in the right people for the job, along with the technologies to make said jobs smoother, are paramount priorities for the construction industry going into the third quarter of 2022.”
What exactly can construction companies do to better invest in people? GB Financial Services has observed that companies are experiencing success with these tactics:
- Offering finder fees to employees as well as using outside sources to find help. Pay a decent fee—50% upfront once a hire takes place and the remaining 50% at the close of your 2022 season….
- Using technology like Team Engine, ClearCompany, Crew, or Beekeper, which are automation softwares geared toward finding and vetting blue collar personnel….
- Paying a premium to get people. If your market is paying $30 hr for laborers, you pay $35 or $37 hr….It will give you the ability to choose who you want….
- Offering a “Gold” health plan with minimum employee contribution required. Unbelievably, employees will stay to keep that coverage….
- Instituting a “Pay on Demand” program…where employees can generate a paycheck for time earned, typically requesting 50-100% of their workday’s hourly wages after clocking out. Ask your payroll service about this program.
The costs involved in implementing these tactics may sound painful to your bottom line, but remember, chances are good that your competitors are already using these approaches—and attracting the people you need. Experts suggest: “Contractors must manage the rising hourly wage required to retain employees and balance steeply rising costs of living due to inflation. Any billing that contractors do should cover these additional labor burden costs—if you do raise your prices, you will add to your contribution margins and cover the fixed labor costs.”
It’s a time honored truth that thriving businesses have great people—and partners. Having a handle on your financials every day contributes to a competitive edge too. That’s what Colonial Surety gives you with The Partnership Account for Contractors®. Via this free service, we will help you plot the growth of your business, strategically, one step at a time. The Partnership Account arms you with a private digital dashboard, providing you with a day to day snapshot of your single and aggregate limits, as well as your current and available bond capacity. As your work in progress decreases, you can even update your work on hand—increasing your aggregate so you can go ahead and move that next bid ahead. Take control of your finances—and get an edge issuing your own bid bonds, instantly, using our powers of attorney. Get started today: Pre-Qualify and Get Free Scores Here.
Are You The Little Engine That Could?
Larger cities have historically garnered the lion’s share of federal infrastructure dollars—but this time around, the Local Infrastructure Hub has been established to help small and medium-sized cities get their fair share of the billions of dollars in competitive grants being awarded via the bipartisan infrastructure law. Construction Dive reports that a series of 30 or more “boot camps” will provide step by step online training over the next two years to help smaller cities complete competitive applications and win federal infrastructure funds for their regions. Learn more here.
To better understand how your state is gearing up for infrastructure projects, find out how your governor’s office is managing IIJA projects— most states have appointed coordinators to oversee implementation. According to McKinsey, over 85% of IIJA funding “will go to state and local agencies via project grants”—which means that state infrastructure coordinators are really wearing the hat of “impact officer in chief.” Whether you have the capacity to pursue new contracts now or are working your way to up, it’s always helpful to keep an eye on what’s out there so you can position your business strategically. Equipment World reminds general contractors to register in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov), enabling you to search and ultimately apply for federal contracting opportunities. Subcontractor? Experts suggest “Seek out certified general contractors with consistent government workflow and offer to partner.”
Remember, Colonial Surety is here to help too. With us as your partner, you just might find that you are more prepared to compete for new bids then you think. With The Partnership Account® you will use our powers of attorney to issue your own bid bond—and you can do so right up to the deadline, incorporating last minute labor costs, price fluctuations and supply substitutions. With Colonial behind you, you’re also armed with a complete, powerful online surety management system. In addition to issuing your own bid bonds, you can expediently order performance and payment bonds, run management reports, check your current and aggregate limits, view your underwriting profile—and more. Come on: let’s get you growing today.
Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a leading direct seller and writer of surety bonds and insurance products across the USA. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company and U.S. Treasury listed.