2017 was full of industry headlines touting the worker shortage, cities citing building booms, technology advancements and innovations that only a few years ago would seem the stuff of sci-fi movies (think exoskeletons). But, looking past the news cycle, how did the average construction worker fare?
Despite the worker shortage and innovative buildings and campus opening, wages for construction workers have begun to level off. According to research conducted by PAS, while they are expected to see an increase of 3.4%, it is still a sliver shy of the 3.6% seen in 2016.
However, this modest increase was not spread equally among all positions. For example positions such as superintendents, project engineers, project managers and specialized positions saw notable increases while other positions (such as clerical, admin, support) remained stagnant and saw little movement in compensation.
In addition, increases amongst the groups that saw higher raises were not equal across the board, with specialized positions (risk managers, safety directors) receiving a larger slice of pie than superintendents and senior managers.
What does this mean for 2018? As construction wages continue to level off and possibly languish, companies will still face the issue of filling positions during a worker shortage and combating the aging workforce that is looking towards retirement.
Constructions firms will need to get creative to meet these challenges and take steps to attract the right skilled talent by offering a total reward package. To be competitive, project management companies in construction industry will need to implement a well thought-out compensation plan to attract, retain and motivate key talent. These days, job seekers are looking past just monetary compensation and are looking for a complete package that offers:
- Total compensation
- Work-life balance
- Flexible working schedule
- Training, career and personal growth opportunities
Not surprisingly, look for millennials to exert influence and drive these changes. Their push for flextime and cross training, along with better work-life balance, will likely continue to ripple through out the industry.