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The Key to Fixing the Workforce Shortage

01/30/2020 Blog

With the workforce retiring, young adults not joining the industry and negative perceptions persisting, we are facing a growing skills gap. Luckily, there are a growing number of resources available to help the construction industry alter perceptions, recruit professionals and fight the workforce shortage.

With an expected deficit of 1 million craft professionals by 2023, industry needs to focus on recruiting and training the next generation of craft professionals. Yet, this critical workforce shortage needs to be addressed tactfully.

To make it easier, NCCER has created resources designed to give industry the tips and tools necessary to reach out to parents and influencers and shift negative perceptions of the construction industry. The long-form, comprehensive resource guide, Build Your Outreach, features six key sections which provide insight into recruitment practices. Additionally, the shorter playbook summarizes the information into a more succinct document. Suitable for companies and marketing departments of all sizes, these resources can help anyone in their outreach efforts.

Let’s take a look at the six key sections talked about in the resource guide.

Research and Insight

We have to start by understanding the industry’s need. With a skills gap and retiring workforce, construction companies are having difficulty hiring, costs are rising, and project schedules are getting delayed. Before attempting to solve the needs of the workforce, we first need to understand them. Paired with key research from Restoring the Dignity of Work, an analysis of research findings from a survey of parents and NCCER’s experience with outreach, the research and insights section allows the reader to fully understand the issue at hand and establishes important credibility for the rest of the guide.

Influencing Factors

This section gives the reader insight into who the industry needs to target and what we know about them and their thoughts about a career in construction.

Here, we put vital research regarding what parents think about construction and what that means for recruitment efforts. Interpreting research is useful as industry reaches out to prospective craft professionals and their parents when pitching the idea of working in construction. For example, research says that 100% of parents rated job satisfaction for their child as important, demonstrating the importance of talking about how skilled craft professionals are happy with their careers when recruiting.

Additionally, this section includes crucial information about marketing to Gen Z while appealing to their interests and desires when it comes to careers, goals and aspirations.

Driving Engagement

Next, learn about how to create effective messages that will speak to your audience. With so much content on the internet and the need to be heard, the industry needs to be careful to construct meaningful messages. This section teaches industry how to craft their own messages that will garner attention and make an impact.

Gaining Traction

In 2020, every company needs a social media presence. Consider this section your crash course on how to run an effective social media account that gets attention, spreads your message and lands you recruits for your workforce.

For a detailed breakdown on the different social media platforms, best practices for running the account, creating an advertising budget and how to target your audience – read this section in our longform resource document. All of this information can help any company create an account and start using it to spread key messages about the industry.

Additionally, you can learn about advertising through Google Ads and programmatic marketing platforms as another way to reach your audience. These platforms help a company cut through the noise and display their messages outside of social media for additional attention. This can help recruit future workers or draw attention and clientele to your website or social media pages.


In any marketing or outreach effort, content is king. It is impossible to get the word out, attract people to your company or have any success in telling a story if there is no information to give out. Content can be blogs, infographics, videos, guides, testimonials and so much more. Need ideas? We’ve got you covered!

Creating content that garners attention will help define your company’s values, create a loyal following to your website or social media, and spread the message that you want to communicate.

Learn the four keys to creating good content, best practices and tips for ensuring that your message gets out.

Additional Platforms (Resource Guide)

Finally, our detailed resource guide features a bonus section – how to use additional platforms to help your success. Here, we talk about websites and email campaigns. With information about how to get the most out of your website and track essential information, this section gives you an inside look into how websites can help your company’s mission.

Lastly, learn about how emails are just as important than ever. In 2015, 89.6% of the U.S. population used email at least once a month, making it an important way to reach your audience regularly. To keep their attention, find out how to design your emails and track important metrics that will help you become more effective over time.

As an industry, it is time to engage in critical outreach efforts that will recruit craft professionals and shift negative perceptions surrounding construction. Get started at

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