Construction can be an exciting, innovative field to work in, but it doesn’t always seem that way from the outside. Even though this ever-growing industry provides valuable training and job opportunities for new members of the workforce, many general contractors have trouble recruiting the youngest generation.
Young people often assume the construction business, one of the oldest industries in the world, is old-fashioned. While a company may use all the latest construction equipment and building materials, if they haven’t implemented modern technology for internal processes, they’re considered outdated. In today’s competitive job market, most qualified applicants—who likely embrace and depend on technology in their personal lives—would rather join a forward-thinking workplace.
Investing in the right construction technology is an easy fix to help recruit young workers. However, with so many applications, programs, and hardware options available that claim to streamline every aspect of your business, how can a manager choose? Think about how young people most consistently use technology: to find, record, and share information. Keeping this in mind will guide you to the solutions that will help attract and retain younger workers.
No more pen and paper reporting
Today’s newest workers have spent their entire lives using personal devices, including laptops and smartphones, that make capturing data and sharing information with others easy. They typically want to work for a company that utilizes the same tools they know firsthand will save time and effort.
If your field team is still completing essential daily reporting and other documentation tasks using pen and paper, this is a significant deterrent for many young applicants. They expect modern companies to use modern equipment to capture data, because it is faster, more accurate, and more detailed.
Digital daily reporting solutions like this innovative app from industry-leader Raken allow your field team to complete daily reports quickly and easily. Not only can they collect high quality data using their preferred mobile devices, they can also attach pictures and video and automatically publish that information to clear, professional reports.
With digital tools, there is less room for error because reporting can be better standardized and there is a reduced need for manual data entry. Project visibility improves, leading to better insights.
Implementing a digital daily reporting system will show younger workers your business respects their time and is wise enough to invest in a solution that allows them to focus work hours on project-related tasks. Younger employees will also enjoy using a device they are familiar with on the job, and may collect even better data because they are more comfortable with a smartphone than pen and paper.
All about communication
Technology has vastly improved communication for the entire world, and the construction industry should be no exception. Younger people use devices to easily share text, photos, and videos with friends and family. They don’t want to join a company and find that suddenly this kind of communication becomes difficult.
Sharing detailed information between field and office is essential to the success of each construction project. Make sure your company provides a way for your teams to easily and effectively communicate. If you’re considering implementing a digital daily reporting system, you should also think about how the better, more accurate information you’ll be collecting will be distributed.
Software that utilizes cloud storage or has integration capabilities with your other current systems can make sharing data seamless. Younger workers will appreciate a break from sharing information via constant phone calls or emails, which are no longer ways they typically prefer to stay connected.
A digital daily reporting system that offers cloud storage allows for real-time insights. With cloud storage, report data is recorded and uploaded directly to the cloud, where it can be shared instantly. There is no need for the field team to type out or attach documentation to lengthy emails or text messages.
Some tools provide their own cloud storage capabilities, or they will integrate with your current storage systems.
In addition to cloud storage, some daily reporting technology will also integrate with your preferred software for project management and accounting. This means that information like progress reports or time card data is shared automatically between programs, and the need for manual entry—and the higher margin for error that comes with it—is reduced.
Training on their own time
Offering digital training opportunities is also a great way to retain younger workers, who are invested in their professional skills but may be reluctant to take time off of the job for in-person courses, especially if they involve travel.
If training can be completed online, provide that option. Younger workers are used to learning in a digital format and will appreciate the convenience.
One of the best aspects of modern technology is that sometimes a single solution can solve multiple problems.
For example, Raken offers digital reporting, production tracking, time tracking, and more all within the same application. Raken also utilizes cloud storage and includes integration capabilities with the most popular software for accounting and project management.
Your construction company doesn’t need to be extremely high tech to attract younger workers, but choosing solutions that streamline the workday goes a long way. Implementing a tool like Raken, which can consolidate and simplify several important processes, will demonstrate your company is aware of best practices and making an effort to use technology wisely.