6 Dec

6 Notable Hiring Trends in the Canadian Construction Industry

Posted by Jamie Dargie

If you’ve been paying attention to the Canadian economy in the last little while, you know the construction industry is one of the biggest growth sectors in 2017. The industry started heating up in 2016, has maintained strong and surprising growth throughout 2017, and looks to continue growing into 2018 and beyond.

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A boom in construction has led to a boom in hiring across the industry. The construction industry is also evolving, which has made for some more notable hiring trends to emerge during the boom. Here are the trends you’ll want to keep on top of.


1. Worker Shortages

Perhaps the most notable trend in construction industry hiring today is the worker shortage. From BC to PEI, there are just not enough construction workers to go around. Employers are scrambling to fill positions across the board as more new projects break ground and get underway.

The construction industry is seeing shortages in almost every position across the board. It’s led to some fierce competition between companies and employers, who now must compete to get the top talent.


2. Tech Skills Needed

Another emerging hiring trend in the construction industry is the need for workers of all stripes to be tech-savvy. Whether you’re a carpenter or the civil engineer working on the project, you’ll need to know your way around technology.

This hiring trend comes out of recent shifts in the industry to embrace new technologies. Drone technology has become very popular on construction sites across Canada. As a result, workers should be familiar with drones, how they operate, and their capabilities and uses in construction.

Workers who have the tech skills employers are searching for will be more likely to land the job.


3. The Eco Boom

Another growing trend in the construction industry is the turn toward green technologies, processes, and materials. While much of the “greening” of the construction industry is going on behind the scenes, employers are now seeking people with green know-how to fill roles in their companies.

This is perhaps most true for engineering roles in construction. Construction companies are turning to engineers to create sustainable projects and buildings. Sustainability is being built in at every stage in the construction process. Of course, this affects the need to hire workers with experience working sustainably.


4. Increased Competition with Other Industries

Another notable trend has been the construction industry’s rivalry with other industries for skilled workers. Mining companies, for example, often have a need for skilled and experienced construction workers. The mining industry has also been booming in Canada, leading to an expanded need for workers.

The result has been even fiercer competition for construction employers looking to get the best of the best. This competition could also be contributing to the shortage of workers in construction.


5. The EPCM Boom

Many companies are turning to Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management (EPCM) firms to help them complete their projects. As the number of construction projects in Canada has grown, so too has the number of EPCM contracts.

Construction employers are in direct competition with EPCM companies to hire the best construction workers.


6. Emphasis on Soft Skills

Employers have a renewed focus on soft skills. While hard skills are still important for most roles in the construction industry, hiring managers are now emphasizing skills such as leadership, teamwork, and good communication.

Workers who exhibit soft skills will have a better chance of getting a job within the construction industry. They’ll likely have more opportunities for advancement as well.

As the construction industry continues to grow, new trends will likely emerge as well. Keep an eye on these and other emerging hiring trends to stay ahead of the curve.

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Topics: Hiring

Jamie Dargie

Jamie is the branch manager at Design Group Staffing in Oakville/London, Ontario. He has over two decades of experience in the recruitment sector, specializing in the construction, heavy industry, and engineering disciplines. His career has spanned three continents, where he’s worked with small startups and major conglomerates alike. He’s run campaigns for search & select, contract services, and payrolling solutions for blue chip clients. Jamie’s love of two wheels, whether his mountain bike or motorbike, is only surpassed by that of his wife and two young boys, who monopolize his weekends.

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