We’re in a boom period of Canadian construction projects, with industry growth happening every year.  Construction was one of the fastest-growing sectors in 2017, and 2018 is shaping up to be similarly strong.  That means plenty of companies are hiring for Canadian construction management positions and many opportunities for construction managers at every level of experience.

Of course, things are never quite as simple as a boom industry creating jobs.  Even in good times, there are numerous factors affecting hiring decisions.  Understanding the trends and working with them can easily make the difference between success and failure on the job market.  Whether you’re looking to hire, or looking to be hired, these are the trends we’ve noticed which should be influencing your decision-making.

Six Major Trends Affecting the Hiring of Construction Management Positions in Canada

  1. A Shortage of Workers

Canada as a whole is experiencing a labour shortage, and that certainly extends to the construction industry as a whole.  In fact, estimates are that roughly 20% of Canadian construction workers will be retiring in the next decade, so the problem is likely going to only get more pronounced

This is a dual-edged sword for those looking for jobs in the construction industry.  On one hand, it’s a seller’s market – people with highly valuable skills can demand a premium for them.  On the other hand, there’s not much for a construction manager to do if their project lacks enough workers to break ground.

  1. Competition for Labour From Other Industries

Dovetailing with #1, a construction hiring manager shouldn’t overlook the fact that they aren’t merely competing with other construction companies for labour – they’re competing with a wide range of over the same basic labour pool.  Those looking to hire may need to get creative, such as offering better benefits or emphasizing why construction would be a better long-term career than other alternatives.

  1. A Growing Need for Soft Skills, Especially in Managers

A construction manager in Canada will have a difficult time getting by based on their hard skills and on-paper experience alone.  In part because of the hiring difficulties and empowered labour pool, managers need superior soft skills to keep their projects on track.  Skills such as team management and communication are now greatly desired by construction companies, and they are also more likely to open doors for careers in upper management as well.

  1. An Emphasis on Tech Skills

If you really want to make yourself attractive to those hiring construction management positions in Canada, get as much experience with technology as possible.  There are two different trends both pushing construction to modernize itself.  First is the simple fact that tools such as drones can be extremely useful for surveying and overseeing construction projects, in a way that wasn’t possible a decade ago.  Also, this could easily be seen as a response to the labour shortage.  If there aren’t enough human workers, looking to technology to fill those roles is the next logical step.

If you have experience with computers, automation, drones, and\or robotics, you will be able to demand a premium for your services.

  1. Continued Pushes for Eco-Friendly Processes

Knowledge of “green” processes and procedures can be another major boost to a would-be manager’s career.  Construction companies are aware of the public desire for more ecologically responsible processes and may also be seeking various rewards and credits for operating in a green manner.  Those commissioning buildings are also seeking engineers who can implement green systems within their construction.

This is just more reason that managers with longer resumes should be looking to update their skill sets and be able to offer up-to-date services if they want to remain fully competitive.

  1. A rise in the use of third-party hiring services

Finally, it’s worth noting that many construction companies – frustrated by the difficulties involved in finding appropriate candidates – are increasingly turning towards third-party hiring agencies.  In many cases, the relatively small extra costs incurred from going through an outside source for employees is more than mitigated by finding better candidates and being able to find them more quickly than when going through traditional means.

Harbinger Network can be your partner in finding the best possible candidates for your job positions, or for helping you become that best possible candidate for the position you want to hold.  Whether you’re looking to work or looking to hire, contact Harbinger Network for more information on our extensive job services.