Why IT Professionals May Become the Most In-Demand Professionals in the Construction Industry

The digital revolution has transformed the way businesses operate in almost every sector around the world. However, the construction industry has been one of the last to buy into it truly. Techniques that have served well for multiple generations have remained in place, and despite Gartner predicting a 6.2% worldwide increase on IT spending, construction’s adoption hasn’t been quite as quick.

In recent years, however, it’s been evident that this is slowly beginning to change. Those in charge are beginning to see the benefits of streamlined and improved work processes, which has seen the size of IT staff gradually rise. Any savvy company wants a more accurate and cost-efficient output, so with innovations that are impacting the sector positively, it’s easy to see why adoption is on the rise.

The use of ERP software within the sector is definitely becoming more commonplace. There are many different solutions available, which will help from the initial estimation phase all the way through to ensuring every element of the construction process is as efficient as possible. There’s no wonder its use is increasing.

Of course, the rise in this also means a shift in focus for construction recruitment. One report revealed that 48.5% of construction companies now have a dedicated IT department, with 40% of them reporting a rise in the size of their IT staff in 2018. Finding skilled workers to fill the positions opening will be one of the next great challenges to face the industry. It’s not just on-site that you’ll be employing these people; they’ll help with your recruitment and training programs, as well as accounting and forecasting.

This will bring with it fresh challenges for your HR team. You’ll be hiring for positions and skillsets that you may be unfamiliar with, meaning that you may need to consider a specialist recruiter. As you may need to go through an implementation period, they will also be able to supply you with short-term hires that could be more cost-effective over a longer period of time.

Going down this path will also mean you have a leaner team going forward, at a time when IT recruitment can be challenging without a full knowledge of the landscape. There is a critical lack of qualified tech professionals, and as more and more industries accept the digital revolution, this will contribute further to the anticipated global shortage of workers predicted by Frost & Sullivan.

If you are going it alone, there are many ways to attract the best talent to your organization. Much of it is about being smart, rather than simply throwing money at the solution. For starters, STEM workers will often be influenced by the benefits package on offer when considering a new role. Most will want to work at least one day a week from home, so offering flexible working is almost essential if you want to be an attractive option.

One of the criticisms levelled at the tech industry is an underrepresentation in diversity, particularly in gender. If you’re able to demonstrate yourself as an employer who encourages employees from a broader background, then you will have a bigger pool of talent to choose from than your competitors. This will also, unsurprisingly, help improve your retention rates, as the modern jobseeker is more socially aware and wants to work for a more ‘switched on’ employer.

It’s still not too late to make a start on your pathway towards digital revolution. With 38% of construction companies admitting that they are not experimenting with emerging technology, there’s still time to get a jump on those who aren’t and beat the rush for the best professionals on the marketplace. From looking to the untapped talent pools to doing your research as to what will influence their decision-making when it comes to choosing a new role, it pays to be smart. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the technology, the hiring process is still the same. Just because you don’t know the technology, doesn’t mean the people using it are any different.

Zoe Morris

Zoe Morris

Zoe Morris is President of niche IT recruitment firm Washington Frank and has nearly 20 years of experience in the recruitment industry. She is a leading figure behind identifying the company’s hiring initiatives.

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