Anthony Pokrentowski tax manager at Dannible & McKee, LLP

Attracting and Retaining Talent in the Construction Industry


One of the most difficult issues in the construction industry is meeting the demand for labor. In 2022, the industry averaged more than 390,000 job openings per month, the highest level on record according to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) association. For 2023, ABC predicts that the industry will need to attract an estimated 546,000 additional workers, on top of the normal pace of hiring, to meet the demand for labor. So how can your company attract top talent in the field while also retaining your key employees?

Provide a Competitive Advantage Through Benefits

An exceptional benefits program can be a competitive advantage for attracting and retaining top talent. However, it is not going to be the same for every organization. It should be developed to meet the organization’s current and potential talent expectations. An effective plan should be designed based on the organization’s objectives, philosophy and budget, as well as demographics and standard of living expectations. Additionally, a company should consider the benefits offered by competitors. A benefits program that is preferable to competitors’ programs will provide an advantage to attract and retain talent. Some potential benefits include, but are not limited to, medical and dental coverage, life insurance, retirement plans, a 401 (k) company match or profit sharing and paid time off.

Invest in Training

Training can be twofold in the construction industry. First, it ensures and promotes a safe workplace for employees. Properly putting employees through training shows that you are committed to their health and well-being in the workplace, while also reducing your own risk and protecting your assets. Second, offering company-paid training for new job skills will show your employees that you take a serious interest in their personal development and growth in the company. These can be provided internally or through your local ABC, builders exchange or other local construction associations. This will help make your employees feel more like part of the company, rather than a number, and gives them an additional reason to join or stay with the company.

Leverage Technology

Any opportunity that presents itself to streamline operations or simplify day-to-day tasks for employees using technology should be capitalized on. The workforce is becoming younger, with potential employees searching for companies that are evolving and changing with the times. If you can market that your company is up to date on all new technology and software available to the industry, it will make the next generation of construction workers look upon your company more favorably than those that are not changing or adapting. Also, by easing the burden of current employees through upgrading your technology and software, it shows that you are making a concerted effort to improve their work life.

Highlight Career Paths

Top talent wants to know that there is room for personal growth and development throughout the company. Management should have career advancement paths in place for all employees that have ambitions to move up the company ranks. This will give employees something to work towards or strive for and alerts them to the fact that the company values their employees’ personal growth and prefers to promote from within when possible. Now is also a perfect time to have an ownership transition plan in place. With the baby boomer generation retiring and Gen Z and Millennials climbing the ranks of companies, an ownership transition plan will not only help secure the future of the company, but having the potential to join the ownership group will also serve as an additional reason for current or potential employees to stay or join.

Accept Feedback

Employees are every company’s number one asset and keeping them happy and enjoying their work should be a main goal. Hear the needs and complaints of your employees, no matter how small. If issues can be resolved, resolve them, if not, communicate why to your employees. Make sure they know they are being heard and that their thoughts and concerns are not falling on deaf ears. Showing your workers that you care about their wants and needs not only will help you retain them but also will help make them a valuable resource when it comes to recruiting. There may be no better way to attract outside talent than hearing how great it is to work for the company from someone that is already there.


Contributing author: Anthony P. Pokrentowski, CPA, is a tax manager with the firm. He specializes in construction, manufacturing and the professional service industries, as well as multi-state entities and high-net-worth individuals. For more information on this topic, you may contact or (315) 472-9127.