For any given type of work, there are only so many people qualified to perform the task. Right now, in many fields, there are more job openings than there are qualified candidates. In other words, there’s a labor shortage. This is particularly true throughout the construction industry right now. However, it is possible to leverage labor resources in a way that can benefit everyone.
How Pandemic Labor Shortages and Shifts Are Changing Labor
We saw a massive shift toward online employment technology since the Covid-19 pandemic that redefined how work is obtained and performed. Attitudes toward work shifted as more and more jobs became work-from-home permanently. Labor shortages were caused by many reasons.
- Workers with health concerns chose to retire early rather than expose themselves to unsafe conditions.
- Women, especially, left their jobs during lock-down when juggling children and 40-hour workweeks proved impossible.
- Employees are demanding higher wages, better benefits, and remote work.
With all this in mind, there’s a need for a different way to find and retain labor. Labor pooling is one way to keep operations running while giving employees the hours and flexibility they need.
What Is a Labor Pool / Labor Pooling?
In a broad sense, the labor pool is the entire network of qualified people who are able to perform the task at hand. For example, if you’re looking for an electrician, the labor pool encompasses everyone with the skills to perform the work, even if they aren’t currently employed by your electrical company.
For individual businesses, the labor pool is the network of workers that are available to work for them on an as-needed basis. “Labor pooling,” then, is the idea that a company can rotate a mix of workers into its operations. It’s a way to meet unpredictable or fluctuating demand. Companies can benefit greatly from labor pooling, or labor sharing. Instead of laying off workers during low demand, they can pool labor resources by loaning workers out as needed. If they need more workers temporarily, they can draw on the labor pool to meet the demand.
Solving Problems with the Construction Labor Force
Hit hardest by labor shortages, blue-collar industrial sectors don’t have the luxury of remote work and must face labor shortages head-on as the new construction housing market booms. Nearing a crisis, Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) predicts the construction industry will need to fill almost 650,000 new jobs in 2022 above and beyond its normal vacancies.
Right now, trade skills like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical are in high demand. Pulling from an already aging labor pool, skilled workers will be in short supply. Solutions like labor sharing are more necessary than ever before.
Control Your Construction Labor
ConX allows you to pool your labor resources with other non-union companies during times of need and surplus. Contact us to learn more, or start your free trial right now to take advantage of the benefits of labor sharing!