The Value of Diversity in Construction Recruitment: Insights from Industry Experts
The construction industry has long been known for its lack of diversity. However, a growing body of evidence suggests that diversity in the workplace can lead to numerous benefits, including improved problem-solving, increased innovation, and enhanced decision-making. Therefore, it is crucial for construction companies to prioritise diversity in their recruitment efforts.
But what does diversity in the construction industry look like, and how can companies go about attracting and retaining diverse talent? We reached out to industry experts to get their insights on the value of diversity in construction recruitment and their tips for building a more diverse workforce.
The Importance of Diversity in Construction
According to the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), women make up just 9.9% of the construction industry, while people of color represent just 10.3%. This lack of diversity is not only an issue of representation, but it can also have negative impacts on a company’s bottom line.
“Diversity in the construction industry brings a range of unique perspectives and approaches to problem-solving,” says Sarah Williams, CEO of construction consulting firm Williams & Associates. “Having a diverse team allows for more innovative solutions and better decision-making, which can ultimately lead to increased efficiency and profitability.”
Furthermore, a diverse workforce can also lead to improved customer satisfaction and a positive company reputation. “In today’s global economy, it’s important for companies to reflect the diversity of their customer base,” says Sam Kneels, HR Manager at Betteridge Construction. “Having a diverse team allows us to better understand and serve the needs of all of our clients.”
Attracting and Retaining Diverse Talent
So how can construction companies go about attracting and retaining diverse talent? Here are some strategies that industry experts recommend:
- Offer inclusive benefits: “One way to attract diverse talent is by offering benefits that are inclusive of all employees, regardless of their background or identity,” says Williams. This can include things like domestic partner benefits, parental leave, and support for employee resource groups.
- Look beyond traditional recruitment channels: “Construction companies often rely on word-of-mouth or networking to find new hires, which can perpetuate a lack of diversity,” says Smith. “It’s important to actively seek out and recruit from diverse job boards and career fairs, as well as partnering with organizations that support diversity in the industry.”
- Promote diversity and inclusion within the company: “It’s not enough to just hire diverse talent – it’s important to create a culture where they feel welcome and included,” says Williams. This can include things like training on unconscious bias, supporting employee resource groups, and actively promoting diversity and inclusion at all levels of the company.
The Future of Diversity in Construction
As the construction industry continues to evolve, it is crucial for companies to prioritise diversity in their recruitment efforts. By building a diverse workforce, companies can tap into a range of unique perspectives and approaches, leading to improved problem-solving, increased innovation, and enhanced decision-making. By following the strategies outlined above, construction companies can take steps towards building a more inclusive and diverse industry for the future.