Could a Virtual Career Fair Help the Construction Worker Shortage?

With the industry struggling to find skilled workers, could the internet help bring together employers with potential candidates through a virtual career fair platform?

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We all know there is a significant decline in the number of experienced construction workers out there to fill jobs. Across the nation, there are currently 17% fewer people working in construction than when the market was at its peak.

However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates number of job openings in the construction sector increased to 360,000, a post-Great Recession high. The disconnect between available job openings and the workers to fill them is wrecking the construction industry at a time when there is an increased need for higher output.

To combat this, the AGC of California hosted a Virtual Construction Carer Fair (VCCF). The VCCF sought to connect job seekers with recruiters from top construction, specialty contractor companies and trade/apprenticeship programs throughout California—all looking to hire in various positions; from skilled labor, project engineering or management, accounting or business development.

"Our workforce development efforts are making important strides to tackle the industry's growing workforce gap," said Erin Volk, vice president of workforce and operations at AGC. "The construction industry is in dire need of a massive number of new and skilled workers in order to sustain and grow."

For those looking for opportunities in construction, the AGC made sure that all VCCF events operated at no charge to job seekers, making these virtual events both cost-effective and convenient. Interested companies received a booth at the virtual job fair to connect with the job seekers.

The AGC of California stated that for companies looking to fill multiple positions, the events saw a wide-range of candidates attend, from AGC Student Chapter members to veterans, and women to other ready-to-work professionals. Job seekers met with recruiters from top companies, submit their resume, and even participate in Skype interviews.

"This was a great opportunity to get your firm or small business in front of hundreds of attendees with various backgrounds," the association stated.

Would You Try a Virtual Career Fair?

Currently the average age of a construction worker is over 50 years old, and for every five workers who leave the industry, only one replaces them. By 2025, approximately 75% of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials. The generation is now, and will continue to be, a force to reckon with in numbers alone and in order to bridge the gap and attract millennials, business owners need to try and change the way they think about these workers and how they hire them. A virtual career fair could be the way to get these workers interested in construction by bringing the job to them. 

The AGC of California used Communique web services to conduct their VCCF. The virtual career fair platform functions like a traditional off-line career fair translating exhibit halls, booths, chat, presentations and recruiter interaction into a fully customizable 3D virtual environment. Candidates can join from any computer or mobile device.

Is this something your company would want to try? Drop me a message at jstoikes@acbusinessmedia.com and let me know if you think this could work. 

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