E&C Firms Are Most Likely To Adapt To New Work As Well As Workforce Norms

With all strategies as well as flexibilities in place, the E&C companies have the essential modes and attitude to embrace new work with ease and at the same time consider and make use of new norms to their fullest potential.

The E&C sector continues to grapple when it comes to filling open workforce positions and is happens to be faced with a significant gap in labor. In August this year, the job openings when it came to construction totaled 350,000, which is a 1.4% rise YoY and over 13% higher than the pre-pandemic levels. Simultaneously, the quit rate still happens to be higher as compared to the rate of layoffs and discharges, thereby highlighting voluntary exit when it comes to the workforce. 1

As highlighted in last year’s outlook, the surge in remote work and higher career flexibility went on to contribute towards retention issues when it comes to the E&C space. 2 It now happens to play a key role in the rising number of job openings. The ABC recently went on to report that the E&C industry will require much more than 342,000 new workers in 2024. 3 The increase in wages across many sectors is indeed pushing potential workers to go for safer, pretty less physically demanding positions, for instance, those in the service as well as IT industries. 4 Moreover, the pipeline of workers is indeed reducing as support for the trades across many high schools has made way for stress on computer learning. 5

This non-availability when it comes to skilled workers can go on to directly influence a company’s capacity to meet its commitments. Because of the lack of qualified candidates that are available, 68% of construction firms that are surveyed happen to be struggling to fill open positions. 6 So as to meet the incoming demand when it comes to work, 69% of surveyed firms anticipate increasing headcount in the next year. 7

Moving from a strategy that happens to be focused on retention, as outlined within the 2023 outlook, to a strategy for filling the talent gap that gets created due to the above challenges, it gets further complicated by a retiring and aging workforce across E&C. It is well to be noted that more than one-fifth of construction workers happen to be older than 55 years and most often represent skilled workers across a job site. In hiring, firms go on to struggle to find younger workers when it comes to comparable skills. 8 An ABC study has gone on to find out that a majority of surveyed executives happen to be extending their outreach so as to include high school graduates, community colleges, veterans, as well as people who are re-entering the workforce. This type of outreach program can enable executives to engage with a broader and more diverse workforce.

While the sector has gone on to make growth when it comes to adapting to the labor shortage, E&C firms can go on to follow a multipronged approach so as to shift their focus when it comes to retaining talent to tapping into and at the same time developing leading talent in the years to come:

Consider the “gig economy”: The 2023 outlook has gone on to find out that a flexible as well as agile workforce can enable E&C companies to go ahead and attract and even retain talent. Broadening on that, numerous younger workers look to be drawn to the gig economy, in which they can work as contract employees across multiple employers rather than just committing themselves to a single employer. This particular approach not only allows firms to tap into a broader pool of talent but at the same time offers the flexibility that many workers go on to seek.

Invest in terms of upskilling and cross-skilling programs: Apprenticeships as well as training programs can enable E&C companies to meet talent challenges. ABC goes on to report that contractors went on to invest US$1.5 billion when it comes to workforce development in 2022, benefiting above 1.3 million course attendees. 9 Construction firms have gone on to grow their spending on training along with professional development and, at the same time, increase the usage of online training programs over the last 12 months so as to attract talent. 10 Companies can also go on to cross-train their employees across other functions and also broaden their skills to create a flexible as well as efficient workforce.

Worker safety is a top priority: Enhancing working conditions with a robust emphasis when it comes to safety can help make construction more attractive to potential recruits. Safety education comprised of the total workforce investment within the first half of 2023.11

Give out competitive compensation as well as benefits: Offering competitive wages as well as benefits happens to be vital. A higher income potential can go on to help attract a wider talent pool. Numerous E&C firms surveyed have gone on to elevate the base pay as well as bonuses or other incentives and even initiated employee benefit programs within the last 12 months so as to retain as well as attract a top talent pool. 12

Make utmost use of broader incentives: The IRA tax credits happen to be available for companies that go on to hire registered apprentices and may as well build demand when it comes to apprenticeship programs, thereby potentially expanding workforce training opportunities as well as benefiting employers.

Make full use of robotics, automation, as well as other cutting-edge tools: Robotics, along with automation, can enable in reducing or removing the human workforce from high-risk as well as exposed areas. It can also lessen the dependence on certain job roles and can also enable cross-skilling other workers, like carpenters, into layout design by way of using robotic solutions. Technology-driven solutions elevate efficiency as well as collaboration. Additionally, technology adoption can make the industry even more appealing to a younger generation that’s tech-savvy. Two in three construction firms surveyed went on to agree that the use of cutting-edge tools helps them recruit immense talent. 13 Several firms also agreed to the fact that AI and robotics will enhance the safety and productivity of the workforce. 14

Push diversity, equity, and inclusion when it comes to hiring: This pattern from last year’s outlook is highly relevant, as hiring a workforce that’s diverse and at the same time attracting prospective employees from new sources of talent like veterans, returning workers, and persons with disabilities, in addition to women and underrepresented ethnic groups, will go on to broaden the talent pool. Diversity happens to be an important driver of innovation along with success. About 77% of construction firms went over to believe that diversifying their workforce happens to be critical when it comes to their future business. 15


1. Deloitte analysis of data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-49
2. Deloitte, 2023 engineering and construction industry outlook – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/energy-and-resources/articles/engineering-and-construction-industry-trends.html, November 2023.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-50
3. Associated Builders and Contractors, “Construction workforce shortage tops half a million in 2023, says ABC, – https://www.abc.org/News-Media/News-Releases/construction-workforce-shortage-tops-half-a-million-in-2023-says-abc” news release, February 3, 2023.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-51
4. Zachary Phillips, “Construction has happiest workers of any industry, – https://www.constructiondive.com/news/happiest-workers-construction-job-recommendation/695436/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Issue:%202023-10-03%20Construction%20Dive%20Newsletter%20%5Bissue:55083%5D&utm_term=Construction%20Dive” Construction Dive, October 3, 2023.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-52
5. Mary Yang, “Where did the workers go? Construction jobs are plentiful, but workers are scarce, – https://www.npr.org/2023/04/06/1158576556/where-did-the-workers-go-construction-jobs-are-plentiful-but-workers-are-scarce” NPR, April 6, 2023.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-53
6. AGC, 2023 workforce survey results – https://www.agc.org/sites/default/files/Files/Communications/2023_Workforce_Survey_National_Final.pdf.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-54
7. Ibid.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-55
8. Bob Tita, “Construction industry has work, needs more workers, – https://www.wsj.com/articles/construction-industry-has-work-needs-more-workers-da763703?ns=prod/accounts-wsj” Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2023.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-56
9. Associated Builders and Contractors, ABC 2023 workforce development survey – https://www.abc.org/Portals/1/FMI-ABC%202023%20Member%20Workforce%20Development%20Survey%20-%20External%20-%20Final.pdf?ver=qls0kVE6wOfbNIf_dnsbqQ%3d%3d, June 2023.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-57
10. AGC, 2023 workforce survey results – https://www.agc.org/sites/default/files/Files/Communications/2023_Workforce_Survey_National_Final.pdf.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-58
11. ABC, ABC 2023 workforce development survey – https://www.abc.org/Portals/1/FMI-ABC%202023%20Member%20Workforce%20Development%20Survey%20-%20External%20-%20Final.pdf?ver=qls0kVE6wOfbNIf_dnsbqQ%3d%3d.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-59
12. AGC, 2023 workforce survey results – https://www.agc.org/sites/default/files/Files/Communications/2023_Workforce_Survey_National_Final.pdf.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-60
13. Ibid.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-61
14. Ibid.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html#endnote-sup-62
15. Ibid.
View in Article – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/industry/engineering-and-construction/engineering-and-construction-industry-outlook.html/#endnote-sup-63