2020 Trends in Construction

While the projected rate of construction in BC over the next decade has dipped slightly, the industry is still going strong, particularly in the Greater Vancouver Area. As a result, it can sometimes prove challenging to secure adequate labour, thus driving up salaries in the industry. [1] The struggle is particularly acute when it comes to finding skilled tradesmen to lead teams.

“They just don’t have enough people that are skilled enough to lead other people,” notes Goldbeck recruiter Kevin Britton. In order to secure qualified candidates, Britton recommends thinking outside the proverbial box. “You’ve got to start pulling from forestry, from mining,” he advises. “People that worked in construction and then went into the mining industry need to be brought an offer that’ll be lucrative enough to bring them back to the city.

As change affects various industries, a common theme is recruiting for aptitudes or personality traits — as opposed to somebody who ticks all the boxes in terms of direct experience. Often times, a candidate can be trained in the specific knowledge necessary for a certain position, while leadership ability tends to be more of an innate quality than a learned one.

Britton contends that those looking to hire foremen or operations managers for urban-based construction or manufacturing processes can convince veteran leaders to return to the city from other positions further afield. “It’s easier on the body, you’re home every night and you’re closer, things like that.” says Britton. “There are a lot of positives. When these workers get older and have families, you can entice them back.”
Another opportunity for finding qualified candidates for leadership positions in the construction field is found in areas suffering through economic downturns, such as Alberta.

“You can pull candidates from Calgary and Edmonton right now, as things are a lot slower there,” says Britton. Those hoping to entice quality candidates to make a move in order to accept a position can expect to pay relocation fees, as well as other benefits.

“They want a solid tool allowance,” notes Britton. “People are looking for RSP contributions, food allowance, et cetera.”

Britton explains that landing good candidates in this market means convincing people that they will enjoy their new lives.“People want to meet the team now, and the people that they’ll be working with, so they know who they’re going to be seeing every day,” he says. “They want to know more about estimators. [2]

1 Miflippo. “Commercial Real Estate: Construction Sector Seeing Strong Jobs Growth, but Retirements Loom.” Vancouver Sun, November 19, 2019.

2 https://www.trade-schools.net/ca/articles/careers-in-demand.asp.

Read more about our insider’s look at projected trends in the 2020 Labour Market: