Could Gen Z Solve the Home Building Industry’s Skilled Labor Shortage?

September 19, 2019

Could Gen Z Solve the Home Building Industry’s Skilled Labor Shortage?While most people are familiar with Millennials as a workforce and their impact on the economy, a new cohort is coming of age. People of Generation Z were born between 1995 and 2012 and the oldest members of the group are already in their early twenties and entering the labor market. They make up a quarter of the U.S. population and a third of the world population. In order for businesses to survive the next few decades, they’ll need to cater to Gen Z not only as customers, but also as employees. This leaves some residential developers wondering whether Generation Z could solve the home building industry’s skilled labor shortage. This post analyzes the new workforce, what new home builders can do to attract and keep Gen Z workers, and how builder structural warranties can make a construction business thrive.

 

Generation Z Influences and Characteristics

What are the influences and characteristics of Generation Z? While many think of Millennials as a tech-focused group, Gen Z are considered to be the real “digital natives.” This is due to the fact that no part of their childhood existed without the internet, cell phones, and laptops. Many of them who were born in the early 2000s don’t remember a life without social media, smartphones, tablets, and streaming media. 

Having grown up during the Great Recession, and seeing generations before them face mountains of debt, they tend to be more concerned about money and affording adulthood than their parents (Gen Xers and Millennials) were growing up. Raised in the post-9/11 era with elevated concerns over safety at school, cyberbullying and digital popularity, they may be more risk-averse than those before them. Although fiscally conservative, they are socially liberal and self-identify as being open-minded and compassionate toward others. 

 

What Happens When Gen Z Enters the Labor Force?

Gen Z is the largest generation to date, and they are beginning to make career choices. Foreseeing the time and cost of a four-year college degree, some are considering trade schools, certification programs, and other alternative job-training options. Forbes contributing writer Ashley Stahl explains that “Generation Z’s life experiences affect the types of jobs they seek and what’s most important to them,” and while they may not be as focused on traditional college as their parents, they are “perhaps even more success-oriented than any other generation.” In contrast to Millennials who are known to move somewhat frequently between companies, Gen Z may be more interested in job stability. 

 

Attracting Skilled Laborers of the Next Generation and Other Builder Risk Management Solutions

Kathleen Brown of Construction Dive believes that the “hands-on aspects of construction will appeal” to Gen Z, but that’s not the only component attracting workers from this generation. To recruit and keep good employees, residential home builders should embrace tech and innovation, offer job flexibility, and create a strong online presence while utilizing builder risk management solutions.

 

Tech and Innovation

Even if someone from Generation Z is drawn to physical labor, they’re still likely to seek a company that embraces tech and innovation. In order to compete as an employer over the next several years, residential developers should embrace new technologies. Not only will digitization and innovation attract Gen Z employees, but it will also help make construction businesses more efficient and productive.

 

Job Flexibility

Additionally, while you may see less turnover with Gen Z employees, they are expected to prioritize flexibility with their jobs. This means a healthy work/life balance as well as opportunities to continue improving their skill set. In addition to the possibility of getting promoted, their “FOMO” (fear of missing out) might make them more inclined to be interested in lateral moves and ongoing training throughout different departments of a company. By offering this type of flexibility, new home builders can keep skilled workers for the long-term.

 

Online Presence

As Generation Z is extremely tech-savvy, they know how to do their research. A business owner can expect Gen Zers to do a thorough Google search of their company before applying, let alone signing on as an employee. Younger generations are utilizing company rating sites such as Glassdoor to get a complete look at prospective employers; therefore, it’s important to manage your company’s internet presence. Additionally, new home builders may want to try to reach this group while they’re still in high school or just after graduation as they start their job search. 

What’s the best way to connect with Generation Z about employment? Through social media. So, as a business owner, your online presence should expand past your website and your LinkedIn and Glassdoor profiles and maintain active social media accounts. However, keep in mind that Gen Z is less active on Facebook than they are on other platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. 

 

Builder Risk Management

In anticipation of potential employees doing a deep dive of your company on the internet, it’s crucial you have a solid reputation and a satisfied customer base. By utilizing builder risk management solutions like the new construction home warranties from Professional Warranty Service Corporation, buyers will feel protected when they purchase homes. Builders’ warranties providing structural coverage add confidence to the sales process for buyers purchasing new homes.  Keeping your customers satisfied and your name in good standing will, in turn, be seen by potential Gen Z employees, making this a win-win for a builder. To learn more about the home builder services and builder risk management programs from PWSC, find a sales director in your area.