Document Detail

Title: RS200-1 - Recruiting and Retaining Future Engineering and Construction Leaders
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Supporting Product
Pages: 26
This report summarizes data gathered in interviews with young people and industry veterans alike, and offers guidance on companies can recruit and retain talented young people into the engineering and construction industry. While pointing out the differences between the Baby Boomer generation and Generation X, the report also emphasizes career path planning, mentoring, and other features that young people are looking for when choosing a career.
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The engineering and construction industry is failing to recruit enough young professionals. Unfortunately, attracting talent is not the only problem. Retaining them is proving difficult as well. Considering that the typical engineering professional is in their late 30s to early 40s, this long-brewing problem will worsen unless action is taken.

Over the last 20 years, the Construction Industry Institute (CII) has concentrated on craft labor, worker productivity, and the looming shortage of skilled crafts in the U.S., but until now has not addressed the question of how to recruit and retain leaders. CII chartered the Attract, Recruit, and Retain Engineering and Construction Leaders Project Team (PT 200) to explore the problem and to provide solutions that can be implemented by organizations throughout the industry. Such a program, CII believes, could mean large gains for the industry by enhancing the advantages of engineering or construction management careers.

PT 200 has concluded that solutions are indeed available. The project team has identified specific benefits, programs, and other incentives that young people are looking for when choosing a career path and a prospective employer, and has prepared a brochure and a checklist for organizations interested in a self-assessment of their recruiting and retaining efforts. The brochure and checklist are free as downloads from the CII website.

This report summarizes the efforts of the CII research on attracting, recruiting, and retaining engineering and construction leaders. The industry would do well to take note of the examples being set by others, such as the healthcare and information technology industries, and to remove some of the key barriers that are causing young, talented professionals to look away from construction as a lifelong career. The industry needs talented young leaders, and recruiting and retaining them is critical to the future of construction.