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Essay on Attracting and Retaining Staff in Construction Sector


Task Description You will write an essay on the key challenges in attracting and retaining a workforce in your selected sector. Your essay will draw on at least ?ve themes from Week 1 to Week 11 of this unit, being those most relevant to your selected industry sector. Your essay will draw on the academic literature (including the annotated bibliography for Assessment 2), and develop an argument applying that literature to your selected sector. You must cite at least ten (10) relevant peer-reviewed journal articles, and 3 chapters from the Kramar textbook. You can cite other academic references such as books, conference papers, and book chapters but these will NOT be counted as part of the 10 journal articles.


Introduction: The current essay highlights the key challenges in retaining and attracting the employees in the construction sector. It has been observed that construction company workforce is one of the key essentials of the construction sector. Moreover, the success of the project is the direct reflection of the skills that have completed the managers that are responsible for supervising it. It has been noted that building the maintaining a strong workforce, construction industry faces the challenges. The challenges will be described in an efficient way in the concerned essay. Along with that some of the arguments will also be provided on the concerned essay so that the issues in retaining and attracting the employees can be sorted.

Attracting and retaining employees in the construction sector
Recruiting qualified workers is one of the major challenges faced in the construction sector. The low national employment rate has been observed to be persisted throughout 2016 from all the industries. However, in the construction industry, there are certain factors that trigger these issues. As for example, ranges of workers are deterred by the perception of the construction jobs as it is low paying. Moreover, each of the projects in the construction industry is provided with the various requirements that struggle to find workers with proper skills and experiences. As stated by Langford et al. (2014), it is important that employees are offered with the competitive pay and benefits that ensure the leverage of the most effective mediums for reaching the desired candidates. As argued by Harrison & Lock (2017), business with the string employer brands helps in saving the money and time during the recruitment prices.

This is the reason the candidates are more likely to seek them out. Another major challenge that is being faced by the construction industry is ensuring safety and controlling the workers. As argued by Festing & Schäfer (2014), the construction sector is a risk were workplace accidents results in the staggering cost for the employees in the construction sector. On the support, Zutshi & Creed (2015) stated that direct and indirect costs include the medical expenses and escalating the workers from the insurance premiums. Therefore, safety is a paramount consideration at the worksite. It has been observed that all the construction companies must have the safety plans that should include regular training so that event of injuries can be mitigated.

Consecutively construction managers are liable to ensure the safety information is understood by the workers with all types of native language. Third key challenges are to cope with the changing labour laws in Australia. In the construction industry, there is an enormous law that helps in the treatment of the workers. As argued by Kajander et al. (2012), the construction industry has been seen to have the shortage of labours, however, it has also been noticed that is for past few years is being expected to grow in 2019. In Spite of the growth, 70% of the contractors state that it is difficult to find qualified workers in the concerned industry (Syed & Kramar, 2017). On this, Kajander et al. (2012) counter-argues that number of firms lack the skilled workforce in the concerned industry that affects the safety of the workforce.

Thus, the shortage of the workers is a huge issue which evidences that firms should be concerned about the safety concerns and adjust them appropriately. On this Shan et al. (2017) counter-argues that many youngsters avoid construction as a career path due to the evidence of the volatility of the job security in the past. Mallick & Mahalik (2017) supported by saying that there is lack of emphasis on the trades that are being observed in the high school and colleges. Most of the young adults are being guided by the university routes that never consider for learning the construction trade. Humphreys et al. (2017) stated that there are fewer programs that offer the apprenticeship. The recession led to the less internship. Thus, without the internship and the apprenticeship programs, the employers are being hired from the before the evolution of their skills in the concerned field. This results in the less skilled workforce in the construction industry.

It has been observed that conflict between the generations is also a key issue in recruiting and attracting the employees in the construction sector. Due to the labour shortage in the construction industry, there has been seen in the delay of the projects and it also derived the price of the projects. It has been reported that issue will be increased with the more projects that being deal online. As commented by McFadden, Campbell & Taylor (2014), overcoming the issue lack of skilled workers needs to have the construction college. This can help prominently in filling the labour gaps. Darko, Zhang & Chan (2017) argued that differences in the opinion also lead to conflicts between the two different generations at the same place. This also creates complication in the process of employee retention. This develops further issues such as clarity, transparency among the employees and the hierarchy. Along with that, there is also a key issue that is the communication. In the construction industry, it has been observed that the middle managers do not like the people regarding their work. However, they like the employee engagement and retention in the company. As noticed by Kelly & Fogarty, (2015), talent management in the construction sector is significant. Due to the less employee retention and attraction of the people towards this industry, the talented employees need to be mange dwell so that they can improve their job performance (Syed & Kramar, 2017).

Technology adoption in the construction sector has positive as well negative points. As stated by Darko, Zhang & Chan (2017), technology has helped in transforming the industry for the workers as well as other officials. As argued by McFadden, Campbell & Taylor (2014), whose company cannot cope up with the technology that is coming, are left behind. However on the other hand Edge (2014) counter-argues that the employees who are not being able to adopt the changes left the job. This leads to the increase in employee turnover rate in the concerned section of Australia. Due to the lack of skilled workers in the concerned sector, that takes a lot of time to adjust to the changing technologies in the company. Thus, this gives rise to frustration level among the employees. As a result, the employee cannot be retained for the construction sector. The job process becomes more complex among the employees in the construction industry.

As stated by Northridge (2017), project complexities are becoming more demanding as well as complicated in the design. Thus, it can be evidenced that firms must be selective in order to choose the project. On the support, McFadden, Campbell & Taylor (2014) stated that ranges of the project to lose all the steps of profitability from the date slippage. On this Humphreys et al. (2017) counter-argues that most of the firms currently deliver the project based on the budget and time. This evidences that ranges of firms are able to deliver projects on time that will decrease the number of skilled workers. Thus the demand increases, the employees are not willing to stay in this concerned field. It is important to be aware of the challenges that are faced by the human resource department of the construction industry. It has been observed that negative relationship with the management is leading to decreasing the employee retention. Festing & Schäfer (2015) argues that common reasons of the negative relationship with the management are the consistent lack in the coaching and feedback. The lack of guidance places the stress on employees as their work is much valuable.

The research has shown that 39% of the employees in the construction industry have concerns about the well – being (MSU, 2018). The distrust among the employees is being developed with the changing laws and policies in the construction industry. It has also been observed that there are not many incentives, except in the manger level. This type of practice triggers the issue such as a problem in the attracting new employees and retains the old employees. In the construction industry, 20 percent of turnover has been observed in 2014. With the passing days, the rate of turnover in the construction sector is increasing. However, the economy of the construction sector is improving.
The employees are leaving the jobs in the construction sector for the better-paying jobs. As opined by Mallick & Mahalik (2010), fewer wages increase is another reason that is evidenced in the construction industry. The rate of increase of the wage is also less in the construction industry. These are the reasons the new employees are not being attracted to this industry. Moreover, there is also a huge gap in the salary. As stated by Shan et al. (2017), employment gains among women are increased during final three months of 2014. The rate of women employees at the construction has increased; however, women are paid less than that of men. The labour shortage in construction area closely mirrors the trends in the overall economy. It has been observed that a large number of the turnover in the construction industry in first six months. This is because the jobs that are being agreed by the employer do not look same to the employer (Kajander et al. 2012). The employer becomes disturbed when they are not being supplied by what they have been provided.

In order to overcome this worst situation, trained managers in the construction sector are being required. The managers of the construction will also be reflected that can be able to recognize the achievements. In many cases, it has been observed that even after being gen training , the construction industry are not able to retain the experienced and skilled workers regularly to other occupation. This is because of the reasons that paid and benefit plans of the construction industry are not up to the marks. As argued by Festing & Schäfer (2014) good wages and benefit plans attracted the employee in the concerned industry. Employee benefits are the type of financial rewards that helps in supplementing the cash pay base which addresses the wellbeing and the long-term needs of the securities (Syed & Kramar, 2017).

In the construction industry, voluntary and flexible benefits are being able to attract and retain the employees in the construction industry. Inflexible benefits employees are free to customize their own ranges of the salary packages. On the other hand, Harrison & Lock, (2017) supported by saying that implementation of the automation and technology in the construction industry is also decreasing the labours in the concerned industry. In order to retain the existing employee's performance-related reward plans that is required. As argued by Langford et al. (2014), Employee will be retained in the construction industry in case the managers pay incentives based on the performance. Along with that, the three performances related rewards can be classified based on the key four variables. Thus the construction industry should be able to follow the performance unit, performance work, performance criteria’s and lastly the time frame (Syedn & Kramar, 2017). One of the key challenges in attracting the new employees and retaining the existing customer is the fewer part-timers.

As per the research, it has been observed that there has been decreased of full- time employment is by 5.9 % while there is a decrease in the part-time construction is by 2.3 % (Humphreys et al. 2017). In the construction sector, the companies are seeking to fill the positions both in the full - timers and part timers. However, due to the less salary package in the construction industry, the people are not able to trust in involving in the construction sector. Most of the industries are now focusing on their work based on the environmental initiatives. The employee in the construction industry is being forcefully focussed on the environmental perspectives. The employees are not much effective or skilled so that they can bring innovation in the work fulfilling the demands of the environmental problems. Thus, employees are leaving this sector and moving into the sector which is less complex than that of the construction industry.

The factor of corruption in the construction sector is also another reason that is proving a key challenge in the construction sector. As stated by Mallick & Mahalik (2010), increase in corruption is increasing the employee turnover rate in the construction industry. People are fear of getting involved with the sector which suffering from this much corruption. This is also the reason for not able to retain the existing employees in the construction sector. It has been observed so far that employee retention is tough to crack; however, Langford et al. (2014) stated that employee engagement is the key factors in order to have success in the business. In order to mitigate the issues related to the employee retention and the attracting new people, some strategies need to be applied.

This is because the employee turnover is providing negative impact upon the any of the industry. In case top labours or top engineers left the sector the projects will not be able to compete within time. First strategies that need to be followed by any company under construction sector are to reduce turnover in case of on boarding. As argued by Festing & Schäfer (2014), 70 % of the employees that are recruited with the on boarding process stay for three years. On the support, Zutshi & Creed (2015) stated that mentorship program at the start of a contract will be a good step in the employee retention. Lower wage than an industry wage affects productivity. Equality in the skilled employees is the key way to retain the existing employees,. Along with this, this strategy also helps in attracting the new employers.

Providing career transformation to the employees while they are doing job helps in motivating them a lot. Prioritizing the health and wellness in the construction industry alone motivates the employees. Thus it can able to lead in the increase of employee retention (Festing & Schäfer, 2014). Moreover, this policy can be able to increase the attraction for the new employees. The work sites present varieties of the hazards that de-motivate the employees. Thus, it is significant the environment in which the workers are working should be given proper concern. It should also be motivated that people are being provided with the health food and there should also be a snacks break as a complementary action in the construction sector. As argued by Zutshi & Creed (2015), it is being noticed that construction industry in focusing on the environment Initiatives. Thus, new employees can be attracted with the new environmental policies and legislation incorporated in the concerned sector.

Thus, it can be concluded that there are some issues in retaining existing employees and attracting new employees in the construction sector. However, it is required that the issues must be solved. The key issues that have been identified are the less skilled labours, changing laws, adoption of technology and health and safety hazards. These challenges need to be mitigated with the good training and workshops in the construction industry. Providing safety is the major part of the construction. This will be helpful in retaining the employees in the concerned industry.

Reference list

Harrison, F., & Lock, D. (2017). Advanced project management: a structured approach. Routledge.
Langford, D., Fellows, R. F., Hancock, M. R., & Gale, A. W. (2014). Human resources management in construction. Routledge.

Syed, J., & Kramar, R. (2017). Human Resource Management: A Global and Critical Perspective. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Darko, A., Zhang, C., & Chan, A. P. (2017). Drivers for green building: A review of empirical studies. Habitat international, 60, 34-49. Retrieved from

Festing, M., & Schäfer, L. (2014). Generational challenges to talent management: A framework for talent retention based on the psychological-contract perspective. Journal of World Business, 49(2), 262-271. Retrieved from

Humphreys, J., Wakerman, J., Pashen, D., & Buykx, P. (2017). Retention strategies and incentives for health workers in rural and remote areas: what works?. Retrieved from international_retention_strategies_research_pdf_10642%281%29.pdf

Kajander, J. K., Sivunen, M., Vimpari, J., Pulkka, L., & Junnila, S. (2012). Market value of sustainability business innovations in the construction sector. Building Research & Information, 40(6), 665-678. Retrieved from

Kelly, N., & Fogarty, R. (2015). An integrated approach to attracting and retaining teachers in rural and remote parts of Australia. Journal of Economic and Social Policy, 17(2), 0_1. Retrieved from

Mallick, H., & Mahalik, M. K. (2010). Constructing the economy: the role of construction sector in India’s growth. The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, 40(3), 368-384. Retrieved from
McFadden, P., Campbell, A., & Taylor, B. (2014). Resilience and burnout in child protection social work: Individual and organisational themes from a systematic literature review. The British Journal of Social Work, 45(5), 1546-1563. Retrieved from doi:10.1093/bjsw/bct210

Shan, M., Le, Y., Yiu, K. T., Chan, A. P., & Hu, Y. (2017). Investigating the underlying factors of corruption in the public construction sector: Evidence from China. Science and engineering ethics, 23(6), 1643-1666. Retrieved from

Zutshi, A., & Creed, A. (2015). An international review of environmental initiatives in the construction sector. Journal of cleaner production, 98, 92-106. Retrieved from
Online articles

Edge, K. (2014). A review of the empirical generations at work research: Implications for school leaders and future research. School Leadership & Management, 34(2), 136-155. Retrieved from
Northridge, M. E., Shedlin, M., Schrimshaw, E. W., Estrada, I., De La Cruz, L., Peralta, R., ... & Kunzel, C. (2017). Recruitment of racial/ethnic minority older adults through community sites for focus group discussions. BMC public health, 17(1), 563. Retrieved from

MSU (2018) Human Resource - Attraction and Retention Retrieved from on 21st march 2018


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