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The response to Covid-19 has resulted in a rapid reshuffling of the workplace, affecting the engineering and construction sectors. Traditionally, the construction industry has required all of their employees to be present and involved in the in-office culture, but if you’re sticking to these expectations, you’re going to be left behind.

In 2021, we saw a lull in roles, such as reception and other administration duties, as the abrupt closure of many offices forced many employees to work from home. Although the pandemic has brought some refreshing changes to the construction industry’s back office roles, many candidates across HR, marketing, finance, and administration are now refusing to return to their desks full time. 

So what does this mean for employers? As an employer, you need to have the necessary insights to make informed recruitment decisions. Our Senior Consultant at CGC Recruitment, Mikaila O’Brien, shares her extensive knowledge on how to support workforce planning and overcome anticipated skill gaps.


A shift in priorities 

The pandemic and 2021 lockdowns have prompted many to re-evaluate their work-life priorities, leaving employers to grapple with the shrinking talent pool and compete for applicants in the candidate-led market.  

Employers continue to face hiring challenges as job seekers demand (and expect) work-life balance through the hybrid working model, in addition to competitive remuneration.  

“Candidates in the construction industry are now leaving roles that don’t provide a few days working from home, start and finish flexibility, and shorter commutes. The company culture has now had a shift to wanting increased time at home, with ergonomic workstations,” Mikaila explains.  

Challenges in 2022 for employers related to the pandemic include addressing health and safety concerns, and deciding whether jobs are fully remote, onsite or something in between.    

Mikaila adds "Companies will lose talent if they don't fulfill employee expectations.  We’ve had candidates turn down offers because there wasn't flexibility in their work schedule. Flexibility is now becoming less of a perk and more of a real expectation.”


Solving the talent shortage through upskilling and higher salaries

The boom of the construction industry and strong project pipelines has fuelled labour shortages in the back office sector. This has resulted in employers requiring to do one of two things: 

  1. Upskill new or existing employees:  A focus on training will produce more skilled employees.  It’s important to note that the training needs to continue over a few years, and it can’t be a once off.  This proactive approach not only allows your employees to remain effectively engaged in the workplace, it also develops future capabilities to meet the skills gap shortage.
  2. Offering competitive remuneration: The fierce talent competition has placed candidates in control - and they’re using their bargaining power to demand better remuneration and benefits packages. The pronounced skills shortages have forced many employers to review and increase salaries in a bid to avoid losing workers amid the high demand in the engineering and construction industries. 

Unfortunately, businesses are unable to enhance their offerings to potential candidates or existing staff may find themselves at a distinct disadvantage.


Quicker processes now imperative for success

Mikaila highlights another consideration for employers in order to achieve a successful talent acquisition outcome.

“While flexibility is a necessary consideration, there’s also a requirement for quicker responses when we, the recruiters, send over the candidate shortlist for you to peruse.  Be aware that the highly skilled candidates often have numerous offers - and any hesitation will result in losing those particular candidates.”

We’ve witnessed clients not committing in a timely manner due to the increased salaries and demands of the candidates and unfortunately this will continue well into 2022.


Connect with us

For employers to thrive in 2022 and beyond, leaders will need to take a closer look at current issues that are affecting hiring.  As a recruiter, CGC Recruitment can assist you in creating a successful talent strategy with our unique candidate insights, as well as ensure the needs from both the employer and employer are aligned.  We also take the extra time to investigate your USPs to ensure a long and happy placement.  

If you require business support across the engineering and construction disciplines, we’d love to connect with you and help secure the right candidate for the job. Please get in touch via the contact details below.


Mikaila O’Brien, Senior Consultant


I look forward to hearing from you!


About CGC Recruitment

CGC Recruitment is a specialist construction, infrastructure, engineering, and architecture recruitment consultancy. We view our clients as our partners and work closely with them to meet their business needs. We work with some of Australia’s largest construction brands through to specialist SMEs and boutique consultants. We have proven experience delivering permanent, contract and retained recruitment solutions, consistently providing the right candidates for the right roles at the right time.

If you have an active role you’d like to discuss or just want to talk to a specialist consultant, please contact us. Alternatively, you can complete our online client form and a member of our team will contact you.