[Survey] Construction workforce management trends of 2020

[Survey] Construction workforce management trends of 2020


We reached out to construction operations professionals from North America’s leading general contractors to see what they had to say about construction workforce management trends. Below are the insights from our construction workforce management survey. Real data, from real people.

So, who are the construction workforce management survey respondents?

96% are United States-based general contractors. 4% are Canadian-based general contractors.

The survey respondents represent a diverse mix of job seniority:

  • VP (32%)

  • Director (24%)

  • Manager (23%)

  • Senior (9%)

  • CXO (7%)

  • President (5%)

Survey respondents also represent a broad mix of job functions:

  • Construction (27%)

  • Executive Leadership (25%)

  • Operations (25%)

  • IT & Innovation (21%)

  • HR (2%)

Workforce management goes beyond just the traditional operations team – from HR to senior executives and leadership. Resource planning, from people management to project tracking, is moving towards becoming an organization wide priority and strategy for the construction industry.

Although 2019 was full of positives for the construction industry and a lot of our own customers experienced growth – both from a project and revenue perspective – the labor shortage continues to weigh heavily on the industry.

“There is a massive deficit of tradespeople needed across the country, and not an adequate or even close to adequate supply to meet the demand” (Source: Labor shortage, backlogs may mask construction slowdown).

It’s more important now, than ever before, to utilize workforce planning and workforce management as a means of not only attracting and recruiting top construction talent, but as a way to also retain those employees.

“It’s hard to find good quality construction people these days. When you find them, you want to do everything you can to keep them.”
— David Donahoe, CIO at Continental Building Company

Construction workforce management or resource planning?

It’s both – and more. When asked what they’d search when looking for a workforce management or resource planning tool, respondents said:




Survey says:

  • Resource planning (23%)

  • Resource management (24%)

  • Workforce planning (23%)

  • Workforce management (18%)

For other, words like resource scheduling and allocation, construction staffing, manpower planning, staff and workload management were mentioned.

“Workforce planning is a constant process that is used to align the needs and priorities of the company with those of its workforce to ensure that it can meet all its objectives and take the proper steps to prepare for future staffing needs” (Source: 6 Tips for strategic workforce planning).

Although general contractors across North America are updating their resource tracking on a daily basis, and running manpower and resource planning meetings on a weekly or bi-weekly basis – there’s still a divide on what exactly to call the management of people and projects.

“We’re managing a number of projects, and the bulk of the people are out on projects. Workforce management happens daily as staffing needs are constantly changing.”
— Stephen Miller, Vice President of Operations at Andres Construction

Looking for construction workforce management tools

When it comes to streamlining and optimizing the workforce management processes, how are general contractors finding the tools they need to take their businesses to the next level in the coming years?



Leading the charge is software vendors reaching out to resource planning stakeholders, through industry events (like Procore’s Groundbreak conference) and of course – word of mouth.

  • Software vendor (31%)

  • Industry event (23%)

  • Friend or colleague (12%)

  • Google search (11%)

  • Other (19%)

  • Linkedin (4%)

And for other? This included things like email marketing, requesting an online demo, or already using another tool by that vendor.

Although the construction industry as a whole is transitioning towards technology, from the field and to the office, there’s still 39% of construction professionals on average relying on face-to-face or word of mouth for making software buying decisions (ie. workforce management tools).

“Technology is having an unprecedented impact on the E&C industry. From robots, drones, virtual reality and wearable technology, to connected job sites, 2019 has seen an incredible array of digital technologies transform how many E&C firms operate. Looking ahead to 2020, these inherently disruptive technologies have the potential to provide the efficiency, productivity, and safety breakthroughs the industry has sought for decades”

(Source: 2020 Engineering and construction industry outlook).

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How do you consume construction industry content?

We know very well that people in construction are constantly on the move during their day – so there’s no surprise that this impacts the way they consume industry-related content.




When we asked them how they prefer to consume content, they said:

  • Social media (18%)

  • Webinars (17%)

  • Online search (17%)

  • Emails (15%)

  • Video (14%)

  • Blogs (8%)

  • Magazines (8%)

  • Other (3%)

It’s no surprise that social media takes the charge with 93% of construction professionals using smartphones for work. The use of smartphones as a whole by construction professionals has grown 21% since 2014 (Source: 2019 JBKnowledge ConTech report).

In terms of other, respondents mentioned online articles and industry events, panels, and conferences.

Here’s the breakdown of usage, by platform, for the 18% of respondents that chose social media:




  • Facebook (21%)

  • Instagram (25%)

  • LinkedIn (41%)

  • Twitter (14%)

Where do you go for construction industry content?

We know that about 33% of respondents are consuming content by ways of blog, magazines, and online searches. So where are they going to consume this content? Engineering News Record won by a landslide. Here’s a look at what other publications take the lead:




  • ENR (40%)

  • Construction Dive (20%)

  • Construction Executive (16%)

  • AGC of America (15%)

  • Other (9%)

For other, respondents said they get industry content from Building Design & Construction, business journals (like Forbes), construction associations, and local news stations. Looking for more workforce management and resource planning content? Check out the Bridgit blog.

What construction industry events do you attend?

We know from earlier that 23% of respondents attend industry events when looking for new and exciting technologies to take their companies to the next step. Let’s take a look at what events they think are leaders in the space:




  • Procore Groundbreak (30%)

  • Autodesk University (13%)

  • AGC Convention (8%)

  • ENR FutureTech (8%)

  • Construction Technology and Innovation Conference (8%)

  • AGC IT Conference for Construction (4%)

  • Advancing Construction Operational Excellence (3%)

  • Collaborate Viewpoint (2%)

  • Other (24%)

And for other, respondents said they attend events and conferences like: Builtworlds Summit, World of Concrete Expo, Advancing Construction Analytics Conference, Advancing Preconstruction, and more.

What success can you see with construction workforce management tools?

By implementing Bridgit Bench, general contractors have been able to streamline and optimize their resource planning and workforce management.

General contractors like Continental Building Company, Andres Construction, and SKYGRiD Construction have been able to:

  • Cut bi-weekly manpower meetings by 50%

  • Save 20 hours a month across their senior leadership team

  • Cut resource planning prep time by 84%

Lauren Lake

Lauren Lake is the COO and co-founder at Bridgit. She holds a degree in Civil Structural Engineering and is well-versed in construction workforce management and resource planning processes. Lauren has been named to the Forbes Manufacturing & Industry 30 Under 30 and Best Of Canada Forbes Under 30 Innovators lists. Lauren has presented at industry events and conferences, including BuiltWorlds, Canadian Construction Association, Procore Groundbreak, and more.

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