The two employment fields that organizations have
the toughest time filling both affect construction initiatives. Skilled trades, including ironworkers, masons
and bricklayers, are the hardest jobs to fill, followed by
engineering positions, according to Manpower.
“Unemployment is extremely low among qualified engineers, and we know when we find them
they are probably fielding multiple offers,” says
Chris Gould, the Overland Park, Kansas, USA-based director of global talent acquisition and
mobility for Black & Veatch, a global engineering,
consulting and construction company.
To manage its infrastructure projects around the
world, Black & Veatch has to maintain a strong talent pipeline. That means recruiting people before
projects start and making sure project managers
have realistic expectations about the company’s
ability to ramp up project teams in a timely fashion.
It also can mean bringing in talent
from abroad. Black & Veatch is involved
in a 10-year project to build South Africa’s Kusile Power Station—one of the
largest infrastructure projects under construction in the world. Black & Veatch
has had to relocate more than 200 expat
engineers and project practitioners to
South Africa to run it.
“Few of the locals have experience
in the industry,” says David Leligdon,
Kusile’s program manager, based in
Overland Park, Kansas, USA. While
bringing in foreign talent adds time and
cost to the project, it guarantees that the
team has the expertise it needs.
This strategy also works in the company’s favor when recruiting globally.
“We can promise engineers and project managers
opportunities to work around the world, develop
expertise on multiple types of projects and move into
leadership roles more aggressively than in smaller
is extremely low
engineers, and we
know when we
find them they are
—Chris Gould, Black & Veatch,
Overland Park, Kansas, USA