What are the challenges when recruiting freshmen

The challenges of the construction industry

There is always construction - a slogan that ensures unanimous agreement, especially in times of urbanization. So everything is fine - come what may? Well, it's not that simple. Even if the cities are seeing an increasing demand for apartments and, according to the Berlin Institute for Urban Development, Housing and Building Societies (ifs), additional living space is required for 420,000 people annually, the industry is faced with some hurdles. The short study ›Construction industry in focus. How the German construction industry is looking to the future ‹, which the auditing and management consultancy PwC surveyed in 2013, specifies the ten greatest challenges in the coming years.

Qualified youngsters are needed!

In first place: producing and recruiting qualified young people. In combination with a roughly 50 percent drop-out rate in civil engineering studies, this means that companies have to spare neither costs nor efforts in terms of employer branding in order to be able to position themselves sustainably on the labor market. The same applies here as in any other industry: The “war for talents” is easier to win if the company has a strong employer brand. In many cases, this can be refurbished less with money than with services: in-house fitness studios, opportunities for a sabbatical or home office. Companies in the construction industry are pulling in here to attract graduates.

Ultimately, it's about satisfied employees who like to identify with the company and who stand by them even in difficult times. And such loyal employees are in great demand in the industry. 83 days, that is how long it takes a construction company to fill a position at the moment. This long vacancy period indicates a small talent pool that companies can fall back on. So there are good chances for graduates to get a job, because: Civil engineers are practically full employment. According to PwC, the greatest growth is expected in the coming years, especially in the areas of energy efficiency, building technology and private residential construction. A starting salary of around 40,000 euros awaits coveted young professionals.

Nothing works without sustainability

But what will future civil engineers face? Above all, the rising prices of raw materials are hitting companies on their wallets. The key words here are sustainability and the intelligent use of raw materials. Be it sustainable insulation materials made of wood or hemp, environmentally friendly paints, floor coverings or wall paints. The list can go on and on and fill up over the next few years. House builders in particular cannot afford to be too expensive, nor can the construction industry in general. The higher the costs, be it due to increased energy or raw material prices, the less there is ultimately left over from sales. Falling profitability - also one of those challenges that the construction industry will have to face in the future. Because if there is less money left at the end of the month, this could be at the expense of innovation. The construction industry must remain competitive and face the increasing pressure to innovate. Be it in the energy-saving, smart home or sustainability area.

There is always construction - but how?

Standstill looks different: In 2014, according to the Federal Statistical Office, the construction of 112,000 new residential and 27,000 commercial buildings alone was approved. A lot is happening in the German construction sector - construction is 'always' going on. The civil engineers of tomorrow are now faced with the task of redefining the “how” of always building and aligning it with the standards of our time, sustainability, financial feasibility and feasibility. Over 53,577 students were enrolled in civil engineering in the 2014/2015 winter semester. They are the strong shoulders that transport our living and working into the future. The construction industry and everyone who wants to live and work - we - rely on you! ■