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Build Buildings, but Build Brave Brands

Posted: 27th October 2022

Tiernan Dixon

Founder @ Superbeam

It’s no secret that UK Construction is facing unprecedented skills and labour shortages and has been for some time now. What if a part of the shortage was a communication problem? One that we can fix.

As an industry, we do a good job of communicating successes. Be that winning awards, projects, or accreditations. This is great for some stakeholders; suppliers and sub-contractors alike love seeing their clients win new work.

But what about this massive skills and labour shortage? Who are the stakeholders we should be communicating with here?

The forgotten stakeholders of UK Constructions communications are Gen-Z.

Yes, Gen-Z. Those guys who spend all day on TikTok and probably think that you’re boring. The oldest of which are now 24, and already part of today’s workforce.

Ask yourself this:

How often are these guys mentioned in strategy and recruitment meetings?

They are the future of the industry, and they have skill sets that can transform productivity and how we approach every facet of operations, from digitalisation to inclusivity and sustainability.

But we just don’t seem to be talking their language, or even talking in the right place.

More members of Gen-Z would rather be a viral Youtuber than an Olympic athlete. They live in a world of creative media; they communicate across an ever-changing variety of social and digital platforms.

The industry must meet them there. To not, is like running about the 3rd floor of a hotel, looking for someone on the 5th.

How and where are you communicating your brand's Employer Value Proposition?

How are you engaging and inviting the future generation of talent into your business and into the industry?

There are very simple practical changes we can make to engage a mobile-first generation.

But there’s a bigger picture here too.

The construction industry has so many fantastic opportunities to offer young people. Rewarding, challenging, and fulfilling careers; great money and guaranteed work.

But the opportunities we have are only as valuable as the ways by which we present them.

We must build a greater aesthetic for the industry. The importance of image to reflect greatness has been with humans since we could paint on cave walls, it’s part of our psyche.

We have a long way to go with creating compelling brand narratives that act as persuasive recruitment tools. Beautiful, personal communications that sell the dream, but are firmly rooted in reality.

The industry isn’t just competing with itself, but every other industry vertical for the next generation of talent.

If we want to win, we need a brand and communication re-think.

Tiernan Dixon

Founder @ Superbeam