Recruitment can be a tricky business in any industry but there are several factors that make life particularly challenging for managers and HR leaders in construction and engineering services. For starters, a significant amount of the work they deliver is project-based so their workloads – and, in turn, their workforces - are constantly evolving. From the number of staff needed to the skill sets required, it is rarely a case of one size fits all.
Then there is the added complexity of being awarded tenders. While companies in other sectors often have the luxury of consistent work, many construction and engineering ventures bid for projects and when they win, they need to immediately scale their teams to meet their new workloads. Then, once a project has been completed, staff numbers need to be reduced as quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
It is also no secret the sector is facing a significant workforce shortage. On the back of an aging population, lack of training programs and low take-up among younger generations, one study has found the United States construction industry faces a shortfall of 560,000 workers in 20231.
Needless to say, such factors are combining to create a sizable headache for construction and engineering managers but fortunately, help is at hand in the form of outsourcing.
Outsourcing is the practice of partnering with a third party that recruits and manages staff to perform tasks, handle operations or provide services on an organization’s behalf. Various outsourcing models exist but one of the most popular is offshoring, which sees individual staff or entire teams create an extension of one’s business in another country.
Outsourcing is a proven resourcing strategy but, as every construction and engineering manager knows, due diligence is imperative when making any business decision. Here are several signs that it makes sense to outsource.
At a time when the construction and engineering industry is battling significant labor shortages3, offshoring is providing companies with much-needed access to global talent pools across a huge variety of roles including:
A commonality of the above roles is the fact they all perform tasks that, due to technological advances in recent years, can be delivered remotely. For example, a site estimator has the ability to analyze overhead, building and manufacturing costs via the cloud before preparing estimates and budgets using software such as Excel. Meanwhile, CAD operators
Due to technological advances in recent years, the above roles all consist of tasks that can be achieved remotely. For example, a site estimator would prepare estimates and budgets regarding the overhead, building, and manufacturing costs of projects on programs or software like Excel. CAD operators use computer drafting systems to revise and draw the layout of exterior and interior models and so on.
Offshoring is clearly an attractive option for construction and engineering companies wanting to reduce costs, improve efficiencies and increasingly focus on core tasks but a word of warning – not all countries are equally suitable. There are many factors that need to be considered when choosing an offshoring destination and the Philippines has earned a reputation for ticking all the boxes.
In many ways, this is just the beginning for outsourcing in the construction and engineering sector. As technologies improve and competition grows, handing specific tasks or entire portions of a large project to a quality offshore partner will become even more common for the simplest of reasons – it makes good business sense. Define what roles can be outsourced, identify the outsourcing partner that works best for you and unlock the short- and long-term benefits that are on offer.
Still on the fence about whether offshoring is right for your business? Find the facts and figures you are looking for in our ultimate list of outsourcing statistics.
 Construction Workforce Shortage Tops Half a Million in 2023, Says ABC | News Releases
 Outsourcing Statistics 2023: In the US and Globally | TeamStage
 Impact of labour shortages worsen for engineering services - Modern Building Services (modbs.co.uk)
 In search of top engineers | Inquirer Opinion
 Engineering Philippine’s ‘most searched’ college degree – Google data | Philstar.com
 Future Of BPO Industry in The Philippines 2023 | Nexford University
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Outsourcing has long been a valuable strategy for businesses keen to increase efficiencies and reduce costs in areas as diverse as customer service,..