San Antonio’s construction industry has had a hard time keeping up with the region’s demographic growth, combined with the ongoing talent shortage. Srinath Pai Kasturi, executive vice president at Cadence McShane, shares his insights with Invest: on these challenges and opportunities for the region.
What is your view on the labor shortage and the current state of affairs for the local talent pool?
The challenge with human resources is that there is a significant shortage of qualified workforce in all industries. Generally, you will find that COVID has had a significant impact on the availability of human resources. We have witnessed folks that were probably on the verge of retiring within a five year +/- of 2019 prior to COVID, have accelerated that timing for themselves and are opting for an early retirement. Some others are choosing to shift careers and/or opt for part time work in order to lessen the impact of job-related stress on their lives. There is a clear shift in people’s focus on what is important to them and their personal lives versus carrying on with their profession like generations before them did. When we lost the more experienced staff, whether it was a person pouring concrete on a job site or an executive at a company that had the institutional knowledge about their craft, this created a significant gap in human resources. This pattern is not exclusive to the construction industry, but it is being witnessed in a variety of industries and sectors. The growth came quicker than we thought coming out of COVID, so the lack of resources and the demand for workforce has created a supply and demand deficit within our workforce.
That lack of human resources has forced us to run a little leaner these days, in most instances not by design. By and large, you cannot find qualified people to join the workforce. What we have done internally to maneuver through this shift is expand our internship program and our entry-level hiring program. At the last career fair, we offered about 100 potential college graduates and potential intern positions for next summer.
We have found that the best way to grow and develop our people and our organization is to build from within.
Click here to read the full interview on Capital Analytical Associates.