A Damage Prevention View of the Infrastructure Bill: Do you have enough and the right staff to withstand the impacts?

In late 2021 the United States Congress passed the largest infrastructure bill in the history of this country. This bill contains many different pieces and parts which will impact every corner of our country in one way or another. This article will focus on how the bill may impact organizations in the damage prevention industry as they look to forecast the resources needed based on respective impacts.   

A brief reminder of the scope 

The bill contains $550 billion in new federal investments in roads, bridges, water, fiber infrastructure and additional projects. The significant investment in fiber infrastructure projects will have a tremendous impact on the damage prevention industry. Acquiring the necessary staff resources to complete the projects puts immense pressure on an already-struggling employment rate.  

Personnel impact, challenges, and questions 

What if the projections of the one call transmission count jumped 50%-75% higher than normal due to the projected new construction that is set to happen as a related impact of the infrastructure bill? How do you prepare for this? How do you react? It is already hard to find qualified people to do the work we have today. How will we meet this coming need? 

Ways to contend with intensifying staffing challenges 

Retention- First and foremost, keep the people you have now! Make sure the current job climate and culture is good. Make sure the employees have the tools, equipment, challenges, and education that help them do their day-to-day jobs well and help them continue on the path of professional development.   

Add new recruitment tactics- Find better recruiting tools and services. Check out internship and apprenticeship programs. Promote within when there is the chance.  

Beef up benefits- Ensure your organization is competitive with compensation, health care, and other table stakes of a typical benefit package. Consider offering stock options, a wellness program, or talent investment such as tuition reimbursement.  

Streamline the hiring process- Make sure that when you get qualified candidates in the door, you keep them there. Do not make your process so intensive that it pushes candidates away by either the length of the process or the types of steps the candidate must take. 

Employee recruiting incentives- Offer an internal employee referral bonus structure. Further encourage employees to make referrals by reiterating that there will be no judgment or other negative outcomes if their referral does not end up being the best fit.  

Employee recognition- Explore creative ways to recognize employees for their hard work and successes. Competition and thoughtful prizes can be extremely effective incentives. 

In conclusion, today’s job market is very competitive, especially within certain recruiting verticals. This type of market requires an aggressive and innovative approach to recruitment. Now is the time to start planning so your organization is prepared for the inevitable Infrastructure Bill impacts.  

About the author: Tom Hall is the Vice President of Business Development at KorTerra. Tom is responsible for coordinating all aspects of sales, assisting in setting strategic direction and building a sales team with a focus on a stronger national presence. Tom has been a part of the damage prevention industry for many years and attends, presents, and speaks at many damage prevention related events across the country.

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