Procore Groundbreak 2021: Key takeaways from this construction technology conference

Procore Groundbreak 2021 kicked off on October 12 and three of our colleagues presented at this virtual conference. Chief Strategy Officer Anita Nelson and Executive Vice President/General Manager Tim Johnson discussed the shifting of the workforce demographic. Employer Branding and College Recruiting Specialist Matt Caswell gave a talk on how companies can advance their recruiting practices. Below, we list out some key takeaways from their sessions.

Three of our Skanska colleagues presented at this year’s Procore Groundbreak conference.

The Leader of the Future

As the built environment continues to evolve and the workforce demographic continues to shift with more diverse talent, we are at a pivotal moment for redefining and transforming the skill set needed to be a leader in the future.

In this session, Anita and Tim discussed the importance of managing differently, and developing soft skills that converge in well-rounded analytical, creative, inclusive, and empathetic leaders and managers.

Key takeaways:

  • Hiring individuals with different backgrounds—whether they’re English or Psychology majors—can bring diverse and innovative perspectives to our projects and company.
  • Technology is rapidly evolving in the construction industry, and products that were once used for one purpose are now being used for another. Historically, 360-degree cameras tracked safety on our project sites, but once COVID-19 hit and no one could travel, they were used to provide project updates to owners remotely.
  • To be a good leader, you need to maximize opportunities and minimize challenges. An example of this are our Ideation Labs, where employees from different backgrounds—like marketing, accounting and operations—come up with solutions to problems they want to solve.

Up-Level Your Recruiting Practices

Over the years, the construction industry has gone from a looming talent shortage to a talent crisis to a now all-out war for talent. How should construction companies think differently about recruitment and what do best practices look like in 2021?

In this session, Matt discussed the biggest lessons he’s learned in the recruiting world and how Skanska is advancing their practices to find and retain top talent.

Key takeaways:

  • In this war for talent, construction firms must stand out from their competition. Skanska differentiates themselves through early and consistent marketing and ongoing recruiting. You can’t rely on going to a career fair once a year—you must build sincere relationship with target audiences. We accomplish this through networking, giving back and hosting certification programs.
  • Offer competitive pay and benefits, and don’t be afraid to change things internally. Skanska is moving towards a total rewards program that spans beyond pay, medical, dental and vision. This program provides continuing education opportunities and a great paid parental leave program.
  • We’re leveraging technology to shift how we engage with candidates. This includes a tracking system that allows candidates to interact with the application process, and virtual project tours to show students and candidates various projects. These tours allow prospective employees to ask questions to project managers or project engineers.