The f-word, at least in our house, is Fortnite. My kids love the wildly popular game and I’d rather they be playing in the front yard. And, while I don’t hate the game, I simply have no appetite for managing the time my kids are spending with technology each hot, summer day.
Kids should be outside – just like I used to be during the summers of my childhood. The more I read about technology shaping today’s business environment, the more I feel I might be wrong.
Whether it be playing video game or scouring the internet for ways to create new versions of sparkly, sticky slime, young people love using technology to learn. And, while all parents agree that kids shouldn’t be parked in front of a television all day, maybe we are all better served finding ways to employ that technological interest into productive activities – like using these games to launch a career in the trades.
The use of sophisticated technology in all trades is pervasive and, unlike Fortnite in my home, cannot be ignored. There are several, obviously synergies between trends in global construction and the tech our children love –
Tweens can watch outrageous feats of sports for hours. Why not produce YouTube friendly videos showing the nuts and bolts of large scale sports arena construction?
Given the last decade’s universal labor shortage, using technology that kids love to highlight skills that trades find useful is not only convenient, it may hold the key to solving the market’s bloated backlog.
Marketing the importance of technology to young people will not, alone, have them chasing careers in the trades. More is required.
Not only should companies catch the eyes of tech-savvy young people, each should devise a strong mentorship program that transforms initial interest into hands-on, real-world experiences. As Eric Thomas writes, internships provide a trial period to spend time with young talent while mentorship frequently is reserved for the young talent your organization aims to retain for the longer term.
Most companies tout their internship opportunities while few have strategies to use mentors to retain their best and brightest. If technology is part of the reason why interns find the company interesting, then it stands to reason that companies should be employing their tech savvy interns in projects that allow them to show off their acumen.
These budding company leaders could use the same skills that win a Fortnite Battle Royale to teach the company’s leadership teams about smart bricks that may save construction costs and add to a building’s thermal efficiency.
In this case, using a young person’s love of technology has not only brought you a new, promising employee; along with them comes new ideas, perspective and the ability to show even the most tenured Project Manager what the technologically advanced future of construction might hold.
Technology will change construction and the skills required for the skilled workers we hire.
And, while I may be successful in taking the f-word from my kids’ daily routine, I will not, however, be able to drive the love of technology out of my children – or, for that matter, out of the next generation of construction workers.
Yes, the key to solving the skilled labor shortage may involve kids who, today, we must coax away from Fortnite or YouTube.
Need help finding, hiring and retaining new employees? Contact Goliath today!