Attracting and Retaining a Skilled Workforce is Key Challenge in Construction Industry

November 28, 2018
Press Release
Recruiting & Hiring
Compensation Planning


Media Contact
Kathryn Klopfer, Marketing Communications & PR Specialist | 262.696.3426

Attracting and Retaining a Skilled Workforce is Key Challenge in Construction Industry

MILWAUKEE, WI (November 28, 2018) – MRA’s just released results of the 2018 Logistics and Construction Compensation Survey show the logistics and construction industry has also been hit hard by nationwide labor shortages. This is the first industry-specific survey completed by MRA for logistics and construction companies. The survey was initiated to provide compensation insights for construction and logistics jobs to inform and assist organizations with their compensation strategy, as well as assist companies to attract and retain high-quality employees.

“Compensation data from industry-specific surveys such as this enable companies to better understand what is taking place in their specific marketplace and to be competitive,” said Susan Fronk, MRA President and CEO. “Not only do our members benefit from this critical information, but the industry as a whole can make improvements to win the talent they need.”


Key survey findings include information on project bonuses, challenges to find skilled labor, and compensation data. Nearly a quarter of respondents (24%) pay a project bonus. This type of bonus is most commonly paid as a flat amount at the end of the year. The key performance indicators (KPIs) on which the bonus is based vary by job and by company. The most common reason for a project bonus payout is reaching or exceeding company goals. That was cited by 73% of responding organizations.

Driver pay was also reviewed in the MRA survey. Almost half (47%) of organizations responding employ drivers with a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). The majority (83%) are paid an annual salary/hourly wage rather than by the mile. Findings also revealed that most (72%) reported that they do not pay a per diem to their drivers. For those that do,

the per diem is more often paid as a flat rate than per mile. There are many types of additional driver pay that companies use to attract and retain good drivers. The most common is a referral bonus, cited by 39% of respondents. A safe driver incentive and a sign-on bonus were reported by about a third of organizations..

Recruitment and Retention
Recruitment and retention pose challenges for almost all companies and the logistics and construction industries are no different. Skilled trade workers are especially difficult to recruit, with 79% of organizations responding that recruitment is very to somewhat difficult for these jobs. Seventy-two percent of respondents indicated that it is very to somewhat difficult to recruit for management jobs, 66% indicated difficulty in finding project managers, and 61% mentioned finding engineers.

With regard to retention of current employees, the difficulty seems to be most pronounced in the unskilled trades group. Over half (53%) of respondents indicate that this category of worker is very to somewhat difficult to retain. Drivers are close behind, with 45% of respondents rating retention as somewhat to very difficult. Although management roles, project managers and engineers are difficult to recruit, respondents noted that individuals in those roles are easier to retain than other groups.

The MRA Survey also reported on base pay and total compensation for more than 50 different positions in the construction and logistics industry. The jobs unique to the logistics and construction industries ranged from entry level positions to management and from office to jobsite positions. To request a copy of the full survey report, contact


About MRA—The Management Association Founded in 1901, MRA is a nonprofit employer association that serves 4,000 employers, covering more than one million employees worldwide. As one of the largest employer associations in the nation, MRA helps its members thrive by offering comprehensive HR services, talent management, learning and organization development opportunities, and total rewards planning. MRA works to help organizations build a successful workplace and powerful workforce. Headquartered in Waukesha, WI, MRA has regional offices in Palatine, IL, Moline, IL and Plymouth, MN. To learn more about MRA, visit