The passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) is one of the biggest investments in infrastructure in the country’s history. As of the beginning of 2023, over $185 billion of those dollars were available at the state level, with more than 10,000 projects resulting from it. Movement on these is accelerating, making the trade industry feel bullish. However, they’re struggling to find skilled labor. This need creates an opportunity for you to support these local businesses with effective, targeted recruitment advertising.

IIJA-Funded Projects: Where Is the Money Heading?

The government’s interactive map highlights the funding amount by state and the top categories of spending (e.g., transportation, climate/energy, broadband, etc.). Some of the top projects either underway or breaking ground in 2023 include:

  • Denver International Airport expansion (Colorado)
  • Houston Ship Channel Project 11 (Texas)
  • Penn Station access (New York)
  • Interstate expansions in Texas, Arizona, New York, California, Florida and Ohio.

This infusion of funding has the industry seeing a bright future after years of the pandemic and supply chain issues. However, these businesses are less optimistic about hiring.

2023 Outlook: What Construction and Trade Business Leaders Think

In the 2023 Construction Outlook National Survey, respondents noted multiple areas of hiring and labor as the most serious concerns, including:

  • Insufficient supply of workers (70%)
  • Worker quality (53%)
  • Rising direct labor costs (63%)

The research also found that 69% plan to hire more in 2023, and 80% said they had difficulty finding workers. Another issue on the labor front is the need for younger generations to seek trade jobs. A story from NPR, with data from an online recruiting platform, revealed that the rate of young people seeking these jobs dropped by 49% in 2022 compared with 2020.

All these factors are making recruitment and hiring painful for trades. It could jeopardize their ability to win infrastructure bids. These companies need a fresh perspective on recruitment advertising that you, as a local media seller, can offer.

Helping Local Companies Hire Faster and Smarter

When you talk to local businesses in the trade fields, you’ll likely hear a variety of ways they recruit. They may use job boards, work with community colleges, hope for referrals from existing employees or hang the help wanted sign. Are these tactics effective? Maybe, but they’ll see better results with a strategy that you propose. Further, the money they’re spending on job boards only reaches people actively seeking jobs. It gets very expensive very fast with no assurance of qualified applicants.

Here are some ideas for recruitment advertising to support the trade and construction fields.


Connect with Gen Z on Their Turf

The future of tomorrow’s infrastructure depends on Gen Z joining trades, but they’re not interested. You’ll need to meet them where they are — TikTok, Snapchat and streaming. Creating an ad campaign for these channels enables your customers to capture their attention. The content will be key here and should focus on reimagining trades as long-term, high-wage careers and the ability to find work anywhere. These things can appeal to this generation. If your advertisers already have Gen Z workers, featuring them in spots could also get the audience to reconsider these fields.


Geofence Where Trade and Construction Workers Frequent

Geofencing static display or video ads is a great advertising tactic that also works for recruitment. You can suggest a geofencing campaign targeting where these workers spend time, from home improvement stores to technical schools to competitor headquarters. This is an excellent strategy for engaging those who aren’t actively looking for a job.


Focus on Targeting for Digital Ads

Targeting is another area to concentrate on to drive better results in the form of higher-quality applicants. With any digital advertising, you have options to target based on demographics, interests and behaviors. The problem is that some in the industry may be too narrow or too broad. For example, more women are working in trades than ever, with a 32% increase from 2016 to 2021. It’s an important demographic to target, and doing so with specific content could make a difference.

Another strategy to recommend around targeting is to do so outside your market. There are other areas of the country where there are people but not jobs. Ads with information about relocation assistance could help businesses attract great talent.

With targeting, always look at the results to learn from them for future iterations.

Consider Native Advertising for Greater Engagement

Native ads blend into website content and look like an article versus an ad. As a result, they often get more engagement. Serving these to people is an excellent way to combat ad fatigue. With these ad types, the content and the message matter. Your employment advertisers can take this opportunity to tell a great story about working in trades.

Recruitment Advertising Is a Revenue Generator

With a strong job market and low unemployment, the battle for talent is fierce, especially in trades. Partnering with clients to help them over this hurdle will generate more revenue for you and better outcomes for them.

You can get more recommendations for recruitment advertising by using our interactive tool – Create the Ideal Digital Ad Mix!

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