Preparing Future Leaders in Construction: An Internal Approach to Success

Jul 3, 2024 | Community

The construction industry stands at a crucial point. Many of its top leaders are nearing retirement. Yet, finding new leaders poses specific challenges to the field. Here’s a guide for your company.
Building the Next Generation of Leadership


Embracing Growth: The Importance of Recognizing Internal Talent

In the past, construction firms often searched outside their company to find new leaders. This approach overlooked potential talent already within the organization and has led to a lack of preparedness and confidence in leadership roles. With impending labor shortages, it’s vital to shift focus and see the potential leaders who are already part of your team.


Creating a Robust Plan for Leadership Transition

Succession planning should be an integral part of your company’s long-term strategy, not just a backup option. The construction sector has a reactive tendency when it comes to hiring, often looking for replacements only when positions are vacant. A successful plan involves continuously identifying and nurturing future leaders for important positions.


Working Together on the Plan

Another key mistake often made in the industry is not involving key people in the succession planning process. Effective plans come from teamwork involving executives, HR professionals, and those who are expected to step into leadership roles. This collaborative method ensures the plan is comprehensive, meeting both current and future needs of the company.


Key Advice for HR Professionals in Construction

  • Focus on Important Roles: Determine which positions are crucial for your company’s success. Consider the potential risks of not filling roles.
  • Identify Future Leaders: Keep detailed records of who these people are. Specify the skills needed now for their success and what skills will be needed in the future. Consider using some of the work style assessments available today to help you organize and visualize who has the ability to take on future leadership roles.
  • Develop Talent: Look for employees who are eager and capable of taking on new challenges. Invest in their development.
  • Conduct Engagement Interviews: Talk to potential leaders to understand their career aspirations. This information will help you tailor development plans to their goals.
  • Regularly Update Your Plan: Continually evaluate your succession plan to ensure it matches the evolving needs of your company and the talents of your employees.


Looking Beyond Technical Abilities

Remember, being good at one’s job technically doesn’t necessarily mean someone is ready to lead. Leadership requires a different set of skills. It’s important not to neglect the development of these leadership abilities and the role of mentorship in preparing future leaders.



With many leaders nearing retirement, the construction industry needs to look within for its next generation of leaders rather than hoping they will come from outside. By identifying internal talent, collaborative planning, and a focus on developing leadership skills, companies can ensure they are prepared for the future. This strategic approach to succession is about more than just filling roles; it’s about securing the success and growth of the industry for years to come.

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