It’s not a secret. There has been a shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry for more than a decade. Why? There are those that are retiring and not enough young workers entering the construction industry to make up for the people leaving. 

In March, Associated Builders and Contractors released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Based on the analysis of this information, construction companies will need to hire at least 430,000 more workers this year than in 2020 to fill the labor gap, but this number could reach nearly one million workers. 

With construction employees in high demand, it’s likely that they will be thrust into projects as quickly as possible. But as organizations are hiring workers to fill this demand, it is important that safety is prioritized despite the urgent need to begin utilizing these workers.

Kim Holly, senior vice president at ISN, discusses how businesses can safely and efficiently train and onboard thousands of new contractors, while minimizing the risks brought on by understaffing. Below are insights from a brief Q&A.

MCS: How can companies safely and efficiently onboard and train thousands of new contractors, while minimizing the risks brought on by understaffing?

HOLLY: Successful onboarding starts with a strong partnership and open communication between a contractor company and the hiring organization. Understanding the hiring organization’s requirements and expectations are key to a contractor’s success. It requires involvement from the contractor before, during, and after the work. 

It is important for a contractor to extend their safety practices beyond the company level (e.g., implementing written programs). Placing a focus on individual level training and ensuring contractor employee competency is essential. In order to achieve safely and efficiently, contractors are leveraging technology as a response to emerging risks and evolving landscapes, like understaffing. Providing accessible trainings electronically to thousands of contractor employees can positively impact safety performance and lead to cost and time savings.

MCS: Does ISN have any solutions/practices in place to onboard new workers safely?

HOLLY: In addition to company level solutions, ISNetworld enables contractors to monitor workforce training and competency on an individual level. 

ISN’s Online Training Tool allows contractor employees to complete a hiring organization’s training remotely. Common training topics include site orientations, critical life-saving rules, and stop work authority. 

Through ISN’s Learning Management System (LMS), contractor customers have access to 100+ complementary high-quality computer-based training materials to satisfy the hiring organization’s requirements. 

ISNetworld also contributes to onboarding efficiencies with the QuickCheck Tool, allowing contractors to demonstrate compliance across all requirements, including training, background checks, and drug and alcohol. Contractor employees are issued complimentary ISN-ID cards that are scanned upon arrival to a hiring organization’s location. This eliminates the manual process of producing documentation for a contractor employee. 


If your company is facing the task of hiring more workers to tackle the projects on the books, make use of organizations like ISN that can help you be successful in onboarding new hires safely. 

About The Author

For more about ISN and what it offers, visit

Modern Contractor Solutions, June 2021
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern Contractor Solutions magazine.