Groundbreak 2023 in Chicago is officially upon us and we’re covering this year’s top sessions so we can bring the event home to you. From cultural transformation to digital transformation, conference speakers are diving into key industry topics and sharing knowledge with their peers and industry experts on how to better their business, build more efficiently and help create a more diverse and skilled workforce.
Follow along throughout the event and check out some highlights as we share updates Live from Groundbreak — the construction technology event of the year.
Today’s jam-packed agenda was filled with insightful sessions, including deep dives into the importance of a diverse team that values different perspectives and offers opportunities beyond traditional hiring.
Every Project Needs All Kinds of Minds
Temple Grandin, renowned author and one of TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” led an enlightening session focused on recognizing the diversity of thought within teams. Grandin emphasized that understanding how different kinds of minds think is crucial for building effective, winning teams.
Grandin categorized various types of thinkers — visual, analytical and big-picture thinkers, among others — and explained how they each bring unique skills to a project.
“Different kinds of thinking exist. It’s the old thing where artists and accountants don’t get along, and it’s because they think differently. We need all these skills on a project,” Grandin said. “If you’re a verbal thinker, you tend to underestimate how long it takes to build a job. But if you think visually, you can see it.”
Grandin also shared that while a visual thinker might excel at creating intricate designs and blueprints, an analytical thinker could excel at breaking down project costs and feasibility.
By knowing how to harness these different thinking styles, leaders in the construction industry can drive projects to extraordinary levels of success.
Opening Doors for a Brighter Future
The second session, Opening Doors for a Brighter Future, focused on second-chance hiring within the industry. This entails offering employment opportunities to individuals with criminal backgrounds, providing both social and economic benefits.
Panelists shed light on several advantages of second-chance hiring. One of the most compelling is its role in reducing recidivism rates to contribute to social stability. Additionally, panelists discussed how second-chance hiring adds a layer of diversity to the workforce that can drive different perspectives and problem-solving techniques.
The panel didn’t shy away from discussing the challenges and misconceptions surrounding second-chance hiring. Concerns typically center around safety and reliability, but the panelists offered practical strategies to overcome these issues, including comprehensive background checks and targeted training programs.
“One of the biggest misconceptions is all based on fear. Everybody fears this population. That’s what I discovered as I’ve talked with HR professionals — fear and risk. They think this population is a higher risk to hire, when actually, in many ways, they are motivated. They want to get back into the workforce, they want to make money, they’re ready to learn and they’re ready to re-enter society,” says Steve Huizinga, President of Freedom Construction. “We’re here to dispel that fear. There’s nothing to be fearful of. You have as much risk with a justice-served individual as you do hiring somebody off the street who fills out an application.”
By adopting second-chance hiring practices, construction companies can not only meet labor demands but also contribute positively to social issues.