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State of the Twin Cities Construction Market

In early 2020, commercial construction contractors in the Twin Cities were scrambling to keep up with demands for new starts. Thanks to early growth, the year began with full backlogs and predicted trends for new construction all indicating notable growth.

Then Q2 hit

With so much uncertainty, and a rapid shift in construction toward single-family residences in the suburbs, many commercial projects were put on hold or canceled. Some general and sub-contractors even had to close their doors thanks to a rapid drop in specialty contractors. This for an industry that was already hurting for want of skilled labor before the spread COVID.

As we continue to progress into 2021, the construction industry is beginning to look a lot more optimistic. The same doors that were shut are swinging open again.

You might have noticed there’s a lot more cranes going up for projects $25M and above around downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. So while civil contractor pipelines continued to remain full through Q3 of 2020, hard hit pipelines in the commercial sector are predicted to slowly return to 80% in 2021. 

To make the most of these future projects, some contractors took the time during the 2020 slowdown to analyze their processes and systems to become more profitable. One notable shift coming from back offices was implementing systems such as AP processing automation in an industry-wide effort to improve the overall business intelligence, scalability, efficiency, and (most of all) revenue of the accounts payable department.

Just like the start of 2020, one of the biggest challenges facing the construction industry in 2021 is a shortage of talent both in the skilled labor, not just in providing much needed AP processing automation. But also for administration, and leadership functions. To gain a competitive edge in recruiting and hiring talented labor, contractors are distracted from their construction projects and having to work overtime to continuously brand themselves in the market as a popular employer with job security, steady pay, competitive compensation and good benefits.

As businesses recover in 2021, the construction industry faces similar challenges as they did in 2020: improving profitability on challenging projects. And that too brings us back to acquiring key talent. To be competitively profitable in 2021, commercial construction companies must spend valuable time and resources to attract the leadership they need. Leaders who can provide the best services to clients, and develop new business to return the pipeline to normal levels.

Things are looking up for commercial construction for the remainder of 2021. The construction industry is positioned to fare much better than it did in 2020 and will continue to change and evolve.

Versique has been partnering with construction companies in the Twin Cities for years to recruit and permanently place some of their most valuable talent. For those builders looking to concentrate their efforts on construction, Versique is here to help. Contact us to learn more about our advantage for finding and recruiting exceptional talent for commercial construction companies in the Twin Cities.


At Versique, our team’s alignment by area of expertise, significant years in executive search and relevant industry experience, and exceptionally collaborative environment, position us to be very consultative in our search process. If we can be a resource in discussing or whiteboarding your current team and identifying areas of improvement, please give us a call. While this team specializes in Finance & Accounting, Versique has practice areas specializing in: IT, HR, Engineering & Operations, Sales, Executive Search, Banking, Demand Generation and Marketing, and more.