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German and Polish installation companies are hindered in their growth due to personnel's shortage

2018 was a great year for the construction and installation sector, with high growth rates. Following a couple of years of high growth, the increasing work overload lead to an increase in the number of vacancies. More than 40% of the Polish and German installation companies are having at least one vacancy for installation related functions. These are some of the results of the Q3 and Q4 2018 report of the European Mechanical Installation Monitor with the theme ‘Direct ordering at the manufacturer’. This report is based on 900 successful interviews with HVAC installers and plumbers in six European countries.

The heavy workload brought back the topic of the personnel shortages

2018 was a great year for the construction sector and with this also for the HVAC and plumbing companies. Especially in some countries, such as the Netherlands, Poland and Germany, many installers experienced growing order books and turnover in 2018. Whilst in times of crises the companies wonder how to keep their employees busy, in busy times like for example last year the question was how to cope with the big amount of projects. The personnel shortage and the general difficulties for the construction sector to find well qualified employees became relevant again.

In Q3 almost 40% of the European installation companies had at least one open vacancy for installation related position


In Q3 2018 the highest share of installation companies having vacancies for installation related functions were located in Belgium. Especially in the Wallonia are, the majority of the installation companies declared to have 1 or 2 open vacancies. The peak Belgium saw was a short one, as in Q4 2018 the situation there seems to have stabilised.

In Q3 2018,  Poland and Germany were the other two countries with a high number of installation companies looking for employees. The situation in those countries remained similar in Q4 2018. In Germany the average number of functions has even increased in the last months of 2018.

In all countries, the bigger the installation companies are, the more vacancies they had (on European level the companies with 20+ employees had on average 3.0 vacancies).

For 33% of the European installation companies, the personnel shortage is seen as a barrier for company’s growth

In Q4 2018, Germany (47%) and Poland (44%) were the main countries where installation companies declared that the personnel’s shortage is a barrier for their growth. The number of projects and the amount of work was obviously much higher than what the companies were able to process. In Q3 2018 this also seemed to be the case for the installers in the Netherlands and Belgium, but in Q4 2018 the situation in these two countries has improved. 

About the European Mechanical Installation Monitor

The European Mechanical Installation Monitor is a quarterly study from USP Marketing Consultancy, which is based on 150 successful interviews with HVAC installers per country. Six European countries are included in the study. Every quarter, a report is published covering a specific topic like BIM, purchase channels, media orientation, love brands and many more. The report also provides key insights about economic developments within the HVAC market, based on the turnover and orderbook of HVAC installers.

About USP Marketing Consultancy

USP Marketing Consultancy is a leading international market research agency that is specialized in the construction, installation and DIY sector for over 25 years. USP Marketing Consultancy works for internationally renowned companies, such as Bosch, Grundfos, Philips, Grohe, Forbo, Vaillant, Wavin, etc.). Our clients often have pan-European questions about their brand awareness, customer journeys, market opportunities, e-commerce trends and other research needs.