We all know the stats: there is a 55% shortage of plumbers for the amount of available work. The plumber labor shortage is pressing, and it has only become more so post-pandemic as demand surges. Millions of plumbing jobs are going unfilled as experienced plumbers retire and fewer younger people step into this field - a fact that you know all too well.
For companies and contractors, this means that projects are delayed; many even have to turn away work because they simply do not have the skilled tradespeople necessary to do the job.
You are not alone in your dilemma when it comes to where to find plumbers. We know the stats; now let’s talk solutions.
Where to Find Plumbers
We already know that it is difficult to fill open positions on your team. Whether it’s a licensed plumber (or five!) or a few semi-skilled plumber’s helpers, these are the folks who help you keep projects on schedule and on budget. At an even more basic level, they are the ones who allow you to accept projects and grow your business.
Some ways companies and contractors find plumbers include:
- Posting positions on job boards - both physical and online (e.g. indeed).
- Posting jobs on social media.
- Hosting or attending job fairs.
- Asking current employees for referrals.
What we also know is that steps we’ve traditionally taken to fill the plumber labor shortage just aren’t working as well as we need. We need a multifaceted approach. One of the most effective ways to combat the plumber labor shortage is to work with an experienced, reputable staffing agency. Here’s why:
- The Heavy Lifting Is Done for You. There’s an old adage in the HR world: hire slow, fire fast. Well, we can’t afford to hire slow today. You need people now, and you cannot be weighed down by a sluggish, lengthy hiring process. Streamline with the right plumbing staffing agency.
Think of it as your own external HR function: they will vet candidates, weed out the no-gos, interview, and hire the right candidates. It is important to match the right people to the right jobs; this is done before you even meet them. It’s not quite “plug-and-play” - or wait, yes, it is.
- Training and Orientation: Check. Even when you find the right person, there is still some work to be done before they can show up, ready to work. Again, the plumber staffing agency will handle this. Candidates are given all applicable OSHA training (at no charge to them, which negates barriers to employment), as well as job orientation sessions so they are ready to hit the ground running.
- You move fast and with agility. With a streamlined hiring process, you can not only fill vacant positions, but you can also create a ready pipeline of talent. If you’re bidding on a project, for example, you can go ahead with that process while your staffing agency handles hiring appropriately for your needs. When you’re ready to break ground or put hammer to nail (or wrench to pipe), so is your team.
- Scale Up - or Down - As Needed. While demand is surging now, typically, it ebbs and flows. You don’t need to run a full team all the time; with a staffing agency on your side, you can add people as you need. When you go through a lull, you scale back on temp workers and go back to your core team. Demand picks back up? You call in reinforcements! This is flexibility and freedom at its finest!
- Turn Temp Into Team Member. Skilled and semi-skilled tradespeople choose to work with plumbing staffing agencies for a variety of reasons. For example, they may value freedom and flexibility just as much as you do. But if they find the right position - and you find the right person - it could be the beginning of a beautiful relationship! You may be able to turn qualified, hardworking temporary workers into long-term members of your own team.
The Right Plumbing Staffing Agency Can Help Your Business Thrive
If you’re seeing jobs unfilled and job posts ignored, it is time to try a new tactic to win the war on the plumber labor shortage. The right plumbing staffing agency can make all the difference. To find the right one, make sure they offer the services we mentioned above - such as vetting and interviewing candidates, delivering OSHA training, conducting job orientation, and, most importantly, placing the right people in the right jobs at the right time.
You need flexibility. You need skills. You need a strong work ethic and a good “fit.” You also need plumbers and plumber’s helpers - now! Get them, and get to work.
Contact Labor for Hire to learn more and to source the qualified workers you need to survive and thrive in today’s market.