How to Recruit Tradesmen

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Skilled labor recruiting  is an area that takes… well… a great deal of skill. The construction and related industries are in a severe labor shortage. Millions of jobs are going unfilled, and businesses are scrambling to keep up with demand, complete jobs on time, and ensure costs remain in check. Steps like apprenticeship and internship programs can help, as can partnerships with area high schools and colleges. But are they enough?

Recruiting for the Trades

Employers in the construction industry have to be ultra-competitive to score sought-after skilled tradesmen:

1. Get Your Whole Team on Board.  The top strategies for skilled labor recruiting involve improving benefits and compensation while investing in training and development. Commit to creating an influential company culture that emphasizes how much you value employees. 

2. Make Applying Easy.  Remove every barrier you can to the application/hiring process. One of the best steps you can take here is to allow people to apply via a mobile device. Your ideal employees aren’t sitting around; they’re on the move. Move with them. 

3. Strengthen Your Referral System.  Start with your existing employees. Do they know of a former coworker or classmate with the skills you need? You can take it one step further and incentivize referrals (e.g. bonuses for successful hires, an extra week of paid vacation, etc.).

4. Broaden Your Search.  The construction industry is greying. Without enough younger workers ready to step in, the skilled labor shortage will only worsen. Do not overlook Millennials. You will likely have to do some branding work to convince them that construction is a reliable, stable career choice given that they came of age during the Great Recession. 

5. Work with a Skilled Labor Recruiting Agency.  If you do not have a full HR function, or if you do not see the results you want, reach out to a staffing agency that specializes in skilled tradespeople. They have the network of talent you need to tap into, and they’ll do the work in terms of vetting, screening, and interviewing. Hit the ground running.

Recruiting for the trades is challenging: do not wait to act, though, or your competitors will scoop up the best workers. Contact us today.

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