It’s no secret that the U.S. is facing a major shortage of skilled trades professionals. Several forces are converging to create a “perfect storm” that’s making recruiting qualified candidates tougher than ever:
- Thanks to Donald Trump’s focus on jobs creation, our national unemployment rate has dipped below 4%. Our economy continues to gain momentum, domestic manufacturing is increasing, and consumer confidence is soaring.
- A general lack of work readiness, combined with a technical skills mismatch between applicants and available jobs, has created a growing skills gap.
- Baby boomers continue to exit the workforce in droves, while our replacement generation of workers is smaller.
- Millennials, in particular, stigmatize blue-collar jobs. Raised to value education, they typically consider skilled trades jobs to be mindless, dirty and/or dangerous. As a result, many feel pressured to head directly to college upon graduation, instead of exploring skilled trades opportunities.
These trends and challenges will fuel hiring demand for skilled labor such as forklift drivers, CNC machinists, welders and machine operators, as well as general laborers, for the foreseeable future.
How can you recruit skilled trades professionals in this talent shortage?
A tight candidate market requires you to be more proactive, creative and disciplined in your recruiting efforts. Use these tips from PrideStaff to attract the qualified, reliable workers you need:
Take the bull by the horns.
Work a little harder to sell your opportunities. Don’t shy away from the stigma surrounding these jobs; dispel the myth that blue-collar work is for people with no brainpower. In your job postings:
- feature high-tech skills required, focusing on the knowledge and capabilities candidates can gain;
- highlight problem-solving and technical aspects of roles;
- outline potential career paths and advancement opportunities.
Build and promote a culture of safety.
Logically, skilled trades professionals will be attracted to jobs in safety-oriented environments. Make sure you position your company as an employer of choice in this area:
- Add content to the career section of your website that highlights your safety standards.
- Include your commitment to maintaining a safe work environment in your job postings.
Begin sourcing talent sooner.
If you wait for projects to start or orders to come in to begin recruiting, you’ll find you’ve waited too long. Instead, take a more proactive approach to recruitment. By developing a pool of qualified candidates, you’ll be better prepared when you need to hire.
Create a better candidate experience.
Is the process of getting a job with your company amazing – or off-putting? Great candidates won’t jump through hoops, so do everything you can to make it simpler and more enjoyable for qualified people to apply on the go. In addition, consider ways to streamline subsequent steps in your hiring process (i.e., screening, interviewing and vetting activities) without sacrificing quality.
Partner with PrideStaff.
To ensure you have timely access to the talent you need, we continually recruit qualified, reliable skilled-trades professionals across the country. We’ll work with you to understand your goals, analyze your workforce plan and develop a staffing strategy that:
- accommodates your demand fluctuation;
- controls overhead expenses and risk;
- provides the skilled trades professionals you need for assignments, projects or direct hire.
Need help addressing skills shortages in your organization? Contact PrideStaff today to learn more about our Workforce Growth Solutions and On Target fulfillment process.