Selling “Skilled Trades” to Millennials

Millennials not applying to your job postings for machinists, welders, carpenters or construction workers?

It’s no surprise.

Skilled-trades positions are suffering from a bit of an “image problem” with younger generations. Millennials, in particular, stigmatize blue-collar jobs. They’ve been raised to value education, and on the whole they consider skilled trades jobs to be mindless, dirty and dangerous.

It would be nice to be able to recruit around this demographic “issue,” but the average age of skilled trades workers is already older than the workforce as a whole. And given the mass exodus of baby boomers from our workforce, millennials and younger workers are your best prospects for current and future openings.

That means you may have to sell millennials a little harder on your skilled trades jobs.

What’s the best way to do that? We’re glad you asked. Today, PrideStaff shares three ways to sell “skilled trades” opportunities to millennials:

Don’t shy away from the stigma. Take the bull by the horns and dispel the myth that blue-collar work is for people with no brainpower. In your job postings:

  • feature the high-tech skills required and focus on the knowledge and capabilities candidates can gain;
  • draw attention to the problem-solving and technical aspects of the role which will require candidates to use their brains;
  • mention opportunities for advancement or outline potential career paths.

Highlight your culture of safety. Millennials have been raised by parents hyper-focused on their safety. As a result, younger candidates are likely to prefer to work in safety-oriented environments. Find ways to build and promote your safety culture to this generation by:

  • highlighting your standards on your website;
  • sending out press releases touting your stellar safety record;
  • mentioning your commitment to maintaining a safe work environment in your job postings;
  • broaching the subject of safety in job interviews.

Appeal to their need for flexibility. According to Ernst & Young survey results, millennials highly value flexible work arrangements – and are willing to relocate, give up promotion opportunities or even take a pay cut to better manage their work and family lives.

Find ways to offer the flexible work arrangements they need. Obviously, the nature of your business and the requirements of your skilled-trades positions will vary, but here are a few options to consider:

  • flexible shift start/stop times
  • compressed work weeks
  • schedule rotations

Need help addressing skilled-trades talent shortages in your organization?

Contact PrideStaff today to learn more about our Workforce Growth Solutions and On Target fulfillment process. As a true consultative partner, we will learn about your business goals, analyze your existing workforce plan, and develop a staffing strategy that ensures timely, cost-effective access to the skilled trades workers you need.