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How to Find (and Keep) Skilled Trades Professionals

Industries that rely on techs are facing a fairly significant talent shortage; 53 percent of skilled trades professionals are over 45 and there are not enough younger workers to replace those professionals as they retire. The estimate is that 31 million positions will be vacant by 2020 as the Baby Boomer generation retires. Already, 62 percent of companies that require skilled laborers are finding it difficult to fill positions. And once they find them, they need to keep them, especially in a market where signing bonuses and modest hourly increase can entice your employees away.

Highlight the value

Being able to highlight the financial benefits your company offers is incredibly beneficial when it comes to finding skilled professionals. In the industry, many businesses offer a variety of bonus programs, from employee referral incentives to shared bonuses relevant to the performance of the entire company. Highlighting the value of other benefits you offer is important too; what kind of PTO do employees receive? What are your health insurance options like? Can employees get specialized training or tuition reimbursement? Salaries will likely be competitive, but if you want to attract and keep great employees, you need to offer them more than just numbers.

Already, 62 percent of companies that require skilled laborers are finding it difficult to fill positions.

Create excitement

Highlight the precise level of skill involved for specific trades and how professionals can gain high-level knowledge. Focus on the importance of problem-solving and analytical skills in order to succeed in the industry. Providing a road map for advancement opportunities and future educational paths can also help draw in students.

Promote your culture

For a company to stand out and attract candidates, they need to highlight the value they place on the safety of their employees. On your company website and within job listings, stress the importance of safety standards to your company and what steps are in place to ensure the highest standards are met. Go even further and explain why your business places importance on these standards; to follow procedure, because you value your employees and want to keep them safe, or some other reason? Disclose the reasons behind your company values and potential hires view you as authentic and trustworthy. Beyond safety standards, imparting the way employees are treated and values is important as well. Share your company’s values, how you approach training and employee satisfaction, and what the overall company culture is like.

Find prospects early

In many cases, high school is the prime time to start reaching out to students to share the benefits of working in a trade. Various high schools allow students to begin attending tech schools as early as 10th or 11th grade. Being able to start working with students as soon as possible helps position them to pursue a career as a skilled trades professional.

Train in-house

Many trade companies are beginning to see the huge benefits of training employees in-house. If you want the best employees possible, finding bright young people and then training them at your facility means you can work with them throughout the entire process and feel confident that their skills are adequately developed for what they’ll be doing at your business.

Streamline the process

When it comes time for a potential hire to apply at your business, if you want to draw them in, you need to make sure your hiring process is streamlined. Too many businesses do not have an up-to-date website or job listing. If your site is too hard to navigate or the application process is unclear, you’ll lose out on top talent. Include necessary relevant information in all postings and hook people by highlighting the benefits of the job and your company.

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