The biggest challenge facing companies today, across all sectors, but particularly those in the trade professions, is in recruiting and retaining quality employees. With nearly twice as many job openings as potential employees to fill them, companies need to be thinking about the best methods for attracting the best trade talent.
H2: The Waning Workforce in Trade Professions
Trade professions have been dealing with labor shortages since before the pandemic, which has only made the situation worse as the workforce continues to shrink. According to a Reuters report, openings in the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sector rose in May 2022, with 1.9 job vacancies for every unemployed worker. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly half of the 8 million skilled-labor jobs vacated during the pandemic remain unfilled. What is causing this labor shortage? A report from Jobs for the Future (JFF) indicates that an aging workforce and limited awareness of opportunities for careers in the trades is contributing to the labor shortage in trade professions.
As one of many employers attempting to attract skilled trade talent, it’s important for companies to find ways to stand out from the crowd as a place where people will want to work. In order to set yourself apart from the rest of the field, you need to first know what those competing for the limited tradesmen are doing to attract new talent. First, ask yourself who your primary industry competitors are and what they are doing to attract new talent. Are they having more success in filling open positions? If so, consider what they are offering that you may not be and how you can shift things within your company to fill that gap. Whether it’s hiring incentives, opportunities for continued training and education, or overall company culture, job seekers are keenly aware of which companies offer the best opportunities and which are just seeking to just fill open positions.
In the current trade shortage, companies need to not only be thinking about attracting new talent, but also finding methods for retaining the trade talent they already have. Many tradesmen operate as independent contractors (under 1099 status), which makes them at a higher risk of leaving should other companies offer higher pay or other employment incentives—such as retirement plans, health insurance, PTO, or even W-2 status. When an employee has additional benefits as a W-2 worker, it makes them more sticky in a position.
Companies need to be keenly aware of how their compensation and benefits packages compare to those of their competitors, particularly when struggling with employee retention. If you’re having a difficult time retaining trade talent, consider what other companies may be offering to see whether you are able to offer the same, if not better.
As of April 2022, a toxic company is cited as the primary reason people leave a job, followed closely by low salary, poor management, and lack of healthy work-life balance. Arguably, these top four reasons all factor into a company’s culture. So, what is company culture?
Company culture encompasses everything about how a company interacts with the world, both inside and out. This includes the attitudes and behaviors of a company and its employees, meaning how they interact with each other as well as their past, current, and potential future customers. Given this, it’s easy to understand why fostering a healthy company culture is so vital to attracting and retaining quality trade talent.
At Clarity HR, we offer years of experience bringing HR best practices to trades. Our services are specifically designed for construction, including roofing, masonry, remodeling, plumbing, and HVAC for both commercial and residential. We want to help you navigate the complex world of HR management to help develop a company culture tradesmen will want to be a part of.
We offer a wide range of services that will enhance your employee experience and Company branding. Everything from coaching and employee engagement opportunities and ideas to payroll and employee onboarding, employee benefits programs, and multi-state and federal regulatory compliance. When you work with us, we’ll create a unique approach, specifically tailored for your business needs and goals so that you can focus on what matters most: running your company!
Contact us today to learn more!
After two long years of the COVID pandemic, it seems we will finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. As U.S. health officials announce that we are “out of the pandemic phase”, most of us can return to our daily lives as we once knew them. What they haven’t warned us about is a new, worsening pandemic: staffless-ness.
In July of 2019, 522,000 manufacturing jobs remained open.
“About 2.1 million manufacturing jobs are likely to be unfilled by 2030” says a report released by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute (MI). It also warns that such shortages could damage the U.S. economy by about $1Trillion.
“…Recruitment and retention of solid employees is just difficult… They’re not finding the right talent”, says Courtney Berg, founder of CourtSide Consulting. She feels that the priority should be in the hiring process.
In the past, Baby Boomers have made up a large part of the manufacturing workforce (34%). As more and more are reaching retirement age, the industry feels the strain. They struggle to fill higher-paying and entry level positions that need skilled workers.
The influx of retirements makes Millenials and Gen Z the targets to fill these openings. The problem is that old recruitment strategies have become out-of-touch.
36% of younger workers lack interest in the industry. Most assume that these kinds of positions are for those who didn’t pursue a college degree. This is a common misconception. Many of these jobs need some degree of higher education and even doctorate degrees.
Staffing issues in industries like manufacturing aren’t due to widespread illness. The pandemic has forced all of us to adjust our ways of living. Most notably, it’s made employees realize how much they value work-life balance.
Younger generations are looking for jobs that fit their lifestyle. Many don’t view manufacturing as an industry that allows for that kind of flexibility. For some industries, this means adjusting the workday. The traditional 9-5 no longer interests younger generations.
The top priority for many Millennials and Gen Z is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
It’s not only younger workers that make this a priority. 76% of job seekers consider diversity to be an important factor, according to a survey by Glass Door. Meanwhile, 32% would not apply to a company that lacks diversity.
This is an important factor in curating a workspace that will make employees want to stay.
Gen Z in particular is very interested in upward mobility within a company. Carolyn Lee, Executive Director of the Manufacturing Institute (MI), says
“You’re not necessarily choosing the thing you want to do forever, but you’re choosing where you want to start”. says Carolyn Lee, Executive Director of the Manufacturing Institute (MI).
“I would be hard-pressed to find another sector that has as much upward mobility as we have in manufacturing.”
In an age where technological advancements happen often, retraining is essential.
In the past, manufacturers have been able to get away with a revolving door of employees. According to RecruiterBox, the average cost-per-hire in the manufacturing industry is $5,159.
Neglectfulness in training is no longer an option due to difficulty in staffing.
Employees most often leave their position due to a relationship with their manager. The assumption? The management is a direct reflection of the company.
While this isn’t always true, it highlights the importance of a thorough hiring process. Those in a management position must be equipped with management skills and be good trainers.
Managers must engage with their employees. Building relationships with their employees on a basis other than work is another good way to make employees feel cared for.
Many companies are finding that employees who are engaged are more likely to stay with their current employer.
HR is essential in retaining the workforce. With record low staffing, their job has become especially important.
HR has hands in all the above areas. From hiring strategy to fostering a welcoming work environment through DE&I, HR does it all.
Training for manufacturing continued education and career development, motivational speakers, and benefits like tuition reimbursement are all ways in which HR can reduce the strain on the industry. However, 83 percent of employees find on-the-job training most effective in helping them perform well in their job, compared with classroom-based training, self-paced training (i.e., e-learning), and more
They show existing and incoming employees that they are a valuable asset to the business. It lets them know that their employer is willing to invest in them.
Clarity encourages employers to put extra care into the recruitment process. The more time you spend with employees, the more they will be committed to success.
In 2022, we recognize that this may push your bottom line in ways that might make you uncomfortable, it is important if retention is a priority.
Do annual analyses of your total compensation package to make sure it can still compete with other companies.
Anything from flexibility with employees to appreciation programs, “thank you” goes a long way with employees and makes them feel taken care of. A good work culture goes a long way today. Need more ideas, read our blog on How Empathy Impacts Work Performance HERE.
Right now, we know it is difficult to fill open positions in manufacturing. Making it even more important that these positions stay filled. In July 2019, there were 522,000 manufacturing job openings, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). today, we know that number has only climbed in 2022. Do you need help attracting top manufacturing talent? Contact Clarity HR today.