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!