Due to cutbacks in the recession from 8-10 years ago, many craftsmen still haven’t returned to the job market. On top of that, a smaller pool of workers are entering field now. Some reports show that there are as many as 10 craftsmen retiring for every new one entering the field! And it’s having a big impact on the industry. A HomeAdvisor survey from last year showed that 93% of construction companies responded that they predict significantly slower growth in their business because of this shortage.
One of the biggest issues is that young people aren’t as attracted to the industry, largely because both parents and students don’t have a positive perception of working in the trades. That, along with the increasing pressure to get a college degree, has contributed to the vacuum. Here are some ways that you, as an employer, could help alleviate some of the misconceptions and empower your company to grow business with younger labor hires.
Highlight the growing benefits.
With this shortage, craftsmen and becoming more and more in demand – which creates opportunity for faster advancement and higher pay than ever before. Employers like you are also offering flexible work schedules and projects, which can be more appealing to the new millennial generation. Make sure to communicate these and other benefits in your marketing and recruiting events!
Show off your talented staff.
Show up to school recruiting events, trade shows, and other youth opportunities with your best people demonstrating their skills. This is a great way to give potential new labor the first hand access to watch your talented craftsmen. They’ll be able to see that their work isn’t boring or brainless manual labor that they might assume it is!
Appeal to youth in your marketing.
When you’re out recruiting prospective younger labor, ask them about what is important to them, and make sure to highlight it in your messaging. Increase your digital advertising budget and consider creating a YouTube channel. Get on instagram and snapchat and talk to them where they’re at! Not only will you reach a higher number of potential younger hires, you’ll have better empathy and understanding for what they value.
Create youth training opportunities.
Providing talented mentors who can give them on-the-job training during an internship is a fantastic way to give inexperienced younger labor a taste of what it’s all about. Use video to educate newly interested youth, and show off your cool projects. And consider teaming up with schools to teach elective classes that introduce youth to sought-after skills.
We here at Madden highly encourage all of our employer partners to help in this effort. Together, we could collectively make a huge impact to change the negative perception and allure more youth to our industry.