- Features | February 26, 2018
Recruiting for the Future
MCA, Inc, and IEC have jointly prepared and distributed many articles in the past few years, and most of them focus on the shifting market and the demands that this places on business leaders. In addition to focusing on the business models and the business processes, we have to remain intently focused on the fact that our people have been and will continue to be the most critical component of our business success. It’s our people who serve our customers, keep our promises, and follow the processes that ensure our profitability and future existence. Recruiting is what we do to ensure that the people we have on deck for tomorrow continue to excel and bring our business new success. Recruiting is much more than running a few ads and filtering through the candidates; recruiting is the entire process of motivating people to want to be a part of your team. Effective recruiting is effective motivation, so it never ends.
Every day, we witness the next steps in Industrialization of Construction® and the increased demand for Agile Construction® business models and processes. As we have determined, our past success doesn’t guarantee future success unless our business practices evolve; we also know that the skill and talent of our people must also evolve to maintain future success. For decades, electrical construction has relied only upon the skill and experience of the individual electricians. The company with the best electricians was the company that could realize the greatest success. However, electricians are not as readily available as they once were, and contractors are making changes to perform more productively with lower levels of individual skill.
Leaner and more Agile thinking contractors sought ways to develop business models and business systems that do not require as many skilled workers. Today, we are seeing rapid increases in prefabrication, preassembly, and vendor-provided service offerings to help offset the shrinking availability of skilled electricians. The common element in this change is standardized work.
Standardized work is not new. You can read about these concepts in the work of Frederick Taylor and many others. The introduction of standardized work in electrical construction is both enabled and mandated by Agile Construction®.
The worker in a standardized environment is not the same as in a technical specialty. The standardized work doesn’t require nor inherently attract the artistic and creative personality of a skilled technician. To attract this new type of worker, in the quantities needed to support the current and future growth of the industry, means looking for different people in unfamiliar places. The creative thinker doesn’t want a structured program and doesn’t gravitate towards the discipline of predictable standardized work. In fact, this worker may tend to reject the whole idea. The personality of the worker who follows standardized process, procedures, and work instructions is far more common than the technical expert.
Recruiting this type of worker is not difficult; it is just different. We need to attract people to the industry; people who know little or nothing about it.
Historically, electricians would encourage others, attracting them to the industry. If the current worker doesn’t match the future needs, they are less likely to encourage and attract others. Business leaders who are looking to hire the right talent need to own that responsibility. Strong recruiting skills is what sets out many leaders ahead of their peers.