Recruiting, Hiring, and Keeping Your Key Employees

The shortage of skilled labor is a topic everyone should be concerned with. Many of the baby boomers are
getting ready to retire and there seems to be a void of skilled individuals ready to take their place.
 
So, where do we turn to fill our vacated spots? The logical place is the high school graduate. More men and women over the age of 25 earned their high school diplomas and the numbers are growing.
 
What does this tell us about finding skilled labor? It is going to be tough because our competition is well financed and full of attractive opportunities.
 
The service and trades industry is in a marketing battle for its life. Take a look at the marketing campaigns colleges are conducting around the country. There are big bucks being spent trying to attract high school graduates. What kind of marketing do you see with contractors in the fields of electrical, HVAC, and plumbing? Local ads touting a particular contractor are the norm.
 
Awareness is the driving force behind whether a high school graduate will even consider entering a trade. Most students don’t really know what the service industry is all about.
 
Put yourself in the shoes of a bright, young woman or man who recently graduated and is wondering what to do with his/her life. There are all these beautiful colleges with manicured lawns steeped in tradition. You find nice, clean buildings in which to learn about all the latest innovations.
 
This is not the case for the contractor. Our students need to realize there are plenty of opportunities to grow and advance in the contractor’s business. There are spots open for managers, estimators, sales people, and other jobs. Who is going to do this introduction to the trades?
 
In the past, the logical place to turn for work was where the father and family members worked. It was just assumed that you would take a trade similar to what your family performed. The general feeling regarding a shortage of skilled tradesmen was one of complacency. There were plenty of "blue collar" jobs available. 
 
The factors which contributed to the shortage of skilled labor we find today included advances in technology, job expectations, and the power of the Internet. 
 
Communication brings information to us in seconds and the world as we know it comes to our fingertips in the form of iPads and other amazing devices. It is no different with the other trades. HVAC, cable companies, and other contractors are feeling the same crunch.
 
Let’s take a look at the four P’s of marketing, as taught in the first semester of business school. As a contractor, you have a Product you can offer your prospective recruits. You can offer your recruits a chance to learn a trade that will support them and their family for the rest of their lives. 
 
You can offer your recruits a safe Place for them to work. They can apply their trade almost anywhere they care to work. 
 
You know what you are able to pay in the form of salary and benefits and Price may or may not be a factor when recruits are considering where to work.
 
The fourth P is how you Promote your company and the industry. 
 
Now, you must ask yourself this question: would you work for your company? 
 
Knowing what you know about your management style and how you handle pressure, would you work for you? 
 
The second question relates to company