Finding the right candidate often requires a different approach.
For the past 6 years, the hardest segment of the workforce to employ has been the skilled trades – welders, electricians, machinists, and especially ROOFERS. And it is not just a problem in the U.S. The shortage of skilled labor is having a negative impact on a business’ ability to meet their client’s needs around the world. This includes reduced competitiveness and productivity, increased employee turnover, higher compensations costs and employee morale issues. These challenges have forced companies to become creative in how they are attracting skilled labor employees.
At North American Roofing, we face these trials as well. But instead of struggling with the rest of the industry, we have taken a couple of different approaches to help ease the pressure of finding good applicants.
First off, we can’t use the same HR practices we did 15 years ago. We have to adapt to find the talent we need. Our HR team has been trying different channels for recruiting and retaining talented employees including incentives for employee referrals, signing bonuses and alternative work models. All these things have not only helped attract new candidates but it has also strengthened our retention with existing employees. Their testimonies of working for a strong, reputable company have now become even better tools for recruiting new employees than an ad on Indeed.
While adjusting HR practices is helpful, we have also taken a different approach on the types of individuals we recruit. It meant looking outside our industry and exploring untapped talent pools to recruit good talent. Additionally, it meant that we needed to redefine the criteria we used to look for individuals. We needed to determine if the skill set was one that was mandatory or could it be trained. We have implemented strong training programs, mentoring platforms, and career development plans. By doing this we can look at recruiting from other industries as long as the overall soft skills including professionalism, enthusiasm, motivation, customer service attitude and learning mindset are in place.
Finding the right person for a given job is hard enough. Multiply that by 12 when you talk about hiring someone in the skilled trades. But thinking outside the box and changing up some of your HR practices could prove to be helpful. At least it has for North American Roofing. Tell us what you are doing to attract and hire the right people for your company. What out of the box thinking have you done to attract candidates? Join the conversation. We welcome your feedback as always.
- Brian Verble, CEO