Skilled workers are in high demand and short supply. In fact, a survey by RSM US found that 58% of respondents found hiring to be either very or extremely challenging. Additionally, Associated Builders and Contractors has determined that the construction industry, in particular, needs to attract 546,000 new workers on top of the existing workforce just to meet current demand. The skilled labor shortage is making it harder and harder to find skilled workers and keep production moving.
Fortunately, there are some tips you can follow to find skilled construction workers and other needed qualified candidates so you can keep up with demand.
Top Tips for Finding Skilled Trades Workers in 2023
Ready to boost morale and get more skilled tradespeople clocking in on-site every day? Here’s what you can do.
1. Access Current Capabilities
The first thing you can do to find new skilled talent is to understand your current capabilities and when you need workers. Does your team struggle in the summer despite handling winter months with ease? Are you hoping to bring on a permanent full-time employee or just contract with a worker for a month or two?
Figure out what you have and what you need to make the most of your current team and develop the most efficient plan for expansion.
2. Define the Necessary Skills
After you know when you need workers, you have to establish what you need them to do. Separate your needs from your wants in order to refine your search.
For example, you might want a skilled tradesman with five years of experience in electrical work, but someone with four years of experience, certifications, and licensing may still meet your needs. As long as they hit the “musts,” like licensing or certifications required for the job, they could still be a good choice.
By defining the “must-haves” you’ll put yourself in a better position to find the right workers without overlooking a near-fit that can still get the job done.
3. Start the Search Early
You have to start your search early. If you know you’ll need more workers to help your company in the next few months, establish which date is your hard deadline. Then, start early. By hiring a month or two months in advance, you’ll have more time to train and acclimate workers to the workplace, giving them a better chance to thrive and have a positive impact on your business.
4. Define Minimum Need
At a minimum, how many employees or workers do you need to have with your company at any one time? Account for fluctuations in labor power due to time off, sickness, or emergencies.
You may find that while you could complete a project with four workers with no unusual slowdowns, you may need five or six to be sure you always have enough people to work when others take vacation time or call off because they’re unwell.
5. Leverage your Existing Network
Now that you know how many people you need and the skills they should have, don’t forget to look for new hires through current employees or contract workers. Do you have skilled workers whom you always turn to? Ask them if they can refer any new prospects to you.
If that fails, reach out to other active contacts, such as builders, foremen, and other professionals who may know skilled workers right for the job.
6. Determine OT Capabilities
Sometimes, finding more workers isn’t possible. However, you might be able to make more out of your current workforce by offering overtime. Ask yourself if you can afford to pay overtime and, if so, how much.
In the short-term, many people like to get overtime and to be paid accordingly, but this isn’t a perfect solution for long-term needs. Still, in a pinch, having overtime as leverage could be beneficial for your business.
7. Promote Inter-Organization Communication
It’s possible that you don’t actually need more workers. You just need to use the workers you have more efficiently. Better on-site communication and smoother operations may result in lower labor demand.
Take a look at your processes and determine if you need to hire someone new or if there are workers who have gaps in their schedule that you can fill with other tasks. You might be surprised to find that your current crew can handle more during the day as long as they communicate well and work efficiently.
8. Incentivize Employee Referrals
Employees can be reluctant to refer others to work with their employer, but a referral bonus of some kind can often change this. Consider establishing a referral program and offering current employees a couple hundred dollars per referral or other perks.
9. Consider Providing Skills Training
It’s possible that you want to hire skilled labor that doesn’t exist in your market. You can take their training into your own hands and create the perfect employee for your team. On-site training is normally a last resort since it can be hazardous and time-consuming, but on-site training can also help new workers quickly adapt to the working environment.
Being willing to train can also help you find workers from a much larger pool of candidates, so you can fill an empty role more quickly and expedite the hiring process.
10. Hire a Trades-specific Staffing Organization
Finally, if you can’t find the right employees, it’s time to turn to a trades-specific staffing organization. For example, here at Tradesmen International, we have a reserve of job-ready craftsmen and skilled construction workers ready to work for you.
All you have to do is include the kind of work you need done, and we’ll help pair you up with the right skilled trade workers for the job.
Contact Tradesmen International for Your One-Stop-Shop Staffing Resource
Ready to bring more skilled workers to the field? If you’re hiring and struggling to find the right people, look no further than Tradesmen International. We’re here to help our clients find the perfect team despite the labor shortage and without paying unnecessary overtime.