Successful electrical contractors must keep pace with modern times, and one of the ways to do that is to recruit workers from the millennial generation.
Statistics indicate contractors across the construction industry are having trouble finding skilled labor, and the fact that many people are nearing retirement age is one of the reasons why.
By focusing on recruiting millennials, ECs can avoid the aging workforce issue. They can also get fresh perspectives that older employees may not have.
There are numerous things employers can do to reach out to millennial candidates in the electrical contracting job market.
1. Create an enticing benefits package
A survey from Glassdoor found that more than one-third of participants felt the perks associated with a job primarily influenced their decisions about taking it. Since millennials are at the early stages of their careers in electrical construction, employers could consider offering continuing education opportunities.
Many states require electrical contractors to complete a minimum number of continuing education hours to keep their licenses current. However, a benefits package offered to millennials could also include options to get education and training above and beyond the minimum requirements by attending electrical industry conferences, such as the NECA Show or more localized events like Ohio’s Electro Expo or the Electric Power Conference and Exhibition in Nashville.
Paid time off and social events with colleagues are two other things that usually attract millennials, who tend to value a work-life balance.
Some ECs have been known to offer amenities such as ping-pong tables in the break room and annual family get-togethers for their employees. If you offer perks such as these to attract younger employees, consider highlighting them in your job descriptions or company culture pages for the best results.
2. Engage with local community colleges
Many millennials aiming to work for ECs may get their starts by taking electrician programs at community colleges.
Getting educated at these places makes career changes feasible for adults who may be looking to expand their opportunities while managing childcare responsibilities or other aspects of family life.
A survey carried out by the Associated General Contractors of America found that hourly electrician positions are among the hardest to fill. However, ECs that want to grow their workforces should consider going directly to a local source of talent and getting in touch with community colleges in their area. After that, they could hold demonstrations, offer mentoring opportunities and promote upcoming hiring events.
These efforts help emphasize there are jobs available for students when they graduate. Furthermore, they help learners envision the possibilities of what they could do after finishing coursework and receiving their licenses.
3. Let current millennial employees have an online voice
Many tech-savvy ECs have content-filled blogs that appeal to things current and potential customers genuinely need to know.
Some EC blogs feature information about staying safe in electrical storms, avoiding household National Electrical Code violations and transitioning to energy-efficient lighting. Internet users appreciate diverse, actionable content, and providing it makes people more likely to return to the site.
To attract millennials, it’s smart to think about bringing a youthful voice to an electrical blog by letting current millennial workers weigh in on topical matters related to the industry.
Their opinions demonstrate to jobseekers from the same generation that a company is willing to hire millennials and has already taken that step.
Alternatively, if a blog or website is too big of a step, millennials could make regular contributions to an EC's social media profile. Encourage them to post updates and snap photos on the job (assuming it isn't a violation of a contract or agreement) to engage followers on a professional level.
4. Publish 'a day in the life'-style videos to YouTube
Statistics show that 54 percent of millennials visit YouTube at least once daily, suggesting that ECs wanting to hire them should use the site as a promotional platform.
ECs can make highly engaging content by shooting videos that show what a usual day is like at the company, titling them something like “A Day in the Life of an Electrical Contractor at [company name].”
Studies conclude that millennials care about company culture and want to see it in action.
A YouTube video could help convey it significantly more strongly than a paragraph of text in a job description, in addition to giving authentic glimpses of what millennials could expect if they applied for open positions and got hired for them.
Don’t have the time or YouTube knowledge to produce videos showcasing what life is like working for your company? Hire some millennials to do it. They’re often tech natives and are usually savvy enough to handle these kinds of projects. Plus, their involvement with such work could reinforce to other young people that a career in the trades is desirable.
Committing to hiring more millennial workers at your company may involve taking actions that don’t come naturally to some employers. However, such actions could pay off in substantial ways that better prepare your business for the future.