It should come as no surprise that when it comes to hiring potential new employees for your roofing or exterior contracting business that the pool of experienced, reliable, skilled workers has been dwindling.
In fact, according to Construction Exec,
“Trends suggest that approximately 20 percent of all [contractors] will retire during the next 10 years, and a total of 12 percent will be leaving the industry within the next five years. There’s one group that industry leaders are hoping will turn this situation around—the millennials.”
Born between 1980-2000s, millennials are generally categorized as being technology savvy, salary-driven and always looking for their next opportunity. They have big expectations for themselves - most don’t own homes, or start families until later which lets them focus on their career goals early in their 20s.
In order to keep up with demand and continue to grow, roofing businesses need to expand their hiring searches outside of seasoned professionals, and consider taking on and teaching millennials the benefits of working in the trade industry.
The problem that a lot of companies face when it comes to hiring millennial workers is attitude - both on the part of management, and on the side of the potential new hires. Millennials have a reputation for being lazy, or entitled when it comes to their careers - and while there are bad apples in every group, if you set out to attract and retain the right candidates, most employers will find that not only are millennials actually work-a-holics, but they bring energy, enthusiasm and new ideas to the table that can help smaller companies grow, when given the right opportunities.
What can you do to improve your hiring practices and retention of millennial roofers?
Attract Candidates with Your Brand:
Invest in Your Technology:
Today’s workforce primarily looks to internet research when it comes to job hunting. The first thing any serious candidate will do after seeing a job posting is to look at your website. If your company has a poorly maintained or outdated website, younger, more tech-savvy candidates might dismiss you out of hand right away.
Additionally, having little to no presence on social media may be another turnoff. While you may see social media as a waste of time that has little to no impact on your bottom line, they see it as an indication that you are not current, and don’t manage your brand the way they would consider to be second nature.
Demonstrating that your company is up-to-date on current trends, and that technology plays a large part in how you manage your business - whether through CRM platforms, applications or other software - will show millennials that you are progressive, and serious about staying current in the industry.
Another online factor you need to consider when attracting a younger workforce is your reputation. Do you have good reviews on service-related review sites? Millennials value a brand with a good reputation and if they see from reviews and comments that you’re not a trustworthy, decent place to start, they will be far less inclined to consider working for you, versus a competitor.
Attract Candidates with Your Culture and Potential for Career Growth
Millennials tend to value positions that require a formal education. Seasonal and trade work doesn’t always appeal when compared to a 9-5, so it’s important to highlight the benefits of working in the Roofing industry:
Career Growth and Potential:
Setting out position expectations is important when new hires are getting their foot in the door, but what eventually entices millennials to stay is the opportunity to learn, grow and eventually proceed down a clearly laid out career path. According to a recent study from TradeSource,
“Millennials are willing to stay with a company that has a clear understanding of goals and direction. They are looking for a company that creates more career opportunities and has room for growth.”
Millennials see value in,
“...demonstrating the potential the position has for their [career] and talk about the opportunities for further success. Millennials are curious to know how the position you offer is going to help them fulfill their career plan and how it is going to take them to the next level.”
Keep Your Culture Open-Minded:
Millennials are fast learners, and put a lot of weight on technology-driven solutions. By fostering a culture of learning, open communication, and problem-solving, business owners are more likely to bring out the innovative side in millennial workers. Asking them to solve specific problems, or offer their opinions can also help them feel like they are a part of a team, and less like someone who is just there to fall in line.
Retaining Millennial Candidates:
Offer Training Programs or Certifications:
Perhaps contrary to popular belief, millennials are not lazy - they want to be challenged in way they can see having an impact on their career and on your business. By encouraging and even offering to help millennial workers obtain additional certifications, join trade mentorship programs, or provide additional training, you show them that you are invested in their future, and that they can have a measurable impact on the success of your company.
Let them Help You:
As the younger generation, millennials are intuitively able to pick things up quickly - especially when it comes to technology related processes. If your company uses a CRM or business management software, you will be amazed at how quickly they are able to start using it, and will be inclined to help others around them adapt as well.
As we mentioned earlier, millennials also know what’s important in attracting more customers and workers. Let them contribute ideas, run your social media channels, help design the website or even make suggestions on how you can better streamline your technology. By giving them some autonomy, and the feeling that their opinion matters, you will create a sense of inclusion, and involvement that will entice younger workers to stay.
According to Building Solutions,
“Millennials crave a sense of purpose, both at work and in their personal lives. It's important for candidates to see how they could contribute to making a positive impact on the community, society, and the environment during their career. Whether it's through the mission of your company's products or services, or how your company participates in community service events, being part of something bigger will be an important draw to prospective millennials.”
Give Continuous, Constructive Feedback on Their Performance:
Millennials don’t need you to hold their hand, but providing consistent feedback, and mentorship can go a long way towards helping them improve their performance, teach them the correct way to perform tasks and help them feel like they are working towards their career achievements. They’re not looking for a pat on the back - what they want is is constructive, one and one notes on how they’re performing, what they can do better, and what they’ve done correctly that will keep them on the path to improvement.
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