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How to Appeal to Women for Skilled Trade Jobs

We hear from our clients all the time that skilled laborers are in high demand. Companies in Minnesota and beyond have had difficulty finding enough skilled laborers to fill their positions, positions that will be in high demand for at least the next decade.

While companies are struggling to staff for skilled laborers, a powerful statistic may reveal part of the reason why. While 51 percent of the population is women, only 3 percent of people working in the skilled trades are women. We see this first-hand in the applications we receive and the staffing we do for our industrial clients.

Encouraging more women to enter the skilled trades is a win-win for employers and job seekers. Encouraging more people, in general, to learn a trade boosts the available talent pool. Hiring more women and increasing workforce diversity helps bring a variety of different strengths and viewpoints to the company. Working in skilled trades offers women a steady career with strong wages and development opportunities.

Here are three steps we’ve seen Twin Cities businesses take to encourage more women to join their workforce.

Design a pre-apprenticeship program

A major reason why women aren’t taking skilled labor positions is because they aren’t being trained to do so. Many women simply aren’t introduced to careers in electrical, welding, HVAC and construction. A pre-apprenticeship can help to make that introduction.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a pre-apprenticeship is a program or set of services designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in a Registered Apprenticeship program. These are designed to be starting points for underrepresented workers to help prepare them for a successful career. It can help you to identify candidates for the apprenticeship program, and eventually a full-time job.

Promote job security

It takes commitment to learn a trade. Let women know that their training will be worthwhile by promoting the job security in skilled trades. The high demand for skilled workers means that knowledgeable employees will be in-demand for years to come.

Many trade jobs are union jobs, which offers additional workplace protections. Union workers are less likely to experience the pay gaps they might in other industries. Some skilled trades boast equal pay. Even in those that don’t, women still earn a whopping 91 to 96 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts earn on other trades, compared to the average 81 cents per dollar. It’s important to strive for parity, and skilled trades are leading the way.

Partner with an organization

There are plenty of other organizations who share your interest in encouraging more women to enter skilled trades. Labor unions, federal/local/state government and nonprofit organizations are all eager to diversify the workforce. Find out if there are local organizations you can partner with on marketing efforts. For example, the Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction has excellent resources and events.

Hiring more women in skilled trades is good for the economy and good for your business. To learn more about how you can find the best-skilled trade employees for your Minnesota business, contact Award Staffing today.

How to Improve Your Skilled Worker Recruiting Strategy

Demand for skilled workers is still high in Minnesota, and positions are becoming harder than ever to fill. Hiring managers can easily get discouraged by the inability to find the right candidates to fill their roles. We’re currently working with our clients to ensure that they remain staffed with the best skilled workers to meet their goals. Here’s how we’re helping those clients reevaluate their hiring strategy and get their hiring process back on track.

Mind the generation gap

Millennials are those born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s. This generation is fully of age and looking to start families and take the next steps in their careers. Hiring managers need to be acutely aware of young adults’ changing expectations for their professional lives. Many members of this generation have been taught that college is their best chance at success, but blue-collar jobs can set themselves apart in this regard.

Meanwhile, Generation Z is entering the workforce. The prospect of apprenticeships, immediate pay and on-site training can help lure high school students into the productive and fulfilling trades. The student debt crisis is something that young people should be considering as they think about career prospects, and the trades offer a great option to make good money at a secure job immediately – without owing money for years to come.

If you want proactive workers, be proactive!

Throwing up an ad and waiting for the right applicants is no longer the path to recruiting success. You should be thinking about your company and what it can offer employees, not just the reverse. Workers today are more likely to want to work at an organization that has a clear mission and values, so be ready to define these qualities. It will give you the inside track on potential employees who value working at the right place.

On this same note, you want to be proactive about promoting training opportunities. Employees feel valued if they know that their employer is willing to invest in them. Apprenticeships and on-site training are enticing offers, and you should be taking full advantage of them by making all potential hires aware of their benefits.

Empower your current staff

Too many hiring managers assume that employees are set once they’re hired. You need to continue on a path of offering positive feedback and tangible rewards to employees throughout their careers with you. This will not only result in higher morale and loyal staff, but it will create long-term benefits as word of mouth spreads that you are a desirable employer that values its people. This will only serve to benefit your recruiting efforts in the short- and long-term.

Minor tweaks can go a long way in recruiting and hiring skilled workers. Companies should be ready to describe their own company’s strengths, of the appealing benefits of trade work and how they can create happy and empowered workers.

If your business is looking to recruit more skilled workers, Award Staffing can help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can create an effective staffing strategy for your business.

Minnesota Employers Struggling to Find Skilled Laborers

We know from listening to our clients that Minnesota employers have had a difficult time finding skilled laborers to fill job openings. Although Minnesota added 7,400 jobs in October – up substantially from 1,100 new jobs in August – companies still need help recruiting the employees they need.

The sectors that created new jobs include leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation and utilities; manufacturing; and construction. Leisure and hospitality saw the biggest boost, with 4,900 added jobs.

While these gains are good for job seekers, they aren’t good for companies. Without a reliable pool of skilled workers, businesses have been unable to create new jobs, hurting the state’s economic growth. While the number of new jobs has increased since the summer, Minnesota trails behind economic growth in other states.

Inability to find skilled workers is a top complaint from Minnesota companies across sectors. Companies are struggling to replace baby boomers upon retirement. When these workers retire, they take with them decades of knowledge about a particular industry and/or company. The more skill or training required, the harder it is for companies to fill these vacant roles.

The construction industry has been hit hard by the skilled labor shortage. In a survey by Associated General Contractors (AGC), 92 percent of Minnesota employers reported difficulty filling jobs for some or all hourly and salaried positions. Nearly half believe it will continue to become harder to hire over the next year.

Creating a pipeline of skilled workers

Some companies are working to train new and existing employees for more skilled and technical positions. The state government created the PIPELINE Program offers grants designed to help businesses find, train and retain skilled workers.

However, some training programs have proven unreliable. The AGC survey also reports that businesses find four in 10 workers coming out of technical programs to be poorly prepared, and that half only had “fair” training.

Another way that businesses are working to handle the gap is by turning to automation. Instead of hiring more employees, they are purchasing more equipment to increase productivity. While this helps in the short-term, it could harm how future workers are trained for skilled jobs.

Attracting and retaining skilled workers

While the state remains in a talent crisis, your business needs to impress skilled candidates so that they want to work for – and remain working for – your business.

Employees are looking for more than just wages to attract them to a job. Benefits like health care, retirement, tuition reimbursement and daycare will help meet If you want your business to stand out from your competitors, listen to their needs and consider how you can address them.

Many companies are finding success training employees themselves rather than waiting for them to complete a technical program. Young and mid-career employees who are eager to learn and/or have leadership experience would be excellent for an in-house training program. Offering opportunities for a promotion and job development will make your company more attractive and make employees feel more appreciated.

If you’re interested in how you can attract more skilled candidates to your business, we’re here to help. Contact us today so we can discuss your hiring needs.