Every trade company is dealing with the same front-line issue: a labor shortage. In today’s market, there are more positions available than there are qualified, interested or trainable candidates.
The scales are tipped toward applicants, says Jody Underhill, senior partner at Rapid Hire.
“Employers should definitely still make sure they’re going through qualifications with people, but you can’t make them wait, anymore,” Underhill says. “Today, the way you advertise for customers should be the same way you advertise for employees.”
He adds: “People are coming to work for their dreams, not yours.”
Underhill is new to recruiting in the trades, but he’s quickly making a big splash.
After 26 years working for Florida’s power company, Underhill set out on his own and created a successful marketing agency. A year and a half ago, a client asked for help in recruiting in the trucking industry. He put some solutions in place and righted that ship.
That led to working for A1 Garage Door in Phoenix. When word of his success there leaked out, Rapid Hire was suddenly recruiting in all the trades—for everything from handymen to electricians, plumbers, and HVAC technicians.
Underhill asks: “When you create an ad for your services, do you lead by asking potential clients where they went to college, whether they can juggle or how much they owe the IRS?”
That would be insane, right?
“In today’s hiring market, leading with a litany of requirements is just as crazy,” he says.
It’s Marketing 101, Underhill says.
“Time kills deals,” he says. “Whenever it was an employer's market, you could wait a week, two weeks because people wanted jobs.”
Today, even McDonald’s has marquee signs up offering $400 sign-up bonuses, college tuition, and $16 an hour.
“Business owners are busy running their business—I get that,” Underhill says. “And the staff is busy running the business. But what’s happening? The delay to interview, and taking a long time to go through the hiring process.”
The numbers don’t add up for employers, he says.
“You make somebody wait two weeks for an interview, they’re gone,” Underhill stresses. “Right now, the average company is taking 42 days to hire a new recruit. And typically, the top talent can get a new job in 10 days.”
When you find somebody who looks like they check all the boxes, and someone who could represent your brand, hire them.
“You have to move quickly with applicants,” Underhill says. “If not, they’re gone to the next opportunity.”
Jody Underhill recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel as part of Season 5 of the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast. Join us as we discuss:
Why you should ask not what your employees can do, but what you can do for them.
How to get the most out of social media recruiting.
How to entice top talent with a career and not just a job.
Ways to provide in-house recruiters with all the tools they need.
The right ways to advertise salary ranges.
Get your free strategy session from Rapid Hire for a special plan to improve your recruiting here. Prepare to leave the call with strategies you can implement right away.
To hear more stories from the trades, subscribe to Toolbox for the Trades on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here.