The push to orient most high school students towards a 4-year college degree has created a problem for employers. The country lacks qualified blue-collar workers. The idea of qualification and blue-collar work used to be antinomic but it’s no longer the case.

There are a lot of outdated ideas about blue-collar jobs and career. Successful blue-collar workers no longer mean unskilled workers. Construction, manufacturing, home health have become high-tech. Few understand the types of job opportunities they offer and the demand for those skills.

Most employers face critical shortages of skilled labor and are willing to bridge the skill gap. If you are one of those, consider youth apprenticeship. Youth apprenticeship is a great way to link high school students to industries and address employers’ demand for skills. Get involve and teach teens how to work in your industry.

Another approach might be to create a partnership with technical schools in your region. This can benefit your recruitment efforts immediately by giving you access to the best students and attempt to get them to work for you!

Here are some practical tips to attract better employees to your entry-level jobs:

  • Write job descriptions that accurately reflect position requirements. In particular, take a hard look at whether a college degree is really necessary.
  • Take a wider look at viable candidates who have the right attitude. Skills are trainable. Can they do, or be taught to do the work? While it’s easier to look for candidates who have the exact experience and education. Consider if candidates have transferrable skills.
  • Look for military veterans as a source of new hires. This is a topic close to my heart as a military spouse. Many vets have incredible leadership skills. They have experience taking responsibilities. Consider working with military transition assistant programs (known as TAP) to identify military specialties that might suit your recruitment needs.
  • Some potential hires might be hiding in plain sight. Look at the workers in the “gig economy”. Because of the recession, they work temporary jobs and drive for Uber. Now that the economy has improved, these workers might seek full-time employment. So next time you jump into an Uber, consider it a possible screening interview!

Forward-thinking employers are evolving their recruitment strategies. Also, consider your Employer Mix to retain those frontline workers. Your success as a business depends on your ability to attract and retain a talented workforce.

Schedule a call with me to discover how we can create successful recruitment and retention programs for your workplace.

Not sure you’re ready for a chat? Drop me a line and tell me about your business.