Part 2: Recruiting Millennials to Trades

Recruiting Millennials to Trades

The challenge with recruiting millennials often stems from the fact that they are not all equal. Understanding new generations require new ways of thinking, new mindsets. Trades must begin from zero; they must segment within the age groups to learn nuances, specific details, and work hard to destroy myths.

Four main themes recur throughout the millennial generation. However, none of these are steadfast for all millennials; there will be exceptions and people that do not fit the mold. But, in general, these four things when paid close attention to, can help your trade attract more millennials.

  1. Promote Life/Work balance. First and foremost, this is probably the number one selling point for any trade to recruit new millennials.  With technology at everyone’s fingertips, allowing and even encouraging flexible work hours, staff can see benefits, especially team members with young children.   For the trade, life/ work balance can mean – more active lifestyle, a variety of work, work you can be proud of because it makes a difference in how families, companies, communities operate.  Newer solutions can also help benefit the environment.  Promotion of health care benefits, 401K, paid time off, etc. may also make trades more appealing.

  2. Make Teaching an Integral Theme: The leading B2B trades have embedded learning throughout the entire vertical.  Not just one kind of training either; apprenticeships, online videos, social media, and multiple in-person events have led the way to increased membership and participation in trades.  Providing opportunities for ongoing learning using different platforms allowing millennials to continue to grow their skills will be appreciated.

  3. Allow Innovation and Engagement: Millennials are attracted to a culture of innovation. Allowing for a rich culture of innovation, particularly around automation and digitization of processes, can help make your trade seem more amenable to new ideas and different ways of thinking.  Encourage more current staff to think creatively about problem sets, encourage risk-taking with limits, and invite people to share solutions.

  4. Encourage Apprenticeships that Utilize Technology: get rid of the flip phones and pagers in favor of tablets, invest in and create construction-related apps, urge and demonstrate using online tools to save time in capturing data.  Solutions that are mobile first, and technology-oriented can help promote creative thinking outside traditional workplaces and work hours.  Allowing team members to stay connected via technology can increase collaboration and more readily fit with Millennials.

These four simple steps can better promote your trade to millennials.  All businesses can easily onboard these four simple steps to not only help recruit millennials to their companies but their overall trades.  Everyone has a responsibility to onboard younger generations – make sure your company is part of the recruiting process for millennials to trades.