In 1990, it was predicted that by the mid 2010’s the older generation would retire and there would not be enough workers to replace them. And, oddly enough, that was pretty accurate. It took a pandemic (and a few recessions), but it came true.
Learning a trade takes a lot of hard work and dedication. You can learn your trade at a vocational school, which will often require a high school education or GED. In many cases, tradespeople are expected to complete an apprenticeship prior to certification and after trade school. In other trades, most of the training is learned on the job, where you start an entry-level position and then learn the trade over time.
So, whether you are about to complete vocational school, finish your apprenticeship, or you are looking for an entry-level trade position, you are likely facing the same question: How do I get a job as a tradesperson?
Traditionally, tradesmen and tradeswomen, upon completing trade school, would either take a job from a company that is a paying sponsor at that trade school or they would jump on to an online job board, like ZipRecruiter or Indeed, to search through job opportunities. The benefit that tradespeople experience is that they are in demand, so, at first glance, it appears that either of these strategies is sufficient. In many cases, tradespeople have communicated to our team via interviews that taking the first job that came around was a mistake. They further explain that “fit” is the largest determinant of success for a young tradesperson. While the cost of trade school is considerably less than four year college, a tradesperson will have committed a significant amount of money and time into his or her trade by the time he or she graduates trade school. Interviewees shared that a poor fit could lead to dissatisfaction, poor performance, and, in some cases, tradespeople abandoning the trade altogether. These same interviewees explained that job ads are an extremely difficult tool to discern the quality of an employer. They are obviously used to sell a position and are rarely forthcoming in terms
of the quality of the employer or the company culture. Successful tradespeople often credited the quality of the company and willingness to invest in their people as a reason for their long-term success. One tradesperson said, “I got ahead, because I felt part of the team. And when I needed it, they had my back.”
The better, more reliable way is to work with a tradesman recruiting company to help you find work. These agencies have only come to exist in recent years, but they are recruiters that focus specifically on placing tradespeople with top trade employers. Here are the advantages of using a trade recruitment agency:
You might think that any lousy company could hire a trade recruiting company to go out there and get them tradespeople, despite being a poor employer. The reality is different. Trade recruiting companies are typically paid based on the success of their placements and it is rarely worth their time to serve a poor employer (where their placements won’t last). These recruiting companies tend to work well with employers that really care about their tradespeople and are willing to invest in their recruitment and training. They are also generally willing to take the time upfront to vet the employer and really assess their ability to hire for their team.
Trades recruiting agencies are a niche category of employment agency. This specialization allows them to focus on certain position types and incentivizes the company to hire experienced trade recruiters (or former tradespeople) and to train their recruiters well. This experience and training results in recruiters, who know the trade, speak the language of the trade, and have deep technical knowledge in the space.
Expertise plus the incentive to have placements succeed results in an environment where recruiters tend to take the time to truly understand both the skills of the trade candidates but also their personality and goals. With this information, recruiters are better able to suggest potential opportunities to candidates and eventually fit them with the right opportunity where they can thrive.
A job search can be a grueling process, especially if you are willing to be selective, and it is never easy when a tradesperson is currently working (which most candidates typically are). A benefit of working with a trades recruiting agency is that the recruiter can help manage your job search, communicating with employers on your behalf, scheduling interviews, assisting with negotiations and onboarding, etc.
A final benefit of a trades recruiting agency is their access to a large number of companies and jobs and at a high level. After assessing your skills and needs, a trade recruiter might recognize that you are a fit for the job you applied to or possibly for an entirety different set of positions. Their ability to consider a number of positions at once on your behalf is a huge advantage. Additionally, gaining access to the employer’s top hiring managers via the recruiter is significantly better than having your resume in a pile or knocking on a company’s door in the hopes that the resume will somehow get to the right person.
There are a lot of other benefits and advantages of working with a recruitment company. The best way to know if this is the right way for you is to contact Xemplar Tradesmen Recruiting to find out how they can help you.