Recruiting skilled labour for an electrical business is more involved than posting a job listing online. Qualified and experienced electricians are difficult to find in the midst of an Australian skill shortage. That’s why you need to pull out all the stops and be creative with your hiring strategies. Below are a few tips to increase your chances of finding the right workers for your company.
Map your recruitment strategy
Before looking for applicants, you must determine your company’s recruitment objectives. These could be anything from increasing your capacity to attracting a higher standard of workers. You’ll also want to define your company’s mission, culture, and values. This allows you to set early expectations, develop an employer brand, and tailor your messaging to attract the right applicants.
Afterwards, you need to standardise a process for hiring new electricians. Outline who’s responsible for reviewing resumes, checking licenses and VET qualifications, conducting interviews, and running background checks. You should also have the right paperwork to streamline the hiring and onboarding process, which includes:
- Pre-boarding application forms
- Employment contracts
- Superannuation forms
- Australian Tax File Number declaration forms
- Fair Work Information Statement
- Company policy handbook for onboarding
Identify your target applicants
Take time to review job descriptions and your selection criteria. How many years of experience should applicants have, and what skills does your company value? Are you willing to take on apprentices, or hire someone straight out of trade college? Then ask yourself whether you need to fill a temporary position or keep electricians for the long haul. Answers to these questions can dramatically change your strategy.
For example, if you intend to hire younger tradies, you’ll need to highlight career progression and growth opportunities in your ads. Offer training and promote a fun workplace culture to attract motivated up-and-comers to your company. On the other hand, if your target is skilled technicians with years of experience under their belt, you may have to offer different incentives. Providing competitive salaries and benefits are usually the best way to recruit skilled talent.
Stay abreast of the latest industry developments
To attract and retain talent, it’s a good idea to research industry trends and developments that may affect trade workers. Regional layoffs and plant closures, for instance, may indicate potential opportunities to find skilled electricians. Websites like Master Electricians Australia and ECD are great resources for staying up to date with major industry events and looking for skilled tradies.
Hire at the right time
It’s important to get the timing right when recruiting new electricians. Hire too soon, and cash flow takes a massive hit. However, if you wait too long to recruit a new member, your booked jobs can outpace capacity and affect the quality of service. The key is to evaluate your company’s workload and cash flow throughout the year.
Job management software like WorkBuddy lets you analyse seasonal demand and cash flow, so you can find the optimal time to hire. For electricians, the busy seasons are usually around the summer months (November to March) and the winter months (June to August). While recruiting during these peak seasons may seem like a great idea, don’t forget about job training and probationary periods. These can take three to six months to complete, so plan ahead before your company’s busy season to avoid setting your business back further.
Know where to hire
There are various ways to find skilled workers. You can post job openings on your careers page, Seek, and Australian JobSearch. Social media platforms like LinkedIn are great places to look for talent, especially if you’re targeting a younger workforce.
Beyond online job listings, using your current workers’ connections is extremely valuable for finding trustworthy staff. Offer bonuses to employees if they recommend a new hire who passes your company’s probationary period to sweeten the deal. You can also attend trade shows and career fairs to spread the word about your company and develop relationships with people in the industry.
Other recruitment strategies include apprenticeship and sponsorship programs. Although these won’t pay off immediately, you can ensure that apprentice electricians acquire the right skills before they graduate into your regular workforce.
Evaluate and improve your recruitment strategy
Recruiting strategies that remain unchanged for years will likely yield subpar results. Make sure to document your efforts and review what you could have done better. If certain job listing websites didn’t produce a single applicant, you may need to reconsider where to find candidates.
Alternatively, if certain aspects of your strategy were successful — like attracting the right demographic of applicants — then replicate it for the future.
Hiring new electricians and running a successful business can be tough, but apps like WorkBuddy can ease your burden. It not only helps you find the best time to recruit, but it also comes chock-full of features to retain skilled workers. Compliance is built into the app to ensure worker safety and job management features that eliminate tedious admin work. This makes new hires happier, safer, and more efficient. Contact us today or sign up for a free demo to learn more about WorkBuddy’s features.