Hiring. A dreaded issue what many of us employers in the electrical contracting and construction industry face.
Back in Sept. 2019, we did a feature on one of our employees, April Thompson.
Here's what she said:
"From my perspective, the biggest challenge in the industry since I run the back office and human resources elements is that I’m finding that coming by really high-quality people that are available is a big challenge right now. Since there are very few Journeyman Electricians out there that are available, and since we have some larger electrical contracting companies surrounding us, it’s a challenge to find those that have been through an apprenticeship program." - April Thompson
So as you can see this isn't a NEW challenge, but rather something we've battled for quite some time. However, it's not just us, this is something that's rampant across the industry, especially in California. You can read that other article here.
It's shocking that in today's environment it hasn't gotten easier. From our perspective, in times of challenge, you'd think that there would be more "work harder" mentalities, or those seeking to get into job sectors that are more "secure" than others. However, as an industry, we're just not seeing that happen, which is admittedly pretty shocking.
By the way, if you know people that are seeking something new, something else, we did an entire four-part series on what choosing the electrician's path would be like. You can see all of those here:
The truth of the matter is that as far as our industry goes, journeyman electricians are hard to come by.
"First who, then what--get the right people on the bus."
- Jim Collins
Daniel Stall, our project manager, loves this quote. Here are Daniel's sentiments around this topic:
"Finding the right 'who' then the 'what' is exactly how I think it's best to operate. I am believer in having the right people for "the job" and then going out and finding that job. People with the right attitude, determination, and similar goals are by far the most important part; things brings a more cohesive team. If you have someone on your team who doesn’t believe in the same mission as you and is only worried about themselves, then your company can't grow. That person will not go the extra mile for the company."
New laws are coming into effect in California that require a skilled and trained workforce, and there are a lot of people out there that didn’t go through a certified program. This is why there is a shortage of certified journeyman electricians and why there needs to be infusion of more people into these programs.
Given it's hard to find qualified people right now, a main way that we combat this is trying to get as much as we can on word of mouth for hires. And we're also banking on those that are looking for a change and we happen to be the company that person calls.
But the bottom line is that loyalty seems to be a bit of an issue nowadays, which is the root of the issue. This shifts power and often means that employers, like us, are being asked to pay higher and higher wages because someone will leave for even .25 cents more!
Getting the word out that we're seeking QUALIFIED journeyman/woman electricians is the way that we can combat this, but it's imperative that those that come our way have a heart of loyalty. We're willing to do what it takes to be loyal to employees, and so we require that same respect back.