Growing up we all heard how important it was to attend college to receive an education and find “a good job.” However, what defines a good job? While some are destined to attend a four-year college, others follow a different path and find great careers in various skilled industries like roofing, contracting and construction.

With companies constantly looking to fill openings and the high-paying positions the industry has, these jobs should be more sought after. The problem is employers must figure out how to beat that proverbial thought that the only way one can be successful in life is by attending a four-year college.

To combat this, employers must learn to adapt training and promotion styles to further appeal to the next generation of workers, as well as finding ways to reach them sooner before it’s too late. Below are three strategies roofing employers can implement to effectively promote trade jobs to young people, as well as highlighting their importance to our everyday society and their many benefits.

Start Recruiting Earlier

If you’re serious about recruiting young professionals to the industry, you have to start your efforts early by going after students that are finishing high school or young adults unsure if college is the right fit for them. Reaching this age group can seem difficult, but roofers can participate in local community job fairs, continuously post all openings to job boards and even get in touch with local community advisors or mentors to make sure these positions are being represented to young people.

Also, it can be helpful to stir up interest on social media. According to the 2021 Job Seeker Nation report by Jobvite, social media proves to be vital in highlighting and educating potential candidates on a company's culture and brand. And since more than 96% of younger workers have smartphones and spend time on social channels, having a strong social presence is a sure way to engage with prospective employees.

Promote a Career

People often disregard skilled trade jobs because they underestimate the professional and personal fulfilment they provide to industry workers. When out recruiting, employers must be able to highlight these benefits to prospects.

Maybe the two most glaring benefits people tend to ignore with skilled trade careers are the availability of jobs, and how well some can pay. Skilled trade workers can consistently make $50,000 per year, with great chances of promotions and higher salaries as they climb the industry ladder. Additionally, these positions are extremely stable with the average age of employees in skilled trade jobs being 40 years old. This means young people who enter this workforce can have long-standing careers as older workers continue to filter out.

It’s also important to highlight how much of an impact skilled trade professionals can have on their companies, as well as the community. Whether it be building and reconstructing homes for families to live and grow in, or commercial projects that impact an entire community, the work of contractors can be bigger than one small project, which can be incredibly appealing and fulfilling. This plays right to the preferences of the younger generations, as the Multigenerational Impacts on the Workplace study found approximately 84% of millennial workers say they care more about making a difference externally rather than individually.

Adjust and Appeal  

Talking the talk is one thing, but can you also walk the walk in terms of your recruiting? Are you a company young industry professionals want to work for? If you’re unsure of the answer to that question, it may be time to adjust your enterprise to better fit the makeup of these workers.

Implementing interactive and technologically driven training resources, providing personal mentors, personally training leadership skills and creating collaboration amongst team members are just a few examples of ways to adapt your business to better serve and attract younger employees. These workers are entirely different than previous generations, which means attracting and retaining them is a whole new ballgame. To play the game, you have to show them you’re an employer who is willing to adapt to their preferences and skillsets.

It’s on us employers to invest in the next wave of talent both professionally and personally. By following these three strategies, you’ll be able to recruit and retain top employees of the next generations while giving them the tools to greatly impact the future of your company and the overall industry.