How Service Organizations Can Improve Technician Recruitment: An Interview with BirdDog

Hottest Field Service Management Topics of 2014

As the demand for skilled trade workers continues to grow, how will your service company attract top talent?

Director of marketing at BirdDog, Ann Torry, helps answer the ever present question in field service: how can I attract and retain skilled technicians to my service organization?

In this exclusive interview, Ann explains that service organizations don’t have to sit back and suffer as their current pool of workers retires and they struggle to find quality replacements. Instead of watching your service company shrink, Ann explains, there are things you can do to recruit new workers and attract top talent.

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Can you explain who BirdDog is and what your software does in a few sentences?

Top people with key skills are in short supply due to fewer people entering the skilled trade workforce and the retirement of the baby boomers. This obstacle, combined with Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) changes to recruitment outreach to veterans and individuals with disabilities, makes this year extra challenging for federal contractors and subcontractors.

To compete for key talent and maintain compliance, organizations need to adapt and innovate.

BirdDog provides recruitment and applicant tracking cloud-based software (ATS) and services including candidate sourcing and screening, recruitment management, and reporting for compliance and OFCCP good faith recruitment efforts.

Which industries benefit the most from your recruiting solutions?

BirdDog is the only ATS with a focus on 16 years of history serving the construction, engineering and supply industries.

Why is recruiting in the skilled trades such a critical area for service businesses today?

We see multiple reasons why recruiting has become so critical for service organizations. The good news is that the economy is recovering and there is more work available for service businesses. The challenge is that now that the work is available, there simply aren’t enough skilled workers for all of the open positions being created by economic growth and the retirement of the Baby Boomers. According to the Association of General Contractors (AGC) of America’s 2014 Construction Industry Hiring and Business Outlook, two-thirds of construction firms report they are having trouble finding qualified workers to fill positions.

What advice would you give service organization in need of reaching and hiring more skilled technicians?

Companies that are successful in this recruitment landscape are changing to appeal to the modern job seeker. Instead of making a newspaper ad the center of their recruitment strategy, businesses need to go online and make their own website’s career page the center of the strategy and build an online talent community and systematic recruitment process around that. After they have updated their career page, a focus on job distribution (getting jobs distributed to the people they want to hire) and reporting (reporting where top candidates are coming from) is critical to success.

We recently had an organization tell us that changing their recruitment strategy resulted in 75% more candidates to consider and that they obtained those candidates 50% faster than by using traditional recruitment methods.

What are steps service companies could take to better recruit skilled workers?

Technician recruitment can be really overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. A great start to successfully recruiting skilled workers includes:

    1. Set up your career page and make sure you jobs are being posted to appropriate job boards (niche and general). Also make sure your job information is easy to share online so that your employees and business partners can help you spread the word. Give your job seekers a call to action—APPLY NOW.

    2. A large number of applicants is great…if you have a process to manage them. Develop a systematic recruitment process to ensure you have a streamlined approach to your recruitment and interviewing management.

    3. As with any good business initiative, report on your successes and stay compliant. Know where your top candidates are coming from.

Companies should consider how to attract today’s job seeker and review their recruitment processes to ensure they are capable of doing that. If their process is flawed or they don’t know where to start, there are many free resources available online.

  • With the demand for service technicians so high, it’s unrealistic to expect quality workers to just show up on your door step. The reality is, taking steps, like making your website easier to navigate for people looking for a job and documenting where your top candidates are coming from, are the only way to make sure your service department isn’t left with technicians to keep up with the demand.

    Make sure to catch all of our Service Technician Careers series right here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6

    Service Technician Careers: A Guide to Finding, Hiring, and Retaining Top Field Workers

    A strong workforce is at the core of field service success. Use this comprehensive guide–with expert advice from Texas Caterpillar dealer and top applicant tracking company, BirdDog–to build a quality team for your organization.

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