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3 Ways to Make Trade Jobs More Appealing to Millennials

Here are three ways a Chief Culture Officer has transformed their organization in order to recruit and retain Millennials.

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BY Ryan Jenkins - 20 Nov 2017

3 Ways to Make Trade Jobs More Appealing to Millennials

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Organizations trying to fill industrial jobs or skilled trade jobs are struggling to recruit and retain Millennial workers. In fact, 64 percent of Millennials said they wouldn't consider working in construction even if they were paid $100,000 or more.

Yet, Power Design, an electrical contractor, was recently named Inc.'s 2017 Best Workplaces and has had big success recruiting and retaining Millennials. The short answer to their success: company culture.

I recently interviewed Marlene Velez, Chief People and Culture Officer at Power Design, to get the long answer behind their success of recruiting and retaining Millennials.

3 Ways Power Design Recruits and Retains Millennials

1. Enhance the Employee Experience

"Every generation cares about family. And Power Design wants every employee to feel like part of the family. We take it one step further and care about the employee's family as well." says Velez.

Power Design recently launched the Source, a customer service department for their employees. Whether employees are in need of answers, guidance, or support the Source is there to provide enhanced and superior customer service to all employees.

The Source goes well beyond the standard human resources department by offering...

  • Fast and easy access to get ahold of someone by calling, emailing, or texting.
  • One click chat via the Source app.
  • Personal check-in calls to ask how employees are doing and what they can do to make the experience better.
  • Health concierge services to help employees find a doctor, care for an elderly parent or child, and more.
  • Finance concierge services to help employees with any questions about their finances.
  • Disaster relief where employees are provided with food, generators, transportation, and more.

"We are going to make sure you are taken care of in every aspect of your life and the Source can make that difference," says Velez.

Ninety percent of recruiters say the market is candidate-driven, up from 54 percent in second half of 2011. Because the market is now candidate and employee driven and because work and life are blending more than ever before, companies can find a next generation competitive advantage by focusing on the employee experience.

2. Offer Robust Learning and Development

"Patience is lessing. How do you make [Millennials] feel like they are moving up?" says Velez. One of the best ways to recruit and retain Millennials is through robust learning and development opportunities.

Power Design's training is less lecture and more gamified where employees solve problems in highly interactive and virtual simulations. As employees take courses, they receive points and rise up digital leaderboards based on timely completion and high scores.

Power Design's Training Simulation Center offers Millennials a safe, low-risk environment where a three-year construction project is condensed into a 1-2 week hands-on simulation where they get to see every stage of construction. The simulation serves as an accelerated career path providing powerful training and Millennials the chance to identify what part of the project or organization they are interested in exploring further.

3. Make Career Paths Clear

"We have made huge investments in order for Millennials to take ownership of their careers and to have a clear career path," says Velez.

Power Design has defined competencies (negotiation, financial acumen, customer service, etc.) for every role inside the organization. Every competency is public so every employee knows exactly what is required to move to another role. The company then offers classes (via their learning management system) to gain the necessary competency.

While leaders are encouraged to take active roles in developing their Millennial workforce, Millennials are encouraged to take their career and professional development into their own hands. "In the past, the manager was responsible for the employee development. Now we need to put the individual in the driver seat of their development," says Velez.

Power Design has removed the ambiguity that normally surrounds career paths and provided the clarity and transparency that Millennials desire.

Hear my full interview with Marlene Velez by clicking here.

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