One of the best age brackets for construction and other types of blue collar work is young people. But unfortunately, too many Generation Zs and millennials aren’t showing enough interest in working in blue collar fields. GenZs (people born from 1996 to now) and millennials (those born between 1982-1995) are willing to work hard, provided they’re able to balance their jobs with their personal lives. Since blue collar jobs are known for their long working hours and difficult schedules, finding a balance can be challenging.
That’s why employers need to listen to what appeals to young people and alter their traditional polices so that these young adults can find more balance between their work and personal lives. Here are some of the ways the construction industry and other blue collar fields can attract more GenZs and millennial workers:
Advantages for Blue Collar Industries Hiring Younger People
There are several benefits for blue collar industries hiring younger people. In addition to younger people being more physically fit, another main reason for hiring them is that they're highly tech-savvy, which is a huge advantage for many industries. Additionally, the younger generations tend to be very socially minded. When technical abilities are combined with social skills, blue collar companies can enjoy a stronger web presence, which benefits productivity. What’s more, when a more personal touch is added to a business, customers feel more valued.
Understand What Makes Gen Zs and Millennials Tick
It helps to understand the world in which GenZs and millennials grew up. For example, there was more focus on teamwork than in prior generations. Many younger people were protected by their parents a bit more than older generations. Therefore, they may tend to expect employers to protect them more.
Rather than preferring a chain of command at work, they’re more interested in collaboration or teamwork. In other words, compensation isn’t their top priority. Although they want to make money and be able to pay their bills, they’re more concerned about being respected and feeling like they're a valuable part of a team.
Offer More Competitive Salaries
A major way to attract more young people to blue collar jobs is to offer salaries that are more competitive so that they won’t be tempted to take jobs in industries that pay more. Just offering a salary that’s only a somewhat higher than what your competitors offer shows that you really do care about your employees.
Offer More Flexibility and Unconventional Benefits
Maybe you’re unable to offer more pay or even provide additional benefits, but you could still offer work schedules that are more flexible. Furthermore, consider adding to their vacation time by including more job-sharing, so they can see that you appreciate their skills and the time they spend working for you.
More flexibility in work scheduling is another type of unconventional benefit that young people appreciate. Companies should also offer time-off polices that are more flexible, which can mean a reduction in absenteeism.
Offer More Competitive Healthcare Benefits Along with a Wellness Program
Healthcare coverage is especially important to GenZs and millennials. Thus, to attract these young people, you need to offer healthcare benefits that are more favorable. Besides wanting better healthcare benefits, young adults are also highly interested in employers providing wellness programs. This means that employers need to stay on the cutting edge when it comes to offering wellness programs by knowing what their competitors are advertising, so they can present programs that are more inviting. Examples of wellness programs include those such as fitness center memberships and smoking cessation programs.
Use Social Media
Social media networking plays a big part in recruiting young adults to blue collar jobs. Instead of advertising in newspapers, the primary methods for recruiting talent today is by using social media platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and others. If you’re part of an older generation and are unfamiliar with these platforms, you may want to use a PEO (Professional Employer Organization) like Harbor America to devise recruitment strategies that work well through social medial.
A Few Considerations and Warnings
- Offer counseling for employees in practical skills, such as tax preparation and how to save for retirement.
- Provide training on how employees should conduct themselves in a workplace.
- Because young people spend a lot of time watching online videos and other types of technology, why not create a simple YouTube video showing what your industry has to offer.
- Create your company’s presence at community colleges. Keep in mind that some students who are struggling academically may realize they’re better suited for blue collar work than for white collar industries.
Attracting and keeping GenZs and millennials is much easier when you hire a PEO. Besides providing HR services, a PEO handles payroll, benefits, compliance and other types of services to small and mid-sized business owners in construction and other blue collar industries. Please contact us at Harbor America for a free consultation.