HVACR Business

OCT 2017

Help hvacr contractors master the critical components of business management.

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16 HVACR BUSINESS OCTOBER 2017 www. hvacrbusiness .com Limitations to Current Recruiting Many companies are reluctant to invest in their own in-house training programs, which is critical in addressing the skilled labor shortage. ey're fearful that today's employees are not as loyal to their employ- ers as previous generations and that the money they spend on training will not benefit them. As a result, many contractors tend to rely more on recruitment than on training and development. Unfortunately, numbers from high school job fairs are dwindling, which pres- ents limitations to companies in their re- cruitment initiatives. Today, high school students are groomed to already have a career path in mind. If companies are relying solely on these job fairs to fill skilled labor positions, they're too late in capturing the interest of potential future employees. e re- cruitment cycle needs to change, and that means exposing younger students to tech- nical careers. An Integrated Workforce e future of recruiting and retaining talent is the shi to an integrated work- force. Companies need to inspire youth to explore science, technolog y, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and consid- er careers in technical fields by exposing them to fun learning opportunities at an early age. Teachers and counselors are not the influencers in this situation; a partnership with community and technical colleges is a good starting point for companies to develop their "pipeline" of interested and qualified job candidates. Some strategic programs for students as early as the 6th grade do exist. Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, for exam- ple, holds Summer Adventure Academies for rising middle school students. ese programs encourage students to design, create, think and work through hands-on activities in order to teach them about ca- reer paths in technical industries. More companies are starting to em- brace integrated work-based incentives as a way to secure longevity with potential future employees. One important, effec- tive tactic is apprenticeships. ough it may seem like a business practice that's played out its time in soci- ety, the lasting effects of establishing rela- tionships with young employees and giv- ing them the opportunity to learn as they work are just as valuable today as they were following the Industrial Revolution. e success of an apprenticeship relies on making proper assessments of a poten- tial employee during the hiring process, and making sure they understand the com- mitment of time and work ethic they're making to the company. In return, companies need to ensure they're providing their apprentices ample opportunities to learn hands-on in an en- vironment they could see themselves in long-term. Reliability From Within ough many companies boast reten- tion numbers, not all have internal pro- grams in place to keep the skilled workers they've already acquired. A big setback for fresh employees, especially Millennials, is a stunted opportunity of options within a company. Skilled workers aren't looking for more of what they already know. ey want opportunities to learn, even if it's outside of their current niche in the workforce. Providing current employees with pro- grams that help them evolve their techni- cal skills, leadership abilities and commu- nication will allow them to see their own potential within the company. Internal programs can even keep vet- eran workers past their initial retirement date by giving them a new purpose and reason to stay. Enhancing 'so skills', such as communication and collaboration, can also give renewed life to a workforce. Training employees in this area gives them a skill set that translates among front-line, supervision and management positions. Looking Ahead Moving forward, manufacturing com- panies have a large task ahead of them in conquering the shortage in skilled labor. ey need to arm themselves with the knowledge of where to invest their time and money, the foundation of which lies in education and reaching potential em- ployers earlier in their lives. Teaching the incoming workforce about the true benefits and rewards of skilled work within manufacturing can help alleviate the damage done by a stigma that overshadows the industry. One thing that is apparent is the solutions must come from within and rely on reaching out. u Robert (Bob) Schroell is a partner with UHY LLP and managing director at UHY Advisors Mo, Inc. He is a co-leader of the St. Louis office's SEC Practice group and is also the director of Enterprise Risk Advisory services group. Visit uhy-us.com for additional information. The success of an apprenticeship relies on making proper assessments of a potential employee during the hiring process. continued from page 15

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