Recruit the Best Talent in a Small Talent Pool

Finding skilled labor in this industry is a never-ending challenge. Consider these tips to make the task a little less daunting.

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Knowing who to add to your team can be a challenge in the best of circumstances, but when the talent pool is small, like it is currently in the trades, it becomes that much harder.

Contractors are doing everything from sharing employees to recruiting in nontraditional ways to fill staffing gaps. Here are some best practices for hiring and how to find good potential candidates:

Keep an open mind

Think creatively about places to look for new team members and the type of talent you want. If you’re having difficulty finding individuals to join your team, look at partnering with other plumbers in your area. By partnering together, multiple companies can benefit, getting to better know a candidate and easing pressure to hire someone immediately.

Be specific in what you’re looking for, but also flexible

Have clear criteria of the types of skill sets you want in your candidate, both technical and interpersonal (time management, communication skills, etc.). Be flexible, though, if you can’t find an exact match. Think about how can you grow someone who has some or a majority of those skills (e.g. certifications, on-the-job training, etc.).

Find someone teachable

Talented candidates who are willing to not only work hard and learn but also are open to learning new techniques and ways of doing things, are an ideal choice. For example: Is the candidate who generally solders open to trying pressing? Or are they willing to try new drain cleaning equipment to help expand business opportunities?

Highlight what sets you apart

Other companies are enduring the same challenges you are. How, then, can you make your company stand out as the best one to work for? Do you offer hiring bonuses? Flexible, fun work culture? On-the-job training? Advancement? If not, how can you get creative with what you offer?

Utilize social media

Social media is a great resource to expand your network of options.

LinkedIn has seen an increase of plumbers creating profiles and leveraging this network to share their knowledge. You can also post jobs on that platform and promote them with low investment.

Instagram has been a great platform for plumbers to connect with one another, share tips and tricks, and showcase the projects they’ve successfully completed. Tap into this network to see who’s who in your area — there could be some hidden gems. Explore hashtags such as #plumber, #plumberlife, and #plumbersofinstagram to find who’s talking about plumbing; your next employee might be found here; @worldplumbers is a great educational resource showcasing talented plumbers; use this network to grow your own network.

Don’t forget about industry events

Whether it’s a local industry event, national trade show or a trade school career night, participating in these events can be beneficial in connecting with new talent.  

Implementing a few of these suggestions will not only help expand your potential talent pool for the next position you’re looking to fill but also make the decision on who to add to your team a little less overwhelming.

About the Author

Kelly Canfield is marketing communications manager at RIDGID, managing social media and digital marketing to grow and expand networks. RIDGID is a global manufacturer of more than 300 dependable and innovative tools, trusted by professional trades in over 100 countries. Learn more at  


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