How to Recruit an Apprentice Electrician

If you are an employer who wants to hire an apprentice electrician or a skilled labourer, you know the challenges that you can run into. You may own a company large enough to afford the internal resources to help you make hires (HR, HRA), if so, you may not find this read helpful. On the other hand, if you are a small or medium sized business and you are actively involved in the operations of your business, you may find these tips helpful for hiring.

Let’s begin with some of the challenges you may face and then look at some ways to overcome them. 

“I’m not getting enough “qualified” candidates!”

Advertise on a Large Network with Lots of Qualified Candidates

If you want candidates, you need to advertise where they can be found. The 2 search engines that most job searches in the world start with are Google and Indeed. If you advertise regularly on a job site, ask them to provide you with a credit package (annualized paid monthly are available); this will economize and reduce your overall cost per-hire. If your vendor offers screening capability within their employer posting section of their account, I recommend using the tool to “screen in” just the candidates you’re looking for. You do this by creating a profile of the “perfect” apprentice i.e. # of hours, worked at this type company, permitted to work in Canada, etc. and then creating yes no type answers which refines the candidates down to fewer but more of the type of candidate you actually want. Coupled with your busy schedule this is usually a far more manageable approach to hiring. Also refresh your ad with your job site once per week. Typically, job sites sell “30 day job posting credits” but after 7 days your ad becomes less effective as its harder to find. Refreshing the ad keeps your ad higher in the search results. If you need help with this consult your job boards help desk options.

“The resumes I’m receiving in my inbox are garbage!”

Apprentices Do Not Always Know HOW to Write a Resume

When you are busy, you are less likely to spend time on a resume with little to no information on it; before you throw that resume out consider that apprentices aren’t always the best resume writers so you may be turning away a good candidate. 

Apprentice Electricians for example generally have one goal in mind – to become a Journeyperson – so they see things in hours accrued and Trade Certification Levels accomplished yet I see a great deal of resumes that do not have that data on them, As a result, if I see a prospect who has worked at a company for a period of time and/or has listed their relative education I am inclined to at least call them and see how they sound and what they are looking for. If the candidate has not listed their education this could mean that they have learned the ropes on their own over a number of years so they could have some experience that you could put to good use or they could be a bust. How do you know? You must engage them. If you do not have time for a call, type out a stock email that asks the prospect questions that are important to you so that you can engage your candidates at scale. 

“I’m too busy to recruit!” or “I don’t have time to chase candidates!”

Unfocused Recruitment Can Produce Bad Hires

There are 2 things that I tell employers to do to help them in their hiring efforts. The first tip is to block out a time to do all your resume analysis, follow ups, emails, appt setting, etc. If you block out 1 to 2 hours per week to do only this you will have way more success than trying to do it “in between” other important tasks. The second tip is to have your “top person” do the first interview and or phone screen. This is both helpful to you and to the development of the overall skill sets in your company. Giving your top people this task makes them feel valued and allows them to provide the candidate with a “front lines” view of the job and they will likely relate to the candidate a little easier.

Hire a Service

If you are still too busy to adopt the above tips, here is my Hail Mary – check out a hiring or recruitment service.  They provide most or all the leg work for you, which keeps your hands free until needed. They advertise and attract the right candidates, they phone screen potentials, and they set up interviews for you but qualified candidates while always keeping your schedule first in mind. There are even some services that do not charge their fee until you make a hire! 

ERTH Source is one of those services, they have many years of recruitment experience in the trades, hospitality, and other markets in British Columbia. If you need to hire one or a whole crew of apprentices or skilled labourers reach out to me personally for a free 15-30 minute consultation to see if there are ways we can help now.