Finding maintenance techs in todays job market
There are many challenges to finding the right maintenance technicians and managers at any given time and recent times have made it even more difficult. New projects added onto old requirements, seemingly fewer applicants to choose from, and trying to find people with the correct skill set, mindset, and certifications can be very daunting. Aging managers and technicians are retiring at a high rate, and it can be a struggle to replace them with younger workers who have skills and experience to do the work.
Keeping the qualified technicians that you currently have can save money and headaches in training and hiring costs. Here are some strategies to retain and motivate the technicians you currently have.
Addressing deferred maintenance related projects can have a positive impact on the maintenance department’s ability to operate efficiently on a regular basis and can help keep the current maintenance team from feeling overwhelmed and overworked.
Providing training opportunities so staff can advance is also a great motivator and will help to ensure staff is knowledgeable in the systems they work on so they can be more effective and efficient. Many maintenance departments report that employees who have moved up within the ranks tend to stay longer than outside hires.
Make sure staff understands and is committed to the values and expectations of the company, and that they feel they have a voice in how their jobs are carried out.
Ensure your maintenance supervisors not only have the technical knowledge but the emotional and personal awareness to provide a positive working environment. Provide opportunities for staff to grow and develop professionally as well as personally, and let them know you care by creating a positive culture where employees want to come to work.
Make sure that you provide high-quality products and tools that help make the job go quicker and that allows them to do the job right the first time in order to keep current employees happy and motivated. Frustration happens when the job at hand takes longer than it should because the products or tools provided will not do the job efficiently.
When it comes to locating and hiring qualified technicians, you may need to revisit and revise strategies for recruitment and hiring.
Expanding your search outside of the immediate area may provide candidates who are looking to move. Include community and technical colleges in your recruitment efforts.
A strong benefit package and year-round employment can be a big draw for local handymen, some of whom may be willing to come to work for you if they know they have consistent work and benefits rather than being on their own.
Using all methods available to get the word out including online resources, job posting boards, and incentives to employees for finding a candidate, can increase your chances of finding the right person.
Ensure that your job postings mention any advancement opportunities and even timelines for when increased salary and job duties can be expected. If you need a particular certification, you may need to be willing to hire a candidate without it and provide a deadline to them getting the certification. Be upfront in the interview with the expectations and also the tools and training that will be provided.
Focus more on hiring those with aspirations and attitude to become better that may not have all of the skills you’d prefer right now, but who are willing to work to acquire those skills. Someone may be willing to take a smaller wage upfront if they know within a specified amount of time they can move up and significantly increase their knowledge and salary.
Once you think you have found the right person you can pair them up with a supervisor for a day, and just pay them for the day to see how they work with your team and if their knowledge matches up with their résumé.