In today’s labor market, hiring is tough. It’s exhausting. It’s defeating.

However, there are simple changes that you can make within your current processes to get past the difficulties you are facing today. Keep reading to learn how to hire skilled trades workers in 2024.


, BlueRecruit


Choose different platforms for different jobs.

You will likely not be able to hire a salesperson in the same place that you would hire a CNC machinist. LinkedIn is a great place to find a salesperson because you are able to see the type of content they create and how they interact with their network and connections.

To find a CNC machinist, use industry-specific platforms, like BlueRecruit. These platforms allow you to search for job seekers with the exact skills and certifications one would need to operate your machinery safely. How they interact with others on LinkedIn (if they even have an account) is just not relevant for this type of job.


Fully rely on job boards and recruiting software to fill all of your roles.

The internet is not the only place to connect with the right talent. In-person job fairs and trade conferences are also a great way to speak directly to talent and interview them right on the spot.

Being present in your community will also catch the eye of potential hires. Sponsor a tee-ball team or donate to a local organization. Be active on social media. For even more ideas, check out this podcast we did with an auto shop in Ohio that found several ways to create a name and brand for his company and allowed him to reduce the amount of sourcing he had to do.


, BlueRecruit


Use multiple communication methods.

Did you know that 90% of text messages are opened within 3 minutes of being sent? The vast majority of the labor pool prefers text messaging over any other method of communication.

Percentage by Age Groups that Prefer Text Messaging:

  • 18-29: 95%
  • 30-49: 91%
  • 50-64: 66%

Emails should no longer be your go-to to connect with the talent you have sourced. However, don’t simply rely on text messaging alone. Sending an email, phone call and a text message will allow the job seeker to choose which channel they would prefer to continue the conversation.

If texting is not a method you prefer, there are some platforms, including BlueRecruit, that offer an in-app messaging feature that allow you to send an SMS to a job seeker from your computer without having to use your own phone number.


Assume that time is on your side and be slow to follow up.

You should have an interview scheduled within 24 hours of connecting with a candidate. If you wait longer than this, that person could already have another job offer. For high-demand jobs, we are seeing BlueRecruit users receive 3-4 connection requests each day – that’s a lot of competition. The takeaway… if you are not able to keep that candidate’s attention, they will move on.


, BlueRecruit


Offer the benefits that job seekers want.

Since the pandemic, 2/3 of job seekers feel that a flexible schedule is the most important benefit a company can offer, even more, important than compensation.

One of our customers recently shared some insight on this after an interview he conducted. The candidate asked to have Thursday afternoons off, so he could attend his son’s lacrosse games. The employer was already offering half-days on Fridays, so the compromise that made the most sense was to allow that candidate to switch his “half-day perk” from Fridays to Thursdays. This was an easy win-win for both parties that lead to a long-term, loyal employee.

We are also seeing that 43% of job seekers believe job satisfaction is more important than any benefit an employer can offer. If you have a great company culture and your employees love their job, bring candidates in for an in-person interview and let them tour your facility and spend a few hours meeting and shadowing your team. On your website and social media pages, avoid stock images, and share real photos of your staff. This will help a potential hire connect with your company on a more personal level and better envision how their new day-to-day will look.


Offer sign-on bonuses.

We are seeing sign-on bonuses everywhere! Everyone is promoting them and the amount being offered is continuing to rise, because each company is trying to beat the other for the talent that is out there. While a sign-on bonus may get a new hire through the door, once the bonus is paid out, that hire does not have the motivation to continue their employment. They can just move on to the next company offering a bonus.

We are also seeing a mass exodus of employees after their second year of employment. If someone receives $2,000 sign on bonus, they are in essence adding this amount into their annual salary. Come year two, they feel they are taking a pay cut which leads them to begin their job search again.

What monetary perk is successful? Relocation assistance. Typically, a reimbursement of up to $5,000 in moving costs is enough to entice a potential new hire. Plus, if someone is willing to move their life to come work for you, they are more likely to remain a long-term employee.

We are also seeing that referral bonuses for your current employees are wildly successful. Who would refer a friend they didn’t want to work with every day? Offering a referral bonus encourages your employees to get involved in the recruiting process and leads to more qualified and successful hires.


, BlueRecruit


Conduct a phone or video screen.

While in-person interviews should be a staple within your interview process, we recommend conducting at least one phone or video screen with any new prospect before asking them to come in-person to your location. This allows you to confirm a few key traits of the person:

  • Can they be on time?
  • Do they have experience in the role you are offering? Are they willing to learn?
  • Depending on the requirements of the role, how are their communication skills?
  • Are they asking you questions about the job and your company? If so, this is an indicator that they are excited about the opportunity.

If your role does not require the need for computer literacy or proficiency in technology, be patient with your interviewees if you are conducting a video interview. They may not have access to a computer and need to use their cell phone. They may have never downloaded Zoom and are not sure how it works. If technology is not important, keep this process simple for them. Opt for a phone screen or a video interview portal, like BlueRecruit’s, that does not require any app download and is optimized for mobile.

Introduce candidates to the team.

The best way to determine if a prospect is a good fit is to see them in their future working environment. During the in-person interview, include a facility tour with time for the candidate to shadow at least 2 employees for 20-30 minutes each. This lets them to get a glimpse of work-life, ask questions they may be intimidated to ask you and lets your employees gain a perspective and provide feedback on whether this candidate will be a good fit or not.

Lastly, take your potential new hire out for lunch with each person that was involved in the interview or shadowing process. This is a nice thank you to your current employees and lets you further determine if this person fits well into your culture. How they treat the restaurant staff is also a great indicator of how this person will be as an employee.


Conduct too many interviews.

Google recently released a study that shows when 4 interviews were conducted, the candidate is 86% more likely to be a good hire. If 3 interviews were conducted, there was an 83% chance that the right choice was made. If 4 seems like a lot, that’s okay, because this is counting each person that candidate speaks to as an interview. Here are a couple of examples that can get you to 4 interviews:

Scenario #1

  • Phone/Video Screen = 1 interview
  • In-Person Panel with 2 interviewers = 2 interviews
  • 30-minute Shadow = 1 interview

Scenario #2

  • Phone/Video Screen = 1 interview
  • In-Person Panel with 3 interviewers = 3 interviews

If 4 interviews does not seem long enough, you will see a slight increase in the likeliness of a successful hire with more, however, after 6 interviews, results completely plateau. Regardless of the number of interviews you conduct, keep the process under 2 weeks. Any more time than this will likely lose the interest of the candidate.

In your pursuit of skilled tradespeople, sign up on BlueRecruit and run a free search today to discover the right candidates efficiently. Embrace these strategies, adapt to the evolving preferences of job seekers, and revolutionize your hiring approach for success in the competitive labor market of 2024. You can learn more about conduct training for your team and competitive compensation rates at BlueCareer.