How To Attract and Retain Electricians: What Is the Next Generation Looking For?

 The number of electrician jobs available in the U.S. is expected to grow 6% over the next 8 years (faster than average). With an already short supply of skilled workers, competition to attract and retain electricians is fierce, and is likely to remain so in the near future.

So, if you’re struggling to find and retain skilled electricians, you’re not alone. But the situation isn’t hopeless — there are a number of things you can do to make your company more attractive to prospective employees. 

To beat out the competition and attract top talent, your company needs to be seen by recruits as a great place to work. From compensation and advancement opportunities to communication, employee engagement, and more, you need to stand out from the crowd.

The following are some of the qualities the next generation of electricians is looking for in an employer — how does your company stack up?

Competitive Compensation
Skilled electricians are looking for compensation that matches their expertise. Offering a competitive wage and benefits package — complete with bonuses, profit-sharing, or performance incentives, as well as health care and retirement plans — is key to attracting top talent.

Need help determining compensation and finding health care and retirement plans? We’ve got a few resources for you:

Order our Wage and Benefit Report to see what your competition is paying their electricians.
Use our Association Health Care Plan to lower your premiums and offer health insurance to your crew.
Take part in our 401(k) program, which allows members to put away up to $60,000 (tax free), while also contributing to their employees’ 401(k) accounts.

Professional Development
Invest in ongoing training and development programs. Professional development empowers your employees to succeed and builds a strong foundation for your company.

Learning and development opportunities, like the Electrical Association’s electrical apprentice training program and continuing education for electricians, will help support your electricians in obtaining the certifications they need and staying up-to-date on industry trends. We also offer exam prep courses for your employees going for their JW or Master license. 

Career Advancement Opportunities
In addition to professional development, make sure you offer clear paths for career advancement within your company. As your electricians grow in their trade, they’ll need opportunities to use their newfound skills and knowledge in more advanced leadership roles.

A Safe Working Environment
This should go without saying, but no one wants to work in an unsafe environment.

Holding regular safety meetings is a crucial element of creating a safe working environment. If you’re stuck for information to include in your meetings, download our toolbox talks — a series of short, industry-specific topics to keep your employees abreast of changes in regulations, safety procedures, equipment, and job assignments and responsibilities.

You can also schedule the Electrical Association to come to your shop to teach your crew about the latest in 70e and Safety.

Recognition and Appreciation
Happy employees become loyal employees…and one way to keep your staff happy is to recognize their hard work, achievements, and milestones.

Take the time to regularly recognize and reward outstanding performance among your staff. This can be in the form of company-wide recognition (such as an “employee of the month”), performance bonuses, or other incentives.

Communication and Feedback
Clear, open communication is key to maintaining strong relationships between company leadership and staff. 

Work to foster open communication between management and electricians. Ask for employee feedback regularly, and address any concerns promptly. Offer positive feedback to boost morale, enhance teamwork, and drive success.

Community Involvement
The next generation is also looking to work for companies with a connection to the world around them. Engaging in community outreach programs or showcasing your company’s commitment to social responsibility will be a real draw for new staff.

You might also consider joining forces with a local organization or workforce program to provide electrical apprentice training for entry-level positions or promote the electrical trade to local high school students. Community involvement like this will keep you connected to your local community while also helping to widen the local talent pool.

Transparent Policies
Today’s new recruits like to see a high level of transparency in the companies they consider working for. Strive to maintain transparent, fair policies for promotions, raises, and benefits, so your employees know what to expect.

Modern Tools, Equipment, and Technology
Embracing technological advancements in the industry will not only boost your team’s efficiency and productivity, but it will also make their jobs more enjoyable. Providing your staff with state-of-the-art tools and equipment shows them that you take pride in the work they do and the reputation your company has in the marketplace.

This applies to your hiring process as well. Utilize online job postings, online applications, virtual interviews, and other technology to make the process easy and accessible to potential employees. 

Does your company embody these qualities and practices? If not, it’s worth the investment to adopt the ones you’re missing. And if you need additional resources to better attract and retain electricians, consider an Electrical Association membership. Learn more about the benefits of joining the Electrical Association here. Join now!