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How Do You Find Qualified Plumbing Employees To Hire?

How Do You Find Qualified Plumbing Employees To Hire?

How Do You Find Qualified Plumbing Employees To Hire?

Posted by Jarrod Miller-Dean

Housecall Pro

Uploaded 117 days ago

How Do You Find Qualified Plumbers?

It is no secret that finding quality plumbing technicians is challenging. With a major push towards four year university education, entering the trades out of high school is not something that students are seeking as an option or receiving enough education about. 

Quality plumbers with experience are also in high demand, so chances are they are already employed. What could compel them to leave their current employment for your company, and would they do the same once on board with you? So not only must you find a quality employee, but once hired, you have to retain them. 

Is It Worth It To Create An In House Training Program? 

Many plumbing contractors are combating the shortage of qualified plumbers by hiring inexperienced individuals and offering training programs. While there are benefits, it is a long term solution and requires a time investment with no guarantee, as some of our Housecall Pro members have found. 

Maid Honor: I've been advertising on Monster, Indeed and Craigslist since January for a licensed plumber. But we also have a long term plan as well. I have a “Grow Your Own” program. We are doing the same setup as hospitals, by hiring individuals that want to learn the trade.

My company is less than a year old, so I can’t give you the results just yet. However, I hired one apprentice in October of 2018. He gets paid to learn and I will pay for all of his preps and testing. As soon as he gets his license, I’ll hire another two...and keep doing that. Yes, some will leave, but some will stay. Regardless, we’d have helpers anyway, so why not invest in the future of them and us? 

I believe that if we treat employees correctly regardless of their position, I’ll have a low turnover rate. The apprentice has all the benefits as a licensed plumber and even his own take-home company vehicle. So he gets dispatched from his home to whoever needs help that day.

Do Traditional Hiring Services Work For Plumbers? 

Monster, Indeed, LinkedIn, Craigslist — these are great places to find individuals searching for employment, but are they right for the plumbing industry? It seems to be like casting out a large net and hoping to catch the right plumber. It may be hit or miss, especially in the current market where most qualified, experienced, and loyal plumbers are already employed with companies who want to make sure they stay put. 

What About Trade Schools And Veteran Services?

There is already a large pool of potential plumbers attending local community colleges and trade schools, such as the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Academies (PHCC) across the nation. It is also a good option for additional training for in-house apprenticeship programs.  

Veteran services also have great potential. There are men and women transitioning out of the military with transferable skills. One of their biggest challenges is finding a good fit in the civilian world — for companies willing to do some work in becoming GI Bill certified, it can be an untapped resource benefiting both parties.

David Wayne Glenn Jr: 
Our method is to advertise to the trade schools that we are certified Veteran's Affairs, so ex-military can use the GI Bill and get paid for GI Bill during the apprenticeship. Not many companies take time to get certified, so if you do, you’re the go-to company for GI Benefits. 

Jera Brown: 
My brother is a veteran. I know his fear of a company not taking his experience seriously, so I love this. 

Veterans are hard workers. Can I ask how it’s going? I’d like to quote you for one of Housecall Pro’s guides on starting an HVAC company. 

David Wayne Jr.:
It’s going good. It takes work and some effort to get certified, but the two employees with motivation and some loyalty to stick to the company. Aside from family are the veterans.

Final Thoughts

While it may be a challenge, finding quality individuals is not impossible, it simply takes creative solutions and more time in training. However, companies willing to put in the extra time to train inexperienced individuals may find they can build their company on a strong foundation of valuable and loyal plumbers. Plus, training employees from the ground up means not having to retrain bad habits and having employees with a vested interest in staying with your company.

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