How to Find Skilled Workers During a Labor Shortage


Companies need to expand and sustain in the face of a rapidly changing economy. In the construction and manufacturing industries, skilled, experienced workers are core to this growth Unfortunately, our country is in the midst of a major skilled labor shortage. Most companies complain that they can’t find enough skilled workers to fill their projects.

“Many of the skilled workers in the current workforce are baby boomers nearing retirement. And, the demographic projections indicate there are fewer people in the generation behind this retiring group to fill these vacancies.”-Lee Rasch

Fortunately, a little creative footwork can give you the competitive edge over other employers who are vying for the top quality talent you need. Following are five creative tips for attracting your next skilled worker who will help your company grow long term!


Have you resisted the trend to join social media? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn? ….Though it all might seem like unnecessary noise to distract you during your busy days, social media has become a great place to find quality employees.

“Hiring managers and recruiters are increasingly turning to the social web to market their companies to job seekers.” – Joe Budzienski

Social media is not only a powerful tool for companies looking to do business. It’s also a highly effective way of recruiting new employees. On LinkedIn, you can run advanced searches to identify potential candidates in your area. On Facebook, you can post your job openings on your company page and ask employees and friends to share with their friend circles. We promise… the return will be worth your time!

Reach out to local unions and trade schools and ask that they share your openings on their social pages as well. They are often to connected to a multitude of skilled talent looking for new work. And remember… the candidates are out there. The trick is connecting with them. Social media is a powerful tool that allows you to do this instantly.


You’ve probably wished you could clone your top performing employees, right? Unfortunately, we’re not quite there technologically. Your second best bet is to incentivize quality referrals from trusted employees. Referral bonuses are a great way to incentivize employees to find new hires for you.

You probably have employees with old friends from trade school or previous jobs. These relationships are valuable connections to trusted tradesmen in the industry. Their network could be chock-full of quality candidates!


Hiring temps, freelancers, and student co-ops is a great way to build a roster of talent from which you can choose when hiring full time. Temp agencies bring on workers for overflow work, alleviating stress on your full-time employees. Freelancers and independent contractors can contribute to small projects short term. This gives you a feel for their work ethic. As always, team up with your local trade schools for co-op prospects.

Not only will you be able to handle the influx of work during busy seasons, but you’ll also have a chance to “audition” new talent before taking on a skilled worker full time. Picking up young prospects as freelancers and student co-ops is an excellent way to bring talent into your company before your competitors pick them up! Talk about smart business during a labor shortage.


Need to fill a bunch of jobs fast? Instead of dragging out the hiring process over weeks or even months, knock it out over a weekend through open interview days. Holding an open interview day or job fest at your facility is a great way to quicken the hiring process. Advertise your event in your local paper and on social media, asking local trade schools and co-ops to share. As always, ask your employees to encourage their job seeking friends in the field to come out.

If you market the event well, dozens of candidates could show up. You can find your next great employee (or handful of employees) within a few hours.

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