How to Attract and Hire the Best Talent
May 21, 2024

Like many other industries in the UK, trade businesses are suffering from a shortage of skilled tradespeople in a busy market. There are plenty of apprenticeship opportunities, but they don’t seem to keep up with demand. So, in this week’s article, we thought we’d bring you some tips from Chichester recruitment expert Phil Salton on how to attract and hire the best talent for your business.

How to Attract and Hire the Best Talent for Your Trade Business:

An interview with recruitment expert Phil Salton:

TM: What key factors do potential employees or contractors consider when choosing a trade business to work for or collaborate with?

PS: Like most other industries, essential factors will likely include remuneration, potential benefits, and working hours. For tradespeople, the type of project they will be working on is often a big drawcard. So, if you can fit the applicant into projects you know will appeal to them, you might have a better chance of securing talent.

TM: Are there any innovative approaches or perks businesses can offer to stand out?

PS: One of the biggest things businesses can do is to make the benefits more attractive. So doing your best on company pensions and extra holidays is always a good idea. Not only will this attract the best candidates, but it will also likely retain them in the long term. However, it would help if you also aimed to have something a little different to offer. Things like company socials, rewards and fun bonuses can often be overlooked, but they may make a big difference.

TM: How can trade businesses effectively leverage platforms and social media to attract talent?

PS: Businesses should highlight their unique differences and use their remuneration package to stand out as potential employers. Indeed is still one of the most popular platforms for attracting talent.

TM: How can trade businesses optimise the recruitment and selection processes to attract suitable candidates?

PS: Ensure that any advertising and job description is accurate and enticing, and make the process work in a timely fashion; good candidates won’t be on the market for a long time, and any delay in the interview process could mean the loss of a potentially strong candidate. Always make your candidates feel wanted and appreciated.

TM: What essential interview questions should you ask to assess an applicant’s skills, experience, and fit?

PS: Ask them about previous positions they have worked in and what skills they may have learned there. Ask them to provide proof; many may have taken photos of their work to show. Ask them for copies of any relevant qualifications and references from previous employers.

TM: What strategies can businesses use to verify candidates’ suitability, qualifications, certifications, and licenses during vetting?

PS: Ensure that you request proof of qualifications, certificates, references, etc., be brought along to any initial interview. Let candidates know that this is a vital part of the hiring process.

TM: What soft skills should trades businesses look for in candidates during the interview process?

PS: Suitable soft skills are critical for any applicant. Communication skills, team player skills, and being personable, will all make a massive difference in the workplace environment.

TM: What role can reference checks play in the vetting process for trade businesses?

PS: I feel that reference checks are essential in the hiring process. However, there will often be occasions when these are perhaps not as forthcoming; legally, references are not allowed to be negative. A quick call to a previous employer or colleague may be a better approach.

TM: How can you specifically help trade businesses find the talent they need?

PS: As a local recruiter and coming up number one in local searches for employment, I get a lot of enquiries from candidates looking for construction work. As a highly experienced recruiter, I am well-placed to help local construction companies in Chichester.

We hope this article has given you some valuable tips on how to attract and hire the best talent! Our thanks to Phil for his expertise. Now, browse the rest of the articles in our Knowledge Hub for more helpful, jargon-free tips to help you run your business!