The Skilled Trades Talent Gap – and How Having a Military Hiring Strategy Can Help You Overcome It

By: Matt McGowan, Veteran & Market Manager

Does your company find itself behind the curve when it comes to acquiring new skilled trades talent? Well, you are not alone. Employers report that skilled trades vacancies are among the hardest to fill. With manufacturing jobs once again on the rise, many companies are struggling to know where to turn to bridge the skilled trades talent gap that continues to grow, year after year.

However, while many are floundering, savvy employers have found great success recruiting skilled personnel from a largely untapped resource: the men and women who make up our U.S. military veteran community.

In addition to the traditional qualities associated with the military such as reliability, punctuality, and tremendous work ethic, many veterans obtain skills during their service that directly translate to a variety of roles currently in demand in the manufacturing world, thereby providing employers with a renewable pool of candidates for the highly skilled positions that are such a challenge to recruit for today.

Of course, you still have to be able to find them, and while sites like Hirepurpose.com, Military.com, and VetJobs.com are excellent resources, the answer to finding highly skilled veterans may lie more with “who you know.” Organizations like the VA, American Legion, and Easter Seals can serve as a gateway to the veteran-friendly hiring community at-large, connecting you with a plethora of organizations who are often happy to share resources and candidates, including those experienced in the trades.

Additionally, there are many veterans today who are eschewing the traditional college route once their service is complete and using their G.I. Bill benefits to enroll in courses geared toward a career in the trades, capitalizing on and further developing the skills they acquired in the military. With this, another great way to directly tap in to this growing pipeline of skilled talent is to establish relationships with VA career advisors at schools in your area.

Regardless of where you target your search, we encourage employers to have a military hiring strategy, whether it’s using an agency like ours to focus on veteran recruiting or one that you develop on your own. That way, you can not only have the satisfaction of helping our nation’s veterans find employment after their service to our country, but you can also help your company overcome the skilled trades talent gap by realizing the potential this often overlooked pool of available skilled talent can bring to your organization.

To learn more about our military/veteran recruiting programs or for help finding top talent in your area, reach out to your local office.