Recruiting From the New “Pools of Candidates”

As contractors, we must seek out potential workers at a very early age. This can give you the leg up on competitors not yet recruiting from this employee’s candidate pool.

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Adobe Stock/gustavofrazao

In this addition of how to find workers, we will explore opportunities to recruit from the post-secondary education systems, and participating on local Career and Technical Education (CTE) Boards.

The post-secondary education system consists primarily of schools that have educational programs for individuals who are out of high school.  In some cases, students may have graduated from high school. In other situations, students may have completed their General Educational Development, also known as the “GED.” In either situation, the school is after high school, thus “post-secondary.”  

Many of the post-secondary schools are called 

  • Vocational School
  • Technology School
  • Junior College
  • College or University

In the State of Texas, one example of these schools includes a chain of technical schools called TSTC, Texas State Technical College.  State colleges and universities may have a technical focus for skill training. For many of these technical slanted colleges, there is a vast program of skills training in areas such as masonry, electrical, welding, plumbing, HVAC, diesel engine mechanics, carpentry, concrete, and sometimes even field engineering. (This is not an exclusive list.)

The thing about students attending such technical colleges and universities, that I’m most optimistic about, is that the students are attending because they want to learn a trade or skill.  They attend with the idea of finding a job in that specialized trade area. In many cases, they are open and available to begin working with a contractor sooner, rather than later.  

Let’s address our second “recruitment pool.”  If you have a local school district with one or more high schools, you may find that they have a CTE program available to students.  In some districts around the United States, you may find students from grades nine through twelve attending.  

The CTE has essentially replaced the older shop class that many of us remember.  The new CTE is a vast improvement over any shop class you might have taken when you were in high school.

The opportunity for you is that most high schools need contractors, like you, to serve on their Advisory Board.  

Most CTE Advisory Boards meet once a month, with members providing helpful industry insights and support for the CTE instructors. The Board Members can play a major role in securing needed resources for the students, including tools, materials, donations, PPE, etc.

As CTE Board Member, you get a first-hand look at the talent coming up during the teen years of future workers.  Depending on your specialty of trade, you may be able to hire students immediately upon their graduation or develop a relationship with a student that encourages their continued learning of a trade by attending a post-secondary technical school.

As contractors, we must seek out the two areas shared in this article. It can give you the leg up on competitors not yet recruiting from this employee’s candidate pool.

Keep fishing for your future workers.

Brad has been assisting contractors for more than thirty-five years and has earned the name, The Contractor’s Best Friend.  Heard weekly on Caterpillar and’s co-sponsored podcast, The Contractor’s Best Friend Podcast, Brad and team continue to share their experience and love for the construction industry.  Brad speaks at national and state conferences including the World of Concrete, the National Pavement Exposition, the International Roofing Exposition, Wisconsin’s ABC annual conference, and many more.  Author of several books, Brad has also had more than three hundred articles published to date over his career.