How to recruit the best employees for your plumbing or heating business

Most of us are now aware that the plumbing and heating industry is facing a skills gap amongst its workforce. Research is showing that the demand for qualified plumbing and heating contractors is growing but there are fewer skilled workers entering the industry, that means as a consequence there are more vacant plumbing and heating roles to be filled and many positions are left sitting empty.

If you or your business are one of those that are struggling to fill their vacant roles, then we have put together some tips on how you can recruit qualified employees for your plumbing and heating business.

To start with you need to think about the type of contractor you want to hire and make these objectives clear to the candidates. There is a worry that a rise in low cost, short plumbing courses is not producing the highly skilled workers that the industry needs and instead many new entrants only have basic plumbing skills and qualifications. Set your criteria for an employee and stick to it, don’t be tempted to just hire someone because you know them or use a generic job description because it is less time consuming.

  1. Job boards

This route of recruitment is a traditional and popular method which many businesses use if they are hiring. Using its best to advertise across a variety of job boards such as Indeed, Reed and Total Jobs if you can, by using more than one job board you can reach a wider audience and make sure you aren’t missing out on candidates. Be mindful that job board listings do cost so it might be worth looking at your recruitment budget before you start.

  1. Word of mouth

Using word of mouth to recruit can be extremely fruitful, being able to utilise your industry contacts and ask them to spread the word of your vacancy and/or recommend candidates is a free way to recruit.  You can also use your current workforce to refer potential candidates that the believe may be suitable for the business. Word of mouth is a free and simple route to recruitment.

  1. Social media

One of the biggest contributing factors to the skills gap is the ageing workforce and the fact that there are fewer young people entering plumbing and heating jobs. In order to target the younger plumbers and heating contractors you should utilise your social media channels to promote any job vacancies you have.

Using Twitter and Facebook can help you to reach a wide audience quite quickly and the content can easily be shared by people you know within the industry. This type of advertisement is usually free, but you can also pay for sponsored advert too.

LinkedIn is also another great social media platform which is a more professional environment. With LinkedIn you can pay to post a job and the platform will then target your listing to specific people who are already working in the industry or want to work in the industry.

  1. Use your contacts

Is there potential to reach out to past applicants of previous vacancies you might have had? If the timing was not right the first time around then it’s a possibility that circumstances may have changed, and it may be suitable to recruit them this time around.

This also goes for past employees too, if they left on good terms, it might be worth reaching out in case they would be willing to join you again.

  1. Look to your current workforce

If you assess the gaps that you need to fill with your vacancies it might be worth investigating whether you can plug these gaps with your current workforce. The money you plan to spend on recruitment might be better spent invested in developing and re-training your current employees. You could put together development plans to encourage development and create multi skilled workers who can all undertake the work required.

Overall, it’s important to remember you can’t just hire anyone. You need to ensure you are recruiting professional, qualified, and talented contractors who will be able to undertake work to the satisfaction of your customers.

If you are thinking about training and upskilling yourself or your current employees then take a look at the range of plumbing training courses we offer at APHC: Plumbing Training Courses | APHC | Plumbing Training Courses