How to Recruit Skilled Trades Workers

As the demand for skilled trades continues to grow, many companies are struggling to find qualified candidates to fill their job openings. The skilled trades shortage is a growing problem, and companies must find effective ways to attract and retain skilled labor. 

In this blog, we'll explore the best selection process for hiring skilled labor and the steps involved in the hiring and selection process.

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Why Is There a Skilled Trades Shortage?

Before we dive into the best selection process for hiring skilled labor, it's essential to understand why there’s a skilled trades shortage in the first place. Several factors contribute to this problem, including:

  • Aging workforce: Many skilled trades workers are Baby Boomers who are now approaching retirement age. As these workers retire, there aren’t enough young workers to fill their positions. For every one person that enters the trades, five retire.
  • Skills gap: As these experienced workers retire, there’s no one to train up-and-coming tradesmen, creating a skills gap. Additionally, with technology taking manufacturing, in particular, by storm, factory operations require expertise that’s hard to find.
  • Lack of education: Many schools have shifted their focus to preparing students for college instead of vocational training, which has led to a decrease in the number of students pursuing careers in the skilled trades. 
  • Perception: Skilled trades have been increasingly undervalued by society, leading to a perception that they aren’t desirable career options. This perception makes it more difficult for trade employers to attract young workers.

If you’d like to dig into more details about the skilled trades shortage, we have plenty of other resources on the topic:

What Is the Best Selection Process for Hiring Skilled Workers?

When it comes to hiring skilled labor, the selection process is critical. The goal is to find the best possible candidate for the job, someone with the right skills and experience to excel in the role. The best selection process for hiring tradesmen includes working with a skilled labor staffing agency that follows a complete hiring process, such as the one outlined below.

Steps in Selection Process

  1. Define the job requirements: Before you start looking for candidates, you need to define the job requirements. What skills and experience are necessary for the job? What qualifications do candidates need to have?
  2. Source candidates: There are several ways to source candidates, including job postings, referrals, and networking. However, a staffing agency will handle the complete hiring process, allowing you to sit back until the best candidates are selected.
  3. Screen candidates: Once you have a pool of eligible candidates, it's time to screen them to determine who’s most qualified. This can include reviewing resumes, conducting phone interviews, and calling references.
  4. Assess candidates: At Skillwork, we administer two kinds of pre-employment tests: one to validate experience, skillsets, and knowledge, while the other measures personality and aptitude to further assess whether a candidate is a good fit for the job and company culture.
  5. Interview candidates: After screening and assessing candidates, the next step is to conduct in-person interviews. At Skillwork, this is when a skilled trades recruiter will meet with the most promising candidates to evaluate their disposition and professionalism—something a computer can’t do.
  6. Client interview: Once the skilled trades recruiter has boiled down the pool of candidates to a few outstanding tradesmen, they’ll introduce them to you, the employer, for a final interview.
  7. Make a job offer: Once all of these steps in the recruitment selection process have been completed, with little effort from you, if you’re working with a staffing agency like Skillwork, it's time to make a job offer to the top candidate. 

As discussed, the skilled trades shortage is a growing problem that requires effective solutions. By working with a trades-specific recruitment agency that uses the best selection process for hiring skilled workers, companies can confidently hire the most qualified candidates.

Benefits of Working With a Skilled Labor Staffing Agency to Hire Skilled Labor

Finding the right skilled workers for your business can be challenging, especially in a competitive job market due to the skilled trades shortage. If you’re wondering how to hire skilled workers, we believe working with a skilled labor recruitment agency is the best way to find the right people for the job. 

At Skillwork, we specialize in recruiting and placing skilled workers in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, and engineering. Here are several benefits of using a skilled trades staffing agency to hire skilled labor:

Access to a larger pool of candidates

Skilled labor staffing agencies have a network of qualified candidates actively seeking employment. This means they can provide access to a larger pool of candidates than you might find on your own. With a larger pool of candidates to choose from, you're more likely to find someone who has the skills and experience you need.

Reduced time and costs

Hiring skilled workers can be a time-consuming and expensive process, especially if you're trying to do it on your own. Skilled labor staffing agencies can help you save time and money by handling the recruitment process for you. They'll screen candidates, conduct background checks, and verify credentials so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.


Skilled labor staffing agencies can provide temporary or permanent workers, depending on your needs. This means you can hire skilled workers on a project-by-project basis without committing to a full-time employee. This can be especially helpful for businesses with fluctuating workloads or seasonal demands.


Skilled labor staffing agencies specialize in placing skilled workers, so they have a deep understanding of the industry and the skills required for different jobs. They can help you find candidates who have the right combination of skills, experience, and personality traits to be successful in your business.

Reduced risk

When you hire a skilled worker through a staffing agency, the agency assumes the risk associated with employment. And if the worker is not a good fit for your business, the agency can quickly find a replacement.

Find the skilled workers you need to grow your business without handling the complete hiring process yourself. Skillwork is America’s premier skilled worker staffing agency that helps employers find and retain the best trade talent. We follow the best selection process for hiring so that you can focus on day-to-day production, leaving the recruiting to us.

Contact us to schedule an obligation-free consult call with one of our skilled trades recruiters. 

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