Recruiting is one of the major challenges facing the environmental drilling industry. As older, more skilled workers retire, many companies struggle to recruit millennial and Gen Z employees for their high-demand, skilled labor positions. Why are younger generations less interested in trade careers?
Let’s talk about a few reasons, and what we can do to combat them and make a drilling career an attractive option for younger workers.
Lack of Knowledge
For years now, younger people have pursued college degrees that guide them into other career paths. They’ve been told a successful career requires a degree and is conducted indoors in dress shoes. In contrast, a drilling career is built through field experience, attending a trade school or learning from family members. The work can be hard and often requires employees to be away from home or travel extensively.
Those who are unfamiliar with the industry may not recognize how field service roles in drilling differ from other kinds of manual labor. It’s crucial to educate prospects about the potential career path, and eventual opportunities they may find as drillers and environmental technicians. Through education and outreach, drilling companies can begin attracting the next generation of field service employees.
Lack of Engagement
Employee engagement is roughly defined as the level of an employee’s emotional investment in his or her job. As a whole, this quality seems to be on the decline for younger workers. Often, an employee’s engagement has less to do with job duties than with a company’s culture.
Younger workers prioritize working at collaborative and supportive organizations with a sense of purpose. Emphasize those aspects of the job: working with experienced crews, travel opportunities, and the positive impact of environmental and geotechnical drilling.
Assumed Job Instability
Younger workers have a more mobile outlook on their career paths. They rightly understand that most people will take jobs with many different companies over the course a career. In our industry, however, it takes a great deal of time to master the skills needed to be successful. Highlight the upsides to potential job candidates: at a stable company in a stable industry, they won’t have to worry about layoffs, their startup failing or one of the many other things their parents may have had to weather during their careers.
There are a few distinct challenges that arise when recruiting and retaining younger employees. These challenges inevitably shape the way we recruit, and hopefully these pointers will help you shape a successful strategy.