Even in times of high unemployment, hiring for drilling roles is tough. The candidate pool of skilled labor professionals has its limits, while all of us in the drilling, construction and transportation industries look to land the big one. So how do we recruit and onboard candidates who may have multiple offers or opportunities? In today’s article, we’ll talk about what hiring managers continue to overlook — and what you can utilize to hire solid candidates.

Uncover Candidate Motivations

During an interview, managers often ask questions with the sole intent of figuring out whether or not an applicant can do a specific task. While that’s important, people can learn new tasks — it’s not the most critical thing to know about a candidate.

Instead, ask questions to learn what motivates and excites the candidate. Once we have a glimpse into their motivations, we can tailor an opportunity to their specific motivations.

Some examples of questions to tease out candidate motivations include:

  • What are some perks or forms of recognition that drive you to be a high performer?
  • When you think about your future career, what skills or traits are you most interested in developing?
  • What excites you the most about this role?

By asking these probing questions and showing a real interest in the candidate’s motivations, we can start to understand their professional goals and identify ways to help them see themselves in the role you have available.

Sell Your Value Propositions

Once you understand what motivates a particular candidate, you can move on to discussing your value propositions. Value propositions serve as a glimpse into what our industry can offer a candidate and what that person will receive or experience in return for their work. A well-developed value proposition has to start with what’s called “the pitch.” Make your pitch thorough and explicitly state how the candidate will benefit from employment within our industry (and of course, your company).

Keep in mind that your pitch isn’t just about money. It should include benefits that encompass both monetary and non-monetary incentives.

Keep in mind that your pitch isn’t just about money. It should include benefits that encompass both monetary and non-monetary incentives, like the ability to contribute to exciting projects or grow professionally with a stable, financially strong organization.

If you haven’t established value propositions, you’ll want to collaborate with organizational leaders and create value propositions that accurately reflect career opportunities within your organization. After you’ve developed your value propositions, train anyone involved in hiring on how to talk about them.

Widen Your Candidate Net

In a competitive and candidate driven market, environmental services companies and others requiring drilling talent need to cast a wider net than in years past, especially for entry-level roles. Do not make the mistake of holding out for an exact match to the job description. The perfect candidate may not have the same skillset as a driller, but have experience with heavy machinery and a solid work ethic.

Focus on the list of skills you need, and where people who have them might currently work — even if that’s in another industry. You can begin to target those skilled professionals in your recruiting.

By uncovering candidate motivations, sharing your value propositions and widening your candidate net, you’ll be in a much better position to recruit and retain great drilling employees.