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Hiring Tips to Navigate Labor Shortage Pitfalls

Business is up across the glass industry, and as business picks up, more labor is needed to meet demand. However, glass companies from all parts of the industry have reported a current shortage of skilled labor.

For glass shops, it’s been difficult to find qualified service professionals in the currently diminished pool of candidates. According to the 2012 IBISWorld Industry Report, there are three primary causes. First, apprenticeship training—the primary avenue for boosting skilled labor—fluctuates in a cyclical pattern corresponding with building cycles. Second, physical demands of service jobs keep the attrition rate inherently high. And third, the small-scale nature of the service industry leads most skilled labor to self-employment after completing apprenticeships.

Although difficult to secure in today’s climate, having excellent employees is key to business success.

Here are three top tips for finding, recruiting and keeping great people.

1. Understand who you’re hiring

First, spend time recruiting and training the Millennial workforce. Of the current labor pool—made up of Baby Boomers (51-69), Generation X (35-50) and Millennials (18-34)—Millennials are the largest portion, making up 75 percent by 2025. They also are the voice of what consumers want and how they will buy in the future.

Millennials were raised in a technology- driven and diverse world. Many are highly educated, with self-confident and ambitious personalities. They are not afraid to challenge the status quo, and will readily change jobs for a more positive work environment or more money.

In general, Millennials tend to seek jobs that fit their lifestyle: flexible work hours or remote work, a good culture fit, eco-conscious and charitable companies, and meaningful work. Team-oriented work environments that offer professional development/ training, recognition and frequent feedback attract Millennials.

2. Know what employees value

Next, take time to know what employees— especially young employees— value in a workplace. Commit to implementing the following desired workplace characteristics (in descending order) to attract and retain young employees:

  • Appreciation for work done
  • Feeling “in” on things
  • Sympathetic help with personal problems
  • Job security
  • Good wages
  • Interesting work
  • Promotion/ growth opportunities
  • Personal loyalty to workers
  • Good working conditions
  • Tactful discipline

3. Use proven recruiting tactics

Finally, it’s time to start recruiting candidates to fill those open jobs with great people. Recruit Millennials using one or a combination of the following 15 proven tactics:

  • Offer a $75-$100 redeemable voucher for potential candidates
  • Create yard signs: “Installers/ Technicians Wanted”
  • Install a sign on the back of company service vehicles
  • Create unique want ads for newspapers, company website, social media sites, Craigslist, YouTube, radio, billboard, etc.
  • Contact and work with local tech schools
  • Reference a list of journeymen carpenters/tradesmen
  • Attend job fairs
  • Publish salary and bonus information
  • Offer monetary referral award for current staff and vendors
  • Place windshield flyers in parking lots
  • Place flyers at parts houses and vendors
  • Contact previous installers
  • Use a recruiting firm
  • Make contact with all military bases in the area
  • Create a recruiting committee

To successfully navigate labor shortage challenges, remember this: always be recruiting. Glass companies can’t stop developing a positive workplace environment, stop actively training or stop seeking out great people once the current job openings are filled. Promptly and personally meet all applicants with experience, and consistently offer a professional, positive workplace environment with a clear company vision.


Michael Gai

The author is vice president of Glass Doctor. This article is based on an Express Learning presentation delivered at Glass- Build America 2015.