Why Utilize a Travel Model for Skilled Tradesmen for Your Business? (COMPANY Perspective)

July 5, 2021

The Skillwork Forum
Why Utilize a Travel Model for Skilled Tradesmen for Your Business? (COMPANY Perspective)
Episode 32

We are all too familiar with the skilled labor shortage and the staffing headaches it has created for trade employers.

There are numerous options for employers looking to fill open positions, but one of the most reliable is using a travel staffing company to find workers.

It may not be the entire solution, but in this episode we’re diving in to how it can be a valuable part of solving your staffing headaches.

Main Takeaways:

🛠 Most trade employers admit they don’t have the quality workers they need.
🛠 Travel staffing can actually be a permanent solution.
🛠 View your skilled workers as an investment, not a cost to your bottom line.
🛠 We have an extensive vetting process that ensures highly skilled tradesmen.
🛠Our Skillworkers are our permanent employees and show up ready to work at your facility.

Timecodes:

⏰ 00:00-04:25 | Overview of the skilled labor shortage
⏰ 4:25-6:36 | What is travel staffing for the skilled trades?
⏰ 6:37-10:24 | Why you should consider this type of model
⏰ 10:25-11:54 | Our Skillworkers are highly vetted, top quality
⏰ 11:55-15:36 | We’re not a temp agency
⏰ 15:37-17:31 | Skilled workers are an investment, not a cost
⏰ 17:32-22:31 | Be flexible and adapt as things change

Quotes:

💬 “In essence, we provide you an opportunity. Instead of looking locally, we look across the company, and then we travel individuals on longer-term contracts to fill your needs.” – Brett Elliott
💬 “The fact is, you can hire all the talent, local search people you want, but if there’s nobody there locally to hire…” – Brett Elliott
💬 “I would say less than 5% of the companies in the manufacturing and construction space that we speak to don’t have an issue.” – Brett Elliott
💬 “You don’t have to lower your bar, our job is to meet and exceed that bar…we’ve proven time again, we can find the candidate that meets your skills.” – Tim Raglin
💬 “Selecting lesser talent is a very short term solution…that’s gonna cause you more issues down the road in terms of morale of your workforce, quality issues, more overtime…” – Tim Raglin
💬 “We say you keep your bar high and look for somebody who can meet that.” Tim Raglin
💬 “It’s not a cost if you get the right human talent that you’re bringing into your company.” – Tim Raglin 💬 “I’ve learned from personal experience that you get what you pay for, particularly with the skilled talent that you’re bringing on board.” – Tim Raglin
💬 “All our employees are our long term employees, we take really good care of them. They show up at your facility ready to work, not to look for their next job.” – Tim Raglin
💬 “Wishing it was different is not a solution.” – Brett Elliott

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Connect with Skillwork:
– Skillwork’s website: www.skillwork.com
– Skillwork’s LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/skillwork
– Skillwork’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/channel/UCWZSf9KTuKudIm2buVFrhcw

Reach out to Rveal:
– Rveal’s website: rveal.media
– Rveal’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/rvealmedia/
– Rveal’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC69p14R2ccMdyUbbmdlWCEw

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Ep32 Transcript

Tim, Brett

Tim  00:00

It’s undeniable, Brett, that the labor shortage that we have out there is continuing to expand, particularly in the skilled trades area. The shortage is going to not only continue, but estimations are that it’s going to grow over the next five years. So the challenges you’re facing today are not going to go away, they’re going to get even more challenging.

Tim  00:29

Welcome to The Skillwork Forum. My name is Tim. And I’m joined here, as always, with my partner, Brett, thank you for joining us and subscribing to our podcast, we really appreciate that. But we’re going to take some time to focus on things relating to your industry, industry issues, whether it be emerging trends or challenges, really, that revolve around the skilled trades. And today, on this episode, we really want to talk to you, the business owner, the HR representative, the maintenance manager, somebody out there who’s trying to solve your problem on the staffing needs that you have to fill the gap that you have in your company. And why specifically asked them the question, “why would you even consider utilizing a travel based staffing model?”

Tim  01:21

I think it’s undeniable, Brett, that and the, you know, the labor shortage that we have out there is continuing to expand, particularly in the skilled trades area. And the shortage is going to not only continue, but estimations are that it’s going to grow over the next five years. So the fact that you’re going to, the challenges you’re facing today are not going to go away, they’re going to get even more challenging.

Brett  01:49

Yeah, no doubt. I mean, you know, right now, I mean, we’re in a crazy, I mean, that’s the probably the most overused statement right now, and just a crazy season last year, obviously, with the pandemic and everything. So, I mean, labor shortages, you know, you can’t go to a restaurant right now and not recognize, you know, the, the, the labor shortage and everywhere. I mean, we’ve got, you know, you got restaurants, you know, that are all drive thru not because of, of the pandemic, but because you can’t get enough staff and those kind of things. So, so the overall labor shortage is, is off the charts right now and trying to get people back to work. And part of that, those that we just discussed there, you know, which is not something that that we can help yourself as, is is very, is a lot of that is related to, to to the pandemic, but the skilled trade shortage is really only, I would say, exacerbated by, by the, by the pandemic. The shortage started, the beginning of this process that Tim just mentioned, started, you know, you could argue as much as 10 years ago, but definitely in the last five years, you know, that we estimate, you know, there’s about a million short, skilled trades right now, it really has nothing to do with the pandemic it’s just the fact that there’s not enough skilled trades folks to fill the positions. And that problem is only growing and been moved forward a little bit because a lot of the older skilled craftsmen that they thought would wait to retire opted to leave the workforce during the season because of the some of the risk. So, yeah.

Tim  03:31

I mean, every facility we talked to, is struggling to find skilled talent, regardless of what part of the country you’re in. And not only that, but the trades are evolving. We talked about that on one of our previous podcasts that the traditional skilled craftsmen that you may have at your, whether you be construction, manufacturing, or whatever industry, that the trades are evolving, becoming more technical. So the need is not only you know, there’s a shortage, but there’s a shortage for this key, the key skills that you’re looking for. So today, we wanted to say, you know, why would you you got this problem that’s That goes without saying why would you select or consider a company like ours that provides a travel staffing model? Why would you look at a company like ours? Why did that make sense to have us become part of your solution? And maybe Brett, before we get into some of these reasons why it maybe it’s worth you know, two minutes to say well, what what do you mean by travel staffing company? What What is that? in general? They don’t know.

Brett  04:36

Yep, know for sure. So, you know, we built our business, off of the travel staffing model, which was very well established in the travel nursing industry. So in essence, we we provide you an opportunity to instead of just looking locally, we look across the country, and then we travel individualss on longer-term contracts, 3, 6, 9 months, you know, to fill your needs. And so basically, the fact is, is you can, you can hire all the talent, local search people you want, if there’s nothing if there’s nobody there locally to hire, you’re just, you know, as we see, and we talk about it, you know, companies say, you know, we’re going to spend, we’re going to spend more money trying to solve this problem, but we really, through their own talent search, headhunters, all those kinds of things, but really expect no results, which is always kind of a bizarre thought, you know. So so I don’t know if that quite answers. Yeah,

Tim  05:43

I think I think the thing is you the idea is, well, what are you guys? What do you mean, travel staffing? And yeah, I think you’d hit it. But we, our company, we work with you. What are your needs, specifically? What are you looking for, what are the skills, everything I mean, down to very minute detail. Then then our job is to go look everywhere, across the country through multiple avenues, we bring them in, we do all the front end work all the vetting, all the testing, the interviewing upfront, and then if they’re a good fit, we connect them with you, you have an idea of the last day as to whether they’re a good fit for you. And then those guys become our employees, and many remain our employees. And then we essentially allow you to, I don’t for lack of a better term, lease them, for a certain period of time. They remain our employees, we manage everything for them, but they augment your staff, I just thought it’d be important to talk a bit about that.

Tim  06:37

So what do we hear from companies that maybe help overcome some hesitation? Or why would they want to choose this type of model?

Brett  06:47

Well, one of the things, you know, that we, we hear quite a bit and you know, Tim kind of pointed out and you all know that are listening to this podcast, that it is very, very rare, I would say less than 5% of the of the companies will be in the manufacturing and construction space that we speak to that don’t have an issue. I mean, once in a while we’ll talk to a company now I don’t know, you know, maybe they’re delusional or maybe maybe they’re just very fortunate. But they say, No, we’re good. But the vast, vast majority, as you as you know, say, No, we’re really struggling to find talent, we’re really fighting and struggling to find the talent that we need, and so forth and so on. But one of the things is Tim just said in our model, you know, you can kind of look at it as as, in essence, you’re you kind of lease or you you know, you you It’s our Skillworker, we have all the responsibility for them. But you basically they’re, they’re on contract. The the comment that we hear a lot is, yeah, we have a huge need. But you’re basically we have a we have a perm, you know, we’re looking for a permanent solution, and you’re offering us a temporary solution, they don’t, that they struggle a little bit to go, you know, I’m going to invest my time, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that. Our response. And I think the reality is, you really, what you have is a permanent problem. And while we may not solve your problem in the traditional sense, that we bring you, Joe, and Joe becomes your permanent employee and problem goes away. But we do provide a permanent solution, in that we will fill your vacancy. It might be Joe, and Joe might become your permanent employee or Joe might be there for a year. But in six months, Joe might become Tom. And and so we have provided a permanent solution. And the reality has is we talked to many facilities. And they’ve had these openings, this permanent problem. They’ve had these openings for you know, two years, they’ve been trying to fill them. And so the idea that, that you don’t need to look into a different and go oh, wait a minute, I guess I never thought of it that way. It is a permanent solution. You just can’t assume that that every permanent solution is going to be a individual. It’s got to be you know, a little broader than that. So

Tim  09:31

yeah, that’s good. And, you know, the idea that I’m I’m like many people out there problem solver. I’ve got a problem. Here’s the solution, move on to the next problem. But this is one of those things where you were going to be living with this for a while. So recognize that this is not something you just check off, you’re going to have to continually, you know, work hard to establish plans, mitigation strategies and partner with you know, companies. Maybe maybe ours is a good fit for you, that helps you through this season. And again, we expect that to get right you mentioned, and over the next five years, probably sooner than that it’s gonna double. 2 million in shortage. So getting creative and looking for this solution is a great way to, to try to, you know, kind of span the gap.

Tim  10:25

So, another another one for you, as you’re out there listening like why would I even be interested in a travel model? Here’s one, Brett hit on I think is really important. We provide a highly vetted candidate and by vetted I mean, they go through multiple stages, we have a we have a webinar, you can you can get to, if you follow us here on the podcast, we go through that in depth, the stages that we take a candidate through, we make sure that we find exactly what you’re looking for. And if we don’t, we keep working till we do. And we guarantee that, but we can find a candidate, you don’t have to lower your bar, you set your bar where you need it, our job is to meet that and exceed that bar. And we can do that we can find we proven time again, we can find the candidate that meets your skills, or has better than what you can find locally. So we really believe that accepting lesser talent to solve and you’re talking about a short term solution, that’s a very short term solution, you select lesser talent, that’s gonna cause you more issues down the road in terms of morale of your workforce, quality issues, just more overtime, more time away from your best people that try to train and cover for lesser talent. So that’s not a great approach. We say you keep your bar high look for somebody who can meet that. So I think that’s one thing, we would tell you why a travel model like ours makes sense.

Brett  11:55

Yeah, no, I you know, just to kind of add a little bit to that, you know, many of you, many employers, out of pure need pure almost desperation, in the last five years, I did it, you know, I was in the food manufacturing space for a long time. And, and so, you know, we in a need to try to find not just front end workers, but skilled technicians, maintenance guys, we turn to temp companies, to temp agencies. And I’m here to tell you, we’re not a temp agency. And so a temp agency, that model was built for some very specific reasons, they do a great job of finding local shorter term labor, but they don’t do a great job in finding the skilled talent, and betting it, they tend to play a numbers game, we tend to play a quality game. And so so that, you know, if you’re going out, and I’ve been down this road, you know, it doesn’t work, the people that we get are terrible, and that type of thing, not terrible people, but terrible skill match. And, but, you know, so that, that’s why the vetting process that Tim mentioned, is so critical, and why many of our clients would, would would and have indicated and have said that, you know, working with Skillwork is it was a game changer for, for finding the talent that we need.

Brett  13:28

So, in addition, so, you know, Tim mentioned about companies just again, out of what else do they gonna do, they just start accepting less and less talent and with the, with the belief, and it’s a, it’s a good-hearted belief that well we’re just gonna have to train them, we’re just gonna have to bring them in, and we’re gonna have to train them. And that type of thing. And, and, unfortunately, again, this, what we’re saying isn’t just our opinion, it’s what we hear all the time, that can become a very frustrating, if you’re a, if you’re a skilled technician, that’s been there for 20 years, and you’re, you’re seeing you know, what the company is doing to solve this problem. You see, the problem ’cause you’re living it every day, right? You know, but you as a, as the plant manager, or the general manager or the maintenance manager, we have to recognize that, that’s very frustrating. And if you’re not careful, you’ll you’ll actually run off you know, your, your good talent will leave because they become frustrated. So, so, when you really embrace something like what we’re like, like a travel staffing option, in a lot of ways what it tells your employees your current employees is that the company really understands the problem. You know, as as we often say, they’re actually putting their money where their mouth is. They’re not just saying our people are the most important, they’re actually doing something to, to address the issue, they’re actually bringing in talent, they’re really thinking outside of their box, and bringing us the skilled talent so that “I don’t have to work 70 hours this week, because now we’re properly staffed”. And we’re not just staffed with bodies, we’re staffed with talent. And that’s a big, that’s a big statement, quiet statement, a very impactful statement to the culture of your business, when people see what you’re doing to solve the problem.

Tim  15:37

Yeah, very much so. And this next point, I think, kind of feeds on that it’s really very much related with this idea that you’re investing. You know, a lot of people, I think there needs to be a change in mindset that is not a cost if, and I know this because, you know, it’s it sounds like a salesy thing. But truly, if you think about it, it’s not a cost, this is an investment, we just had one of our skilled workers that was talking about their experience with working with us. And you know, he expressed frustration that maintenance, skilled maintenance folks, skilled technicians, are looked at as a cost versus a profit center in his, in his words. And it is it is that if you look at it, you’re investing in your company, you’re not, it’s not a cost. If you get the right human talent that you’re bringing into your company. As Brett said, it sends all kinds of messages, you know, overt and covert messages to your people, but also to your customers out there that we’re going to do what it takes to bring in the quality talent to be able to provide you, your customers what they need, as well. So bringing in the right talent, it’s a bottom line issue drives the bottom line to be more efficient, more effective, you keep your lines running, get your projects done on time. So the idea that I’m going to go with a low-cost solution, that I can get somebody locally at a lower cost, I can tell you, I’ve done that, I’ve hired people and I brought in lower cost talent, because it looks good on paper. But the end result is project deadlines slipped to the right, my ultimate overall cost of the project go down my arrow ROI goes down. When I when I’ve done that, in the past, I’ve learned myself personal experience, that you get what you pay for, particularly with with the skilled talent that you’re bringing on board.

Brett  17:32

You know, another one, I guess that we would, respectfully challenge, I’ll give a couple examples, I think that helps, helps kind of identify the thought. So you know, we went from many years ago horse and buggy to automobile, we went for travel from train to airplane. More recently, things like taxi to Uber or Lyft. blockbuster to Netflix. My point is or our point is, that things change. And we have to change with it to be successful. That traditional hiring model of running ads and looking for local talent is just changing. It’s it’s, I mean, the as we say, the proofs in the pudding, the facts are there. I mean, there’s there’s the the local talent pool, we have a new client who’s paying a very top wage for four very skilled technicians. And they, they’ve, the pool’s empty, I mean, they’re paying as good a wage as any client that we have and can’t fill all their needs. And so they’ve obviously recognized that and said, Well, we can just continue to you know, you can just continue to run harder and do the same thing and this and that and hire more you know, it’s it’s not that your your in house. Talent team is not doing their job. It’s that they’ve got one arm tied behind their back, they can’t offer a solution to expand the search and offer something that’s appealing to the talent you need. That’s what we do. That’s what a travel staffing in our specifically in all we do as skilled trades. We’re not we’re not doing nurses, we’re not doing IT. You know, we focus in this area. Because one, we recognize how big the problem is, two, we we understand it and we think it’s where to be honest we think it’s where God called us to, to spend our time and so that’s that’s what we do.

Tim  19:45

Yeah, I mean, it’s example after example that have that we’ve got a client, a customer locally, but they’ve got locations around the country. And they’ve never, you know, this is something brand new to them in their world. They’ve always gotten local talent. And their every one of their terminal facilities are two to three technicians short. And they they were at the point where they were basically bringing anybody in. And essentially, if they could identify one end of a wrench from the other, they were bringing them in, and it was really hurting them. So the idea that there is another option for you out there. And again, I think Brett made the point, we’re not the solution for all of the problems. We’re part of the solution to a problem and challenge. It’s going to be here for a while. And we think we’re a great option for many of you out there. So when you ask yourself, why in the world, would I reach out to a company like Skillwork, it’s very important that you understand we’re not a temp agency, we’re not a headhunter. All our employees are our long term employees, we take really good care of them. They go to they show up at your facility with a focus to work not to look for their next job, they’re there to provide for your needs, we do a very good job of taking care of our guys. So they are absolutely focused on showing up at your facility and doing a great job. So if it’s something that that you haven’t considered before, we, we invite you to reach out and talk to Brett and his team. Brett heads up all of our external client managers and they’re, they’re very good at what they do. And we’d love for you to reach out and no obligation, just to see if it’s something that you might explore with us. So any final thoughts on that? Brett?

Brett  21:34

No. I mean, it’s like you said, I mean, this is a, it’s a, it’s a real problem. It’s not, you know, as we say, you know, wishing it away, or wishing it was different, is is not a solution. And so, you know, we we, our, our client base of customers, continues to grow very rapidly. And so we know that that we can help, we know we can help you, and we’d love the opportunity.

Tim  22:03

Yep, thank you for the time that you gave us today to chime in here. Again, reach out to us at skillwork.com. Appreciate the fact that you took time out of your your day to listen to the podcast. So until next time, thanks again, and God bless.

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