How to Win the Recruitment Battle for Good Plumbers and Techs

By Todd Liles How to Win the Recruitment Battle for Good Plumbers and Techs

What do you tell your kids about learning one of the trades, and becoming a plumber or a tech?

When that question is asked, most plumbers would say,

Don’t do it!  Make something of your life.  Don’t be like your old man.

That’s a real problem.  Don’t you think?  That we in the trades would tell young men, and women, that being a plumber or a tech isn’t making something of their life.

This perception is hurting the industry.

We are losing the recruitment battle in the independent contracting world of plumbing, air conditioning, and electrical.  Bright young men and women don’t see the service industry as a respectable.  Moreover, they don’t see a profitable future in the trades for their families.

So, when Dad says, “Go make something of your life,” that means do anything but a trade.

Let’s follow that path for just a moment:

  1. Your son goes to college.  He didn’t want to, but he wanted to make you happy.
  2. He struggles to find his place.
  3. Grades suffer, but he eventually passes.
  4. Debt = Your son now is loaded down with debt.
  5. Job = Most entry jobs don’t pay much.
  6. Economy = It is changing fast.  Will his degree be worth what it was printed on in 6 years?
  7. Hate = He hates his work.
  8. Life = What a crappy way to start life.  Loaded with debt.  Hating work.  In a field that may not last.  But, he followed the old man’s advice.

Not everyone is meant to be a tech.  I get that. But, some people are supposed to be plumbers.

Those smart plumbers that never happened.

They are working their day jobs, dreaming about the freedom of residential plumbing. Don’t laugh!  They are out there.  They are in high schools today.  In dead-end jobs right now. They just don’t know that plumbing is better than what they are doing.  So they do something else.

What if they knew?

What if they knew about guys like: Philip Beckley, Bob Connelly, Paul Bradshaw, and Scott Putman. Tradesmen that are proud of their work.  Love life, and make more money than your collared “professional.” I think if they only knew, and we supported them, they would be the plumbers and tradesmen they wanted to be.

Help Change The Perception

Check out this email from Abacus’s Plumbing Manager (Houston, TX)

Hello Todd, I have volunteered to be at a career day at a local high school. Do you have anything we could possibly use to entice the students into a career in HVAC or Plumbing.  I don’t think our smiling faces will be enough. I was thinking about a screen with different aspects of our job, to include training.  You may have some pictures of some (of our) training classes. Just wanting to be extra ready so we don’t get “out Whataburgered.”

So, here are 4 keys to winning at the recruitment battle.

4 Keys to Winning the Recruitment Battle

#1 – Promote the Power of the Trades

Start with your own belief system.  Be proud of what you do.  Most of the time, we lose the battle to companies like Starbucks.  Starbucks may have more pride in their coffee than you do in your service. Take Mike Rowe’s example. He is a guy that gets that the “dirty job” is a respectable job.  He supports the trades, and does so in amazing fashion.   Discover your pride.

#2 – Promote the Power of an Apprenticeship

Think about this, the average apprentice will earn over $120,000 in income in his first 4 years.  The average college student will rack up over $30,000 in debt in their 4 years of college.  *Most students take 5 to 6 years to graduate, which drives that number up. An apprenticeship provides the opportunity to learn hands on, and make money. In case you were curious, hands on training is superior to classroom learning everyday.  (I say that, and I teach daily via a classroom. While all professions pay at different rates, the average plumber or tech I train (communications) earns more than $70,000 a year.

#3 – Build a Vision

When you can see the vision of your future, so will your potential recruits. I used a PowerPoint to cast the vision to new recruits.  It worked very effectively. Here are a few of the slides I used in my previous company:

#4 – Build Value on Your Communication System

The Residential Tradesmen will need more than just technical skills to survive.  They will need communication skills.  If your potential recruit loves the idea of being a tech, but is scared of selling the value of himself, than expect him to work outside of the residential industry.  That’s okay, but it will not serve you.

Your communication system needs to be one the empowers the tech to succeed.  It needs to unpack the question of, “How will I turn my technical knowledge into money?” That is what we do as a company.

We teach you how to turn learning into earning. Use us as your example.  Show your recruit that there is a school that he will attend that will give them the confidence and skill needed to communicate to success.  Let him know it is as easy as PRESS PLAY.

And while you are at it, don’t forget about your current team members.

What would make the trades more attractive?  Share your answer on  and .

What SETs Us Apart?

Proactive Business Plans

A proactive business is a successful business. That's why our team takes the time to make sure every client has a proactive, not reactive, business plan. Our strategies make your business run more smoothly and profitable.

Proven Results

Our training services help businesses identify and achieve their key performance indicators (KPIs). Whether it's increased revenue or higher satisfaction rates, our methods allow you to see immediate and continued results.

Personalized Training

Our team of experts works hard to make sure your business gets personalized training. We'll work with your team one-on-one or in group settings to set and achieve your business goals. We develop training based on your goals!

Prioritizing People

We believe that people are the most valuable asset. We strive to provide outstanding benefits, life balance, leadership, and support to our team. We believe in helping people reach their greatest level of growth, contribution and satisfaction.

Success Stories

I've increased my sales from $250,000 a year to over $400,00! This really works.

-Scott Putman, Putman Plumbing

Success Stories

Over $2,400,000 in sales my second year after training with SET!

-Chris Yanez, Selling Tech

Success Stories

I sold $18,867 on my first call after SET's Press Play for Sales event series!

-Jake Pettit, Selling Tech

Success Stories

We have been with Service Excellence Training since 2015 and believe it is an integral part (training, coaching, mentoring) to our overall business model.

-Judy Mueller-Hyde, Director of Operations
Hydes HVAC Company Logo

Trusted By

horizontal red and purpler plumbtite logo
142 Cimarron Park Loop, Ste E, Buda, TX 78610
Join our newsletter
© 2024 Service Excellence. All Rights Reserved
Website by Leadhub