Our final installment of issues harming field service workforce numbers focuses on field service’s PR. In case you missed the first two installments: the first overviewed the top three issues harming workforce numbers, and the second delved into using education to stymie declining workforce numbers. Education is important to field service PR as well. Recall the SkillsUSA statistics:
- 86% of Americans think skilled jobs are important, BUT
- “Only 1 in 3 Americans would encourage their children to obtain such skills”
These figures present an opportunity for change. The following options can help organizations fix the field service PR stopping younger workers from filling jobs across the nation.
Offer Education Early
Piquing prospective students’ interest early is important for field service PR. Use data—do you project needing more field service technicians than you currently get coming in for interviews? If so, consider sending field technicians to schools across your region. Show-and-Tell isn’t only for Kindergarteners! Kids respond to inspiration, so inspire them by demonstrating the skills and knowledge needed to perform service work.
Also consider partnering with a local trade school. In New York, dozens of BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Service) campuses dot the state, offering skilled training. High schools already partner with BOCES, and they send students to learn for part of the day. An opportunity remains: BOCES instructors and local service organizations could meet with students, at high school or the BOCES campuses, and further inspire students to choose skilled work over a four-year degree.
Demonstrate an Alternative to a Four-Year Degree
Colleges gained momentum over the past decades, and the hype worked. Students flock to four-year schools. Head to any high school around graduation, and you will find several college representatives distributing information outside the lunch room. Guidance counselors tend to guide students toward selecting the perfect college for their goals. Skilled work, unfortunately, is rarely mentioned.
However, recent graduates feel like they’ve been duped. Articles abound about whether college is worth it or not. These new questions afford an opportunity for skilled service organizations to sweep in. Not only do skilled jobs NEED filling (in contrast to jobs requiring a Bachelor’s degree), but prospects can expect to make a decent wage in most fields. With scholarship programs like those offered through mikeroweWorks Foundation, an education (and meaningful skills) can be achieved relatively cheaply. Show students the benefits of getting a skill instead.
Wearables Could Fix Field Service’s PR Problem
A recent article from PWC suggests field service can fix wearables’ PR problem. Flip it—wearables can fix field service’s PR problem! According to Field Service Digital, leaders “need to reposition their companies as creative leaders at the forefront of innovation.” Younger workers want to work with innovative technologies and companies.
New technologies in the coming decade can inspire new workers to join service ranks. People are exposed to technology earlier and earlier, and the workers entering the workforce over the next decade live attached to technology. Wearables allow new training opportunities and become an extension of existing technology. Using wearables to work, and to solve problems, is innovative—innovative enough to draw in new talent. When educating prospects about the benefits of joining a skilled field, remember to include technology.