Secure Your Labor Strategy by Nailing Down a Recruitment and Retention Best Practices Plan
As finding and keeping good workers remains a challenge, crafting an effective, comprehensive recruitment and retention plan is critical for the success of every roofing business. Some short-range strategies include partnering with non-competing businesses, asking for referrals from supply stores, contacting agencies that promote veterans and women in roofing and approaching prospects where they might spend leisure time. Long-range strategies should consist of local apprenticeship programs and the NRCA qualified trainer program.
FRSA ABC Roofing Apprenticeship Program
The Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA) promotes the ABC Roofing Apprenticeship Program, a three-year accelerated program offering a mix of classroom and hands-on training along with on-the-job training. The program consists of 144 classroom hours per year, for a total of 432 hours and 2,000 on the job training hours per year (40-hour week) for a total of 6,000 hours.
Students who successfully complete the Roofing Apprenticeship Program will be trained on industry-specific topics by industry instructors. Some of the areas in which they will have experience include:
Basic Safety - Complies with OSHA-10 Hour Training Requirements
Basic Communication and Employability Skills
Introduction to Hand Tools, Tools of the Trade and Power Tools
Introduction to Material Handling
Roof Calculations and Measurements
Introduction to Construction Drawings
Introduction to Construction Math
Fundamentals of Crew Leadership
The complete list of skills acquired can be found on the FRSA website at https://www.floridaroof.com/roofing-apprenticeship-program.
NRCA Qualified Trainer Program
Ongoing training is vital to providing consistent high-quality service. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) offers a Qualified Trainer Program designed to provide the education employees need to become top-notch trainers who:
Are equipped to take shop-quality training efforts to active job sites with no loss of productivity
Focus on the most critical elements of skills training to successfully reach and teach novices and new hires
Know how to make training on rainy days and during winter months effective and productive
The Qualified Trainer Conference takes place several times a year. Upon completing the conference, trainers will know how to:
Write training objectives and stick to them
Keep trainees engaged
Give interesting and engaging presentations
Ask the right type of questions to foster learning
Create a simple and effective hands-on training environment on jobsites
Conduct positive one-on-one training sessions
Implement NRCA’s Training for Roof Application Careers program for onboarding new hires
Conduct practical training exercises to get a new hire productive quickly
The next NRCA Qualified Trainer Virtual Conference is being held online August 11-12, 2020. Register online at https://www.nrca.net/education/course-calendar/qt-conference-virtual-august.
Other NRCA initiatives include its foundation organization, the Roofing Alliance, a membership-based organization and endowment fund committed to advancing the roofing industry by funding training initiatives, scholarship programs, and mentorship opportunities.
The Roofing Alliance provides funding for training programs and project initiatives by:
Partnering With Schools:
One of the primary goals of the Roofing Alliance is raising awareness about the roofing industry with the organization supporting construction management schools in a variety of ways including:
Funding project research programs for faculties
Providing scholarship funds for exceptional students and faculty members
Providing mentorship through guest lectures and jobsite visits
Integrating valuable roofing material into universities’ curriculum
Connecting members with local schools to explore internship opportunities
Student Competition: The Roofing Alliance hosts an annual Construction Management Student Competition in conjunction with the International Roofing Expo®. This event showcases the best and brightest construction management students in the country in a competition that challenges their roofing knowledge and project management and presentation skills. This competition not only educates the students on the many facets of the roofing business, but it’s also a great recruitment tool to discover the next generation of roofing professionals.
Scholarship Programs: The Roofing Alliance provides scholarship funding for students through the Melvin Kruger Endowed Scholarship Program. This scholarship program is designed to provide members of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), their employees and their family members the opportunity to pursue a postsecondary degree at an accredited university or vocational program. The recipient can further their education in a four-year program dedicated to the roofing and construction industries. Since the inception of this program, a total of $895,000 has been awarded to 132 students.
The Roofing Alliance provided funding to assist with the development of NRCA’s ProCertification™ program which is revolutionizing the roofing industry. The goal of the program is to develop a competent, sustainable and high-performing roofing and waterproofing industry workforce by providing individuals with a clear career path based on industry-specific training courses and earned credentials. There are two separate components to the program: training and certifications.
Protecting Your Wealth of Skilled Workers
Once you’ve have taken all the steps to find the right people and give them the right training, how do you maintain the momentum? While good pay is a solid foundation for keeping employees happy, intangibles can be just as important in creating loyalty among workers such as:
Offering flex time
Encouraging employee input and constructive feedback in the company’s daily operations
Sharing positive feedback from customers
Offering performance incentive programs
Supportive leadership is invaluable in retaining good employees. Understanding the best way to motivate them as individuals will go a long way in reducing turnover, ultimately resulting in a better bottom line for your business.
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