When you cross paths with your peers at trade shows, association meetings and networking events this summer, there is no doubt that one topic will come up: hiring new employees. The struggle to find quality hires is something propane companies have been dealing with for years, and the challenge has become greater thanks to the nationwide labor shortage. Most propane employees are industry veterans who are moving on to a well-earned retirement. But where does that leave your company?
It’s more important than ever for the propane industry to appeal to the next generation of job seekers. But don’t worry — you don’t have to overhaul your company’s work environment or jump through a lot of hoops to attract qualified candidates. The propane industry already offers many of the benefits that Generation Z and millennial job seekers are looking for in their careers. Here’s what you should showcase about your company and the propane industry to prospective applicants.
Competitive Pay & Benefits
Whether they are students thinking about what field they want to go into or entry-level applicants planning their next career move, compensation and benefits packages are a significant factor for young job seekers. According to monster.com, seven out of 10 Generation Z applicants described salary as their top motivator and mentioned health insurance as a “must-have.”
Propane companies have a long history of taking care of their employees. Propane jobs provide competitive starting wages, significant earning potential and valuable benefits. Plus, education and certification to qualify for most positions are much more affordable than traditional four-year degrees, allowing candidates to enter the workforce with significantly less (or even no) debt.
Doing Better for the Environment
Many job seekers are interested in working in an environmentally conscious industry. As such, it’s up to us to make it known that propane gas is a certified clean fuel and has a major role to play in reducing carbon and greenhouse gas emissions now and in the future.
Career Longevity & Opportunities to Grow
There is still a common misconception that trade jobs — including positions in the propane industry — lack opportunities for upward mobility. But as we know, the propane industry offers many diverse career paths that allow for continued skill development and financial growth.
Entry-level positions like delivery drivers, service technicians and customer service representatives are stepping stones to future leadership and management roles. Or, if employees choose to stick with their craft, they go on to hone their expertise and receive promotions and salary increases for doing so. There’s really nothing stagnant about a job in the propane industry.
Contributing to the Community
Another aspect of the propane industry that can stand out to the next generation of job seekers is the inherent nature of community involvement. At its core, a propane company is committed to serving its community by supplying the necessities of heat and power. Employees in each department take pride in their role of keeping customers safe and comfortable at an affordable price.
Secondly, it is crucial to highlight the culture of community within your own business. Employee retention tools, like reasonable working hours, a positive work environment, employee initiatives and getting involved with your local community through charities and events, can also double as attractive hiring incentives to prospective candidates.
Get Involved & Drive More Candidates to the Industry
Facing the challenge of a labor shortage and job seekers’ market can feel like an uphill climb. But there are many ways that you can not only attract applicants to your business, but also attract them to the propane industry. Consider the aforementioned tips when interviewing prospective candidates or meeting with career development contacts.
Beyond direct interviews with interested applicants, getting involved with workforce development initiatives will provide a return on your investment of time with more and more applicants seeking employment in the propane industry. There is a huge pool of potential applicants within local trade schools and vocational high schools that might not even know that the propane industry matches up with their credits and/or certifications.
Outreach to these institutions can benefit employers, instructors and students alike by increasing awareness of propane jobs, building connections for internship or apprenticeship programs and offering students a direct line to the careers they want right after graduation.