Finding Good People Is Tough - Foundations
Construction Equipment Distribution magazine is published by the Associated Equipment Distributors, a nonprofit trade association founded in 1919, whose membership is primarily comprised of the leading equipment dealerships and rental companies in the U.S. and Canada. AED membership also includes equipment manufacturers and industry-service firms. CED magazine has been published continuously since 1920. Associated Equipment Distributors
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SECTION: Foundations

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Finding Good People Is Tough

Written By: Matt Di Iorio

Article Date: 11-01-2005
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

It's time to invest in a renewable source of quality technicians.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be 10 million more jobs than people to fill them by 2010. The projected shortfall in human capital is attributed to a growing economy, a drop in birthrate and an aging workforce. Many companies hope to harvest where they haven't sewn. More than 80 percent of equipment dealers run ads in the newspaper, hoping to find a qualified technician that is:

• Out of work.
• Employed in a similar industry and willing to change jobs.
• Employed by a company using or repairing construction equipment and willing to change jobs.

Here's the rub: If there will be more jobs than people in the future; how rational will this strategy be a few years from now?

The problem gets even more complex when analyzing the construction equipment industry independent of the national workforce. A study funded 45 percent of high school students feel technical training might limit their career options and 41 percent attribute a sense of embarrassment to vocational education.

The bottom line is career decisions are being based on interest more than on opportunity. How interested are your children in working in the service department of your dealership? Unless they already know about the high paying jobs, continuous education, career paths and security, they might not give it a second thought.

The interests, and subsequently, the competencies, of the new generation of employees are fundamentally different from the people they are replacing. They view telecommuting, training, flextime, benefits, bonuses, fitness, money and time-off - in that order. (For more on effectively managing the new generation of employees, turn to page 20.)

Please note that training (the ability to grow) and bonuses (financial rewards tied to performance) precede money on the list of priorities.

Is the cub half full, or half empty? The outlook depends on your ability to understand and act on the needs and desires of your new workforce. Create an environment that encourages employees to act autonomously. Develop recognition and reward systems that benefit the individual and the organization.

While the incoming generation may not work the overtime their predecessors did, they are likely to do more, better quality work, if effective training and support are available. They may not be as loyal, holding an average of 11 jobs during their working lifetimes, but they may require less supervision and generate higher margins at less risk, assuming performance based compensation.

We can all agree that finding good people is tough and it is going to get tougher.

What is the answer? Invest in a renewable source of quality technicians and environment that capitalizes on their unique needs, strengths and desires.

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