Workforce Crisis: Weighing Effectiveness, Options For Recruiting Labor

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | September 2008 Vol. 63 No. 9

"We will provide the necessary training to these operators if they are not experienced on the equipment utilized in our business," he adds. "We also recognize the importance of promoting from within the company and providing a career path for all employees. Many of our operators started their career with us as laborers and were given the opportunity to practice and develop their operating skills on the job."

Concludes Banning: "In the pipeline construction industry, we have experienced a near-term shortage of qualified workers. In our operations, we've been very successful in acquiring good people to fill most positions. Growth in our industry and turnover in the workforce present challenges in the training, qualification and certification of all new employees. Over the next several years, we will continue to invest significant dollars in training programs to raise the skill level of our employees. This should allow us to grow our business, provide a safe working environment for our customers and the community and better serve our customers' needs."

Federal contractor

Henkels & McCoy, Blue Bell, PA (engineering and construction for communications, information technology, and utility industries) uses recruiters, print ads and referral programs for some hard to find areas and positions, says Kathleen Mills, director of human resources.

"Because we are a federal contractor, we must post, select and hire the most qualified candidates, and keep rigorous records on the process," Mills continues. "Henkels & McCoy uses an applicant tracking system that automatically pushes openings to a large number of job sites and the company's web site.

"We have been successful in bringing our Mexican workforce into the country with L visas to help with our pipeline work. We have also successfully obtained a number of H2B visas to help our power workforce during stress times. We do a fair amount of college recruiting and send most hires through a rotational process to expose them to our various lines of work and to see where their interests lie."

To aid in recruiting, Henkels & McCoy has produced a recruiting video.