Everyone gripes about finding technicians. Quit griping and do something! Take some lessons from the kings of recruiting: big time college football coaches.
In college football, recruiting is everything. To win, you need a solid game plan and talent to execute.
In contracting, recruiting is also everything. To grow and profit in contracting, you need a solid marketing plan and talent to execute. Here’s what contractors can learn from big time college football recruiting.
Year Round Effort
First, college recruiting is not limited to the weeks leading up to national signing day. It’s a year round effort. It should be for you too. If you can’t find technicians, you cannot grow. This makes recruiting critical. It’s so critical, you should spend up to a third of your time on it.
College coaches and scouting services start following promising prospects as early as middle school. They build relationships with high school coaches to help identify and influence the prospects. You should build relationships with instructors from the closest trade school and even high school vo-tech instructors. Begin following the most promising prospects.
College football programs have been making verbal offers to prospects as young as age 13. Why not promise a job to hopeful high school students if they attend and complete trade school?
College coaches not only write personal letters and make phone calls, they stay in touch using social media. Iowa State’s director of scouting told ESPN, "If you want to be a good recruiter in today's college football, you have to be on [social media]. If you're not doing it, you're going to get beat by somebody that's doing it."
Contractors likewise need to utilize social media to build their personal and company brands with prospective technicians. This means getting familiar with Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.
Nothing exemplifies the extremes of college football recruiting like the facilities arms race. Nike’s Phil Knight pours millions into Oregon’s facilities to help the Ducks compete on the national stage. The Aggies spent half a BILLION dollars to rebuild their stadium so Texas A&M can compete in the SEC.
You may not be able to offer big time football facilities, but you can offer more than most of your competitors. Set aside a room for a technician lounge with comfortable furniture, free snacks, free soft drinks, a large screen television with video games, ping pong tables, a pinball machine, dart board, and so on. Make it a man cave where they want to hang out.
Big time college sports includes a nutrition focus. Athletes are well fed. Why not feed your technicians well? Provide a hot breakfast and good food they can pack for lunch.
Big time college football weight rooms are amazing. Beyond the weight rooms, players get the latest and greatest in shoes, helmets, pads, gear, etc. What company supplied equipment can help your technicians perform their jobs better? What will get them excited?
Football teams used to have two uniforms, one for home games and one for away. Now they need multiple sets of special, cool looking uniforms. Could your uniforms be spoofed up?
College football programs turn home games and other key dates into recruiting weekends. Recruits are wined and dined and encouraged to commit to the school. Could you host Saturday recruiting visits at your company where to display your new facilities and make the technicians feel like superstars?
College football players get lots of university branded swag. Make sure your team has plenty of company branded swag.
Recruit the Fam
An important part of college recruiting is reassuring the parents their son will be well cared for. In your case, make a point of talking with the technician’s spouse about the type of company you operate, your culture, what the family can expect, and how they’ll be cared for.
Every major college program includes great recruiters, but the ultimate closer is the head coach. You need to be the ultimate closer for the technicians you recruit.
For recruiting material, training, marketing support, and everything else necessary to run a modern contracting business, call the Service Roundtable at 877.262.3341 or visit ServiceRoundtable.com.