The Skilled Trades Blueprint

Check out our skilled trades blueprint to learn how we better connect your business with the tradespeople you need.

February 25, 2021

Your Source for Skilled Tradespeople

From carpenters and electricians to welders and plumbers, we recruit, hire and dispatch tradespeople across more than 10 specialties and match them with businesses around the country.

Take a look at our blueprint below to learn how our strong framework makes us your best choice for getting the skilled professionals you need on-site, on time and with tools needed to get your job done.

Experiencing the Construction Worker Shortage?

Dive deeper into our five solutions for builders who are looking to find skilled tradespeople during a hiring crisis.

February 23, 2021
Skilled tradesman carrying metal beam

5 Solutions for Finding Skilled Tradespeople During a Hiring Crisis

While Americans continue to file for unemployment and industries continue to be flattened by the pandemic, the construction industry has had to withstand these challenges as well as some of its own.

According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report released January 8, construction added 51,000 jobs in December alone. The BLS also reports that overall employment of construction laborers and helpers is projected to grow 5 percent through 2029—faster than the average for all occupations.

For most industries, this would be good news, but for the construction industry, it presents a problem. While there’s an abundance of construction projects and, therefore, construction jobs, finding skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen to fill them is proving difficult. Without these workers, builders can’t take on more projects or, worse yet, any projects. The construction worker shortage also means projects face significant delays, which are expensive to say the least.

So, what’s causing the construction worker shortage? First, there’s that increase in the number of construction projects starting. Also contributing to the shortage is that baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) working in the construction industry are retiring at a record pace. With their level of expertise and experience, their departure leaves a gaping hole. Unfortunately, the number of younger people entering the workforce is smaller—and many of those hold college degrees and have little interest in the skilled trades.

“There’s an impression that construction careers are like a job of last resort, and not a rewarding kind of middle-class career,” Brian Turmail, vice president of strategic initiatives and public affairs at Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), told Bloomberg. “Yet in many respects, they are a lot more rewarding than sitting in some kind of fluorescent-lit cube farm.”

Boosting the number of skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen in the future may require rebranding the entire construction industry. While changing perceptions about the skilled trades will take time, doing so is crucial to alleviate the construction worker shortage—now and in the future.

What Are the Consequences of the Construction Worker Shortage?

For the foreseeable future, the construction worker shortage will continue to challenge companies to find construction workers and skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen.

According to a report released in early February by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, most contractors (83%) continue to report moderate to high levels of difficulty in finding skilled workers. The report also found that 87% of contractors express a moderate to high degree of concern about workers having adequate skill levels, of which 90% say it will stay the same or get worse in the next six months.

This outlook matters because it reinforces the challenges facing companies due to the construction worker shortage. To meet project demand without the proper workforce, they will likely have to force skilled workers to work more, raising costs and potentially leading to worker burnout and possibly even injuries. Projects may be delayed while others could be rejected entirely as companies struggle to meet deadlines. Ultimately, the shortage of skilled tradespeople will lead to lost revenue, too.

Despite this gloomy forecast, the future for construction companies can be brighter as long as the industry works toward finding solutions to the construction worker shortage. With more and more people moving to urban areas, construction projects will continue to grow along with opportunities for skilled tradespeople.

What Can Builders Do to Find Construction Workers?

Stemming the construction worker shortage will take a concerted effort within the industry—and beyond. Here are five steps construction leaders can start taking now to attract skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen:

  • Outreach: Not long ago, vocational programs like shop classes were commonplace in schools across the United States. But with an emphasis on raising standardized test scores, among other reasons, many schools shifted their focus. In 2021, one would be hard-pressed to find skilled trades being offered alongside their science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) counterparts. Hiring construction workers for the future starts now with outreach to middle and high school students to get them interested in the trades. How will they find out about the lucrative jobs and creative opportunities that await them? Through you. Make an appointment now with your local school district leaders or middle and high school counselors about how best to educate students about the benefits of working in the construction industry.
  • Mentor: A lot of young people understand the substantial investment it takes to attend college and are worried about the significant amount of debt they will be left with upon graduation. Starting an apprenticeship program or offering internships allows potential employees an inside look at the rewarding career opportunities the construction industry offers. While they gain firsthand experience, you’ll create a pipeline of future skilled tradespeople. Eventually, you won’t need to find construction workers because they will have already found you.
  • Upskill: Instead of hiring construction workers, look to your current workforce. Do you have helpers, for example, who are doing a great job but lack the skills you need? Invest in upskilling your employees. Reward those who commit to upskilling by increasing their base pay and offering bonuses. Another byproduct of upskilling: You’ll increase employee morale.
  • Establish an employee referral program: Set up an employee program that incentivizes your current staff to find construction workers and skilled tradespeople. Experienced employees might know other carpenters, solar installers, electricians or have connections with people who work in the skilled trades. Not only will you find the people you need, but it’s a great way to get your employees more involved and, again, boost morale.
  • Partner with a staffing provider: The day-in-and-day-out operations of a construction company are overwhelming even without the construction worker shortage. To help ease the stress, consider partnering with a staffing provider like PeopleReady Skilled Trades. A staffing provider can take the heavy lifting off your shoulders when it comes to hiring construction workers by connecting you with skilled tradesmen and tradeswomen, from experienced carpenters to plumbers and more. With the help of a staffing provider, you can find the talent you need for short and long-term projects and avoid experiencing costly delays.

Why a Contingent Workforce Helps Overcome the Blue-Collar Worker Shortage

There have been few successful solutions to the blue-collar worker shortage so far. Here’s why a contingent workforce may be the answer.

February 5, 2021

blue collar worker

The blue-collar worker shortage has long been a problem for the American economy. Despite the attention the issue has received, there have been few successful solutions. The move toward a more contingent workforce is happening now. This shift will lead to greater pressure on businesses to identify and hire contingent workers who can get the job done.

37% of blue-collar-heavy companies reported a measurable adverse impact of the worker shortage on the company’s profitability versus just 9% of white-collar-heavy companies.

—The Conference Board, 2020

The U.S. workforce shortage—especially for blue-collar workers—is expected to continue through at least 2030, according to a study by The Conference Board. Factors driving the blue-collar workforce shortage include:

  • The baby boomer exodus
  • Dismal growth in the working-age population
  • Disappointing recovery in overall labor force participation
  • Men without a college degree are less likely to work
  • Large increase in disability rates
  • More young adults are avoiding trades, pursuing college instead
  • Young adults are much less likely to be in the labor force

By being open to contingent workers, businesses tap into talent that they might not otherwise gain access to, especially those who may have specific knowledge and training that could be beneficial to their operations. Many businesses are realizing that the quickest and most efficient way to get specialized talent is to hire them as contingent workers. Depending on future needs, these workers can eventually be transitioned into full-time positions.

Offering Greater Flexibility

Flexible working arrangements can also be an asset for a new generation of workers. They may have been recently separated from full-time employment or are reconsidering their career options. People often work on a part-time or temporary basis so that they can pursue other interests or gain experience in their chosen career, with an eye on pursuing a full-time position. The primary reasons temporary workers choose to be temporary workers are:

  • As a method of finding a regular/permanent job or because I thought it might lead to a regular/permanent position, 49%
  • Supplemental income while looking for a regular/permanent position, 11%
  • Supplemental income while not looking for a regular/permanent position, 14%
  • Learning new skills/get work experience, 13%
  • Other, 13%

Source: Staffing Industry Analysts

Expanding Business Operations

The current environment has provided businesses of every size and sector ample opportunity to reconsider their roles in the continued economic recovery. Businesses will focus on diversifying in order to mitigate risk: Some of them may be eager to grow their project base; others may be looking into different markets.

If businesses are considering expanding their geographic footprint or service offerings, contingent workers may be a tremendous asset during this important transition. With contingent workers, businesses can find workers with the specialized skills that they need for a particular project, without having to make a long-term commitment. 

Staying Agile in Uncertain Times

Businesses are increasingly looking for flexibility and scalability to meet the demands of a rapidly changing economy and to take advantage of new opportunities. As the business landscape continues to change, the makeup of their workforce will need to adjust as well. A temporary workforce allows for flexibility to adjust as needed, accommodating changes in the industry and financial circumstances that businesses will face in the future.

While every business has its own unique needs based on industry, location and other factors, contingent workers can bridge an important gap as leaders map out their plan of action. As we see more people turn to contingent work as they adapt to the current economic climate, having the ability to find workers and in the future is imperative.  

In order to find the contingent workers you need, when you need them, a staffing agency can help enormously and keep things moving along smoothly. If you’re looking for a staffing partner to help you, contact PeopleReady today.

Building Better Mental Health in Construction

In an industry where mental health issues are particularly acute, construction businesses are under even more pressure to address the challenges of their workforce. Here are some tips on how they can do it.

In an industry where mental health issues are particularly acute, construction businesses are under even more pressure to address the challenges of their workforce during these unusual times. Not only are they concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, but they’re also worried about how to support themselves and their families. They have likely seen loved ones faced with job loss, illness, and even death. They may be wary about coming to work, fearing an increased risk of infection.

Many blue-collar workers pride themselves on being tough, which prevents them from acknowledging their mental health and seeking help. Seasonal unemployment, long hours and exhaustion can also trigger mental health issues. Depression and anxiety often go undiagnosed and untreated, making the construction industry one of the occupations most at risk for suicide.

The suicide rate has surged 40 percent in the U.S. over less than two decades, with blue-collar workers at a significantly higher risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC analyzed suicide rates by industry and occupational groups by gender using data from the 32 states that participated in the 2016 National Violent Death Reporting system.

  • In 2017, nearly 38,000 people between the ages of 16 and 64 died by suicide in the U.S., according to the CDC. The overall suicide rate rose by 40% from 2000.
  • The total suicide rate among all men was 27.4 individuals per 100,000 people, but the rate among those in the construction field was 49.4 per 100,000.
  • For women, the suicide rate for the total population studied was 7.7 per 100,000 individuals. The suicide rate for women in construction, however, was 25.5 per 100,000 individuals—the highest among any profession.

Construction workers are exposed to a number of risks by the nature of their job. Adding in outside health risks may lead to work-related injuries. A study published recently in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that six health risk behaviors were more common in the construction industry, which PeopleReady shares below.

  • Smoking
  • Smokeless tobacco use
  • Binge drinking
  • No leisure-time physical activity
  • Not always using a seatbelt
  • Getting less than seven hours of sleep a day

W-2 or 1099? 3 Steps to Help You Understand the Difference

Whether you’re adding gig work or freelancing with your “regular” work, finding jobs through a staffing agency, or just getting started on your taxes – it can be confusing to know which employment tax form to complete.

January 28, 2021
Two papers labeled W2 and 1099

Whether you’re adding gig work or freelancing with your “regular” work, finding jobs through a staffing agency, or just getting started on your taxes, it can be confusing to know which employment tax form to complete.

When comparing different forms, a common question asked is “Am I filling out the right one?” While your employer determines this when you first start working with them, it helps to know some of the key differences between a W-2 employee and a 1099-MISC worker.

The easiest differentiator between the two types of workers is whether taxes are withheld. Workers using a 1099-MISC form are considered self-employed independent contractors. Social Security and Medicare taxes are not withheld and 1099-MISC workers are required to pay their own taxes, the “self-employment” or “SE” tax.  W-2 employees have a percentage of each paycheck withheld by their employer and a portion of their employment taxes are paid for by the company. (For more information, consult the IRS and read more on their website.)

So what are other differences between 1099-MISC and W-2 employees? PeopleReady shares three key points to keep in mind.

Behavioral Control

Does your boss control what type of work you do, when, and how you do it? If yes, the company has behavioral control, most likely deeming you a W-2 worker. If you work through a staffing agency like PeopleReady, you could be a W-2 employee with the agency. 1099-MISC workers do not have a boss they must report to, but they are required to find their own jobs and clients, create their own contracts, and manage their tax deductions.

Financial Control

Financial control applies to how a worker is paid. In many W-2 scenarios, the employer decides when the worker is paid and for how much. A 1099-MISC independent contractor will define their payment through various contracts dependent on the project and clients they work with.

Relationship with Employer

Do you have set length of time you’ll work for the employer- maybe a few shifts or a set several weeks? Or is your time of employment indefinite, as there are no plans on you leaving? Each of these factors can help determine the type of relationship, whether you’re an employee or independent contractor. Working through a staffing agency can influence this: you may be a W-2 employee through the staffing agency, being connect to jobs for an outside customer or business. You may be a W-2 employee for the agency, since you will work with them for an indefinite period of time.  It’s always a good idea to double check with your recruiter or agency representative if you’re not sure of your employment type, or with a finance expert if you have questions about your tax situation.

Ready to make money doing the jobs you want, when you want? Here’s where to start

Use JobStack to Find Jobs Safely This Winter Season

What does it mean to work with a staffing company that can help you find work safely and feel secure in your job search? See how PeopleReady is committed to your safety with our app, JobStack.

January 26, 2021

What does it mean to work with a staffing company that can help you find work safely and feel secure in your job search? See how PeopleReady is committed to your safety with our app, JobStack.

"Use JobStack for Winter Safety" infographic

Avoid These 4 Common Workplace Injuries

Safety first. It’s not just a catchphrase, it’s a guiding principle here at PeopleReady—and hopefully, it’s top of mind for you whenever you head out to any job.

January 14, 2021

Worker in a safety harness walking

Safety first.

It’s not just a catchphrase, it’s a guiding principle here at PeopleReady—and hopefully, it’s top of mind for you whenever you head out to any job. After all, every job involves some safety risks, though some more than others. That’s especially true in the warm summer months.

We’re not trying to scare anyone, but we do want to stress the importance of staying alert and exercising caution on a job site. Your safety is always our top concern—and for good reason: There are several injuries that can put you in harm’s way and keep you from working. Obviously, no one wants to get hurt, and no one wants to spend days, weeks, or even months recovering.

To help you keep an eye out for safety hazards, we’ve put together a list of common workplace injuries that keep workers out of commission:

Overexertion

Overexertion might be the first workplace injury to come to mind since it’s usually among the most common. Think of a worker hurting their back moving a heavy box. These injuries happen regularly because they can result from mistakes we all make when we’re fatigued or distracted, like not following the age-old wisdom of lifting with your legs, not your back.

Falls

Workplace falls are typically separated into two categories: falls from heights and falls on the same level. Falls from heights (or between floors) occur when a worker falls from a higher location like scaffolding or a roof. Falls on the same level can occur when you slip or trip over an object. In many cases, the easiest way to prevent falls is just to be alert.

Repetitive Motions

These injuries might sneak up on you because they’re not the result of a big event. They occur after repeatedly performing a small, seemingly innocuous task over and over again. The wear and tear on your muscles builds up over time and eventually you find yourself with an injury or condition (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) from overuse.

Cuts, Punctures or Scrapes

We spend a lot of time stressing the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE), and although you might consider it obvious advice, there’s a reason for it. Common injuries like cuts, punctures, and scrapes are largely preventable if you’re wearing the appropriate gear. These accidents occur when you’re not protected or you don’t have control of an object because you’re not wearing the proper equipment.

Now you know some common workplace injuries. So what are some tips to keep in mind to stay safe when you’re on the job site?

  • Always wear the appropriate PPE
  • Pay attention to your surroundings
  • Report any safety concerns
  • Don’t perform any task if you don’t feel properly trained or protected
  • If you experience any injury (even if it seems harmless), report it immediately.

How to Find Jobs Quickly With JobStack

These four easy steps are the best way for job seekers to make the most of JobStack and find jobs quickly and easily.

Man on his phone

Remember life before smartphones and apps? Yeah, neither do we. The joke that there’s an app for everything feels like a lifetime ago. Now, there truly does seem like to be an app for everything, ranging from the silly to the essential. There are even apps to help you manage your apps.

Luckily, there are also apps that let you conveniently find work. One example is JobStack, which lets you find on-demand work when and where you want it.

You’re probably wondering, “I already have a lot of apps—why is JobStack worth the coveted space on my home screen?” Simply put: You can find jobs more quickly than ever before just by taking steps you’re already taking. It’s no extra work on your part, but you’ll see great results.

Reggie Davis, a user of JobStack, says, "Jobstack matches me perfectly with jobs that are closer to me and shows us important information about the job that we are going to. In the morning before work, Jobstack will send me an alert to inform me that my job is about to begin and it has a notification letting the staff know I've arrived. I don't have to do anything but accept the job offer and go to work."

Here are four ways to use JobStack to speed up your job search:

  1. Apply to PeopleReady
    Once you’ve applied to PeopleReady and passed the review process, you’ve got the green light to start using the JobStack app. Why do we do it this way? Because we want to get the screening process out of the way so that you don’t have any delays once you start using the app. The good news is that if you’ve already used PeopleReady to find work, you’re ready to go!
  2. Accept jobs
    One of JobStack’s most innovative features is how it learns what jobs are the best match for you. It’s quite simple: The more jobs you accept, the more it understands which gigs you prefer. So over time your JobStack experience is truly unique to you, which means you spend less time browsing through jobs that don’t interest you.
  3. Ace the gig
    The app lets employers give feedback on your performance, which factor into your overall rating. Workers with low ratings because they didn’t show up to the job or who didn’t perform won’t receive job offers via JobStack, but workers with positive feedback will have more opportunities come their way. Don’t forget: The app also lets you give feedback on the jobs you take.
  4. Follow your own schedule
    The benefit of using an app to find work is that it’s always ready when you need it (and it’s still ready when you don’t need it). And since you don’t need to go into a branch to accept jobs or submit hours, you get to create the schedule that works for you.

6 Safety Questions to Ask on Every Job

Safety is our No. 1 priority at PeopleReady. Ask yourself these six questions before your first visit to the job site.

December 22, 2020
job safety

We get it. When it feels like you have a million things to do, safety isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind – particularly when you’re hustling to make it on time and doing the job well.

But imagine the frustration of having to miss work because of an injury. Sitting out of days, sometimes even weeks or months, of pay and on top of that, dealing with an injury. It’s not worth it! But the numbers aren’t comforting: The National Safety Council says that someone is injured on the job every seven seconds, adding up to 510 injuries each hour, 88,500 a week, and 12,600 every day.

Our goal is that when you’re on a job site with PeopleReady, you feel safe. Here are five crucial questions to ask yourself before heading out onto a job, every single time: 

1. Do I know the job?

When you’re sure of the job description and what your duties are, you can decide whether it’s a job you’re comfortable with and have the skills and proper training for. Make sure you know the details of a job before signing on.

2. Does the job look accurate?

If you show up to a job site and you’re being asked to do work that varies greatly from the description, call your branch representative about your safety concerns.

3. Am I geared up?

Don’t take your personal protective equipment (PPE) for granted; many injuries occur just because a worker isn’t wearing their PPE. And remember, PPE can be anything from steel-toed boots to a simple pair of protective glasses.

4. Do I feel safe?

If there is anything about your job site that doesn’t feel safe, do the right thing and let your supervisor and branch staff know. Respectfully informing them of any potential hazards not only protects you and your colleagues, but safeguards the business.

5. Have I reported this?

If you’re injured on the job, you need to tell the onsite supervisor and your branch representative. No matter how minor, your injury should be reviewed and taken care of. Sometimes what may seem like a small injury can turn into something much more serious. Feel free to contact the PeopleReady NurseLine to speak with a nurse about the injury and get help on what to do next. As they always say, better safe than sorry.

6. Am I up to date?

On safety training, that is. When you first start working with PeopleReady, you’ll go through a general safety assessment so we can understand how familiar you are with safety procedures and best practices. You can continue to grow your safety understanding and training with PeopleReady through various certifications, like OSHA 10, that provide you with the important safety info you need.

The top three workplace injuries that cause workers to lose workdays are overexertion, contact with or struck by objects/equipment, and slips, trips, and falls. Fortunately, these types of injuries can be prevented much of the time with a bit of foresight and awareness. We’re here to help with that.

5 Resume Tips That Job Seekers Should Know

Here are some tips to help you shine and overcome some resume obstacles—and prove to your future employer that you’re their ideal candidate.

November 7, 2020

Hand writing on paper

You may not have a lot of prior experience, or maybe there are gaps in your employment. Here are some tips to help you shine and overcome some resume obstacles—and prove to your future employer that you’re their ideal candidate.

Write Concisely

Regardless of your experience,  make sure your resume is easy to understand. Communicate well and make it readable, and don’t use wacky fonts or design styles. Be sure to use proper job titles. For example, using “Refuse Dispensing Engineer” or “Waste Management Professional” may make it confusing for the potential employer to understand. Be sure to format your resume correctly, align all of the columns and ensure it was written in an acceptable “resume style.” Clean and concise is best.

Use Proper Grammar

Any resume should be error-free. If you are not a great speller/writer, be sure to have another set of eyes proofread for spelling and grammatical errors. Even the best writers make mistakes. That’s why authors have editors.

Use Relevant Keywords

Be sure that you are including keywords that best fit your experience, beefing up your most recent positions. If you were a warehouse worker, be sure to add a sentence or two about some of the tasks that you performed. Employers will be looking for keywords that fit the jobs they have available and the more detailed your resume, the better your chances of landing an interview.

Focus on Skills 

What skills have you learned and gained from your past experiences that you can bring to a future employer? More important than titles, more important than the names of the companies where you worked in the past, are the skills you will bring with you.

Share Your Experiences

Some opportunities may not seem like a good fit at first, but be open to different levels of work. Be clear on what you can do, and what jobs you want going forward. This type of information can easily be added as your opening resume objective. Your experience in a different industry than the one you are applying for may apply nicely. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that you may be new to the industry, but are confident in your ability to transfer your skills from previous experience.

Define Your Past Positions

Have you had a large reduction in responsibility? For example, were you previously a plant manager but in your most recent position, a retail sales clerk? Potential employers may wonder what happened. Just be prepared to explain why. Were you looking to try something new? Did you get laid off and needed to find something else rather quickly? Be upfront about topics that some employers may perceive as a concern.

Demonstrate Commitment

Employers want to see that you have stayed long enough at previous employers to add value, learn new skills, and build longevity and loyalty with the company. Too many job shifts in too short a time period may suggest that you won’t stick around for them either. Also: Are there gaps in your employment? Be prepared to have a conversation about this during an interview or simply note this in your resume. Employers want to hire those who are going to commit to their company.

You have unique talents and gifts that will be an asset to some lucky employer. Follow these tips, and let your resume rise above the rest. At PeopleReady, we understand the interview process can be intimidating, that’s why we take pride in helping our associates prepare for the next step in their career. 

PeopleReady specializes in quick and reliable on-demand labor and highly skilled workers. PeopleReady supports a wide range of blue-collar industries, including construction, manufacturing and logistics, waste and recycling, and hospitality. Leveraging its game-changing JobStack platform and 600-plus branch offices across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, PeopleReady served approximately 98,000 businesses and put more than 490,000 people to work in 2020.