Why is recruiting mechanical and electrical workers so tough?

It can be incredibly frustrating trying to find mechanical and electrical workers. At P.I.E.R, recruiting M&E workers for the construction industry is our bread and butter, and we understand that it’s not the easiest task.

Within the mechanical and electrical sector, there are jobs for tradespeople, supervisory staff, and technical personnel. Roles can include everything from plumbers and electrical mates, to electrical supervisors, mechanical supervisors, project managers, and commissioning engineers. Typically, mechanical and electrical workers are required at the same time, and so grouping them together is common within the industry.

Despite how varied mechanical and electrical roles can be, it’s common to struggle to recruit for any role within the M&E sector. In this article, we’ll look at why it’s so tough to recruit mechanical and electrical workers, and how you can overcome these challenges.

Industry wide problems in recruiting mechanical and electrical workers

If you’ve been struggling to recruit mechanical and electrical workers for your own business or project, it’s worth being aware that the problems you’re facing are industry wide. The issues you’ve had aren’t specific to your project or location.

Here are 5 of the top reasons you’ve been finding it so difficult to recruit for mechanical and electrical roles.

Mechanical and electrical workers are important!

It’s obvious, right? Mechanical and electrical workers are important on every construction site, and as such, demand is high. With every man and their dog looking for mechanical and electrical workers (not to mention recruitment agencies too), competition is tough. Workers have their pick of the projects and businesses they most want to work with, and let’s face it, a lot of what they’re looking for leads back to money. 

The roles offering the best pay will attract the best workers – and even then, there are barely enough workers to go around. In fact, last year the Institute of Engineering and Technology estimated there was a shortfall of more than 173,000 [engineering] workers in the sector.

Better work/life balance is enticing skilled workers away

With the increasing capabilities of AI and enticing salaries of the fintech world, there are plenty of opportunities for mechanical and electrical workers outside of construction. Many graduates are being bombarded with adverts for roles that utilise their skills, offer good entrance level salaries, and are in Instagram-worthy locations.

Graduate mechanical engineers have starting salaries of around £20,000 to £25,000, according to the National Careers Service. While that might sound enticing to some, in times when the glamorous notion of AI is dominating the press, for some mechanical and electrical graduates, construction was never a path they intended to explore. 

The skills and knowledge shortage

At the other end of the spectrum from newly qualified workers, we’ve got the issue of talented and skilled workers retiring or moving to other sectors. With fewer experienced workers in mechanical and electrical roles, and fewer younger apprentices to take their place, the skills and knowledge shortage in construction is a major sticking point.

The impacts of COVID

It’s been said a lot, but we can’t underestimate the impact of the COVID pandemic. Many workers were forced into different industries – and others into early retirement. With little that could be done to save all of the construction roles at the time, it’s going to take a while before we return to pre-COVID levels of workers.

The increasing demands of compliance

Compliance within construction is more important than ever before. We’ve looked at why compliance is so important in construction recruitment, but its increasing importance has also led to an increase in the work required to ensure workers and construction recruitment companies remain compliant. For some construction workers, especially those who were impacted by the removal of Grandfather rights and the change to CSCS cards, the increase in compliance legislation may have been enough to encourage them to take early retirement or leave the sector before their time.

Why is compliance making mechanical and electrical recruitment tough right now?

A greater focus on compliance in our industry will serve only to make the construction sector stronger. With greater compliance will come a more level playing field, where workers and agencies are respected because of the level of compliance. But it may take a while for this focus on compliance to be seen as a positive among workers and contractors.

The need for compliance is inevitable

As with any sector or any industry, compliance is inevitable. It builds trust, confidence, and creates an understanding between workers and clients alike. For example, while we know the changes to CSCS cards might not have been welcome, in the long run, they’re just another way to ensure workers are fully qualified for the roles they undertake.

The need for compliance in mechanical and electrical recruitment is increasing

In recent years, more and more small recruitment agencies have been popping up around the country. With an increasing need to be compliant, these new agencies won’t be able to undercut costs to bump up their projects. 

A legal requirement to be compliant will result in the downfall of agencies that value profit above all else. Instead, the market will return to agencies that genuinely want to place the right workers in the right roles.

The workload in being compliant multiplies the difficulty to recruit

With more compliance procedures to follow, it’s more important than ever that you recruit the right people from the get-go – which can make the recruiting process even more difficult. There’s more pressure on finding the right workers, because more paperwork goes into sourcing and placing each worker. If you’re finding it tricky to recruit mechanical and electrical workers for your business, it might be the right time to get in contact with P.I.E.R.

Why use P.I.E.R. for mechanical and electrical recruitment?

At P.I.E.R., we specialise in finding mechanical and electrical workers that will stay the course. With over 29 years in the industry, and 15 years in business, we know how to make sure your workers are there from start to finish. 

Helping you to find the skilled mechanical and electrical specialists you need

By handing the reins over to P.I.E.R, we can help you reduce your staff turnover by sourcing the right workers from the outset. Our approach is to find out as much as we can about your project from as early as possible in your timeline. The earlier you get in contact with us, the better. We can help you predict how your workforce needs will change throughout your project, and be on hand with qualified and reliable construction workers who specialise in mechanical and electrical work.

Become fully compliant across your workforce

All of our workers have already been compliance checked before they step foot on site. With references, work history, and qualifications available for everyone on our books, we’ll make sure your entire workforce is fully compliant.

Reduce your admin costs to achieve a compliant workforce

It’s not just bums on seats that we take care of. 

At P.I.E.R, we’ll sort the paperwork for each of your workers, so you don’t need to worry about fussing with frustrating legislation. We’ll take care of the admin so you don’t have to! 

Avoid crippling fines

By choosing to reach out to a trusted recruitment agency like P.I.E.R, you’ll avoid any crippling fines that might be thrown at you should you choose to go with an inexperienced agency. Our aim is to create long lasting relationships with our workers and clients, so we will always make sure your business is our priority.

Let PIER make your life easier by recruiting a fully compliant mechanical and electrical workforce that will help you to deliver projects on time.


Similar Posts