Drainage Contractor

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Editorial: May 2016


May 2, 2016

Spring has sprung, and with the sun shining as I write this, I’m reminded that the school year will be finished before we know it and a new generation of young adults will be entering the workforce. Among this group of young adults, you may find a potential new employee.

Millennials – the term used to describe those who were born between 1980 and 2000 – have already surpassed Generation X to make up the largest share of the U.S. workforce, according to the Pew Research Center.

With this fact in mind, perhaps the future president of your company could be living in your house, or is already working to take over your business when you retire. But if the “family” portion of the term “family business” expires when you’re ready to step back, how will you find someone to take over?

On page 28, Corey Rimmer from CNA and Merlin Welch, who many of you know from the National Land Improvement Contractors of America, have some tips to help attract the next generation of contractors. They suggest promoting technology – not only your use of it in the field, but also in the office.

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It seems obvious, but the millennial generation is tech-savvy with phones and tablets seemingly attached to their hands at all times. This just means that your online presence is no longer optional – it’s an absolute necessity. Not only is it important to have a website with photos, videos and information about your company, but being accessible via social media can help boost your chances of recruiting new employees.

What’s equally important is to avoid stereotyping this generation as unmotivated and entitled. Interestingly, the Pew Research Centre also reported in September 2015 that 40 percent of millennials tend to resist the label – perhaps because of the negative connotations that come with it.

This group of young adults – myself included – has grown up in the Internet age, surrounded by innovation. But we don’t just use it to play games and chat with our friends. We use it to consume media, engage with our peers and spread information. And, we tech-savvy millennials use the Internet for job hunting and career research: on average, job seekers use 18 different sources when searching for a job, reinforcing the idea of the consumer candidate, according to Career Builder Communications’ 2015 Career Behavior Study. If your company is lacking an online presence, your next potential employee may take their skills to one of your competitors simply because they found more information about them on Google.

An astounding amount of technology has stirred innovation in the drainage industry over the last few decades. Technology has undeniably helped the industry grow, and it’s only going to continue to do so. Your next generation of employees will play important roles in how your company adapts to innovation. Don’t miss out.


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