What Makes a Good Tradesman? The Ultimate ‘Recipe’

Recipe for Finding Talent:
Serves all.

• 3 parts Soft Skills
• 3 parts technical aptitude
• 2 parts industry experience
• 3 parts good attitude
• 3 parts willingness to learn

Mix and serve immediately!

Wouldn’t it be nice if finding good skilled trades talent for your service business was this easy? In truth, it takes much more than a recipe to find the right talent, and often the ingredients depend on your company’s growth stage.

How to Find a Skilled Tradesman

We’ve all heard the phrase “the right person for the job”. But how do you find that “right” person? This is a question that most companies need help with, but it’s challenging when it comes to skilled trades talent. While traditional recruiting methods such as job boards and social media can help you find some candidates, they aren’t always effective at finding skilled trades pros who are a good fit for your company.

The best way to attract qualified candidates is by creating an employer brand strategy that focuses on the unique benefits of working at your company—like perks or benefits not offered by other employers in the area—in addition to promoting key aspects about your organization, like management style or culture. However, even with this approach there will still be gaps in your pipeline due to a lack of local opportunities within those industries or even a lack of basic awareness about available positions within those industries locally. This was particularly true before recent economic cycles when many folks were unaware any jobs existed locally, let alone ones within their skill set!

So what do we do if one size doesn’t fit all (or perhaps none at all)? Well, if we’re dealing with people there’s bound to be some overlap between different types of work, whether blue-collar or white-collar, since many tasks are universal across industries. In fact, just because someone has completed training/education doesn’t mean they have real-world experience, which is something else entirely!

What Makes a Good Tradesman?

There are three essential qualities every skilled trade candidate should possess: experience and industry knowledge; skills certification; personality and soft skills.

1. Experience and Industry Knowledge
Experienced workers are a must for any company. A lack of experience means you’ll have to train your new employee before they can start working independently. While this isn’t necessarily the end of the world, it does take time away from being able to get things done.
When hiring new workers, look for candidates with at least two years of experience in their field and relevant certifications and degrees, if possible (though not always required). If they still need these qualifications but are willing to get them quickly, that’s great too! However, if they have no intention of getting them, please only hire them if they’ll save everyone’s time by taking weeks or months rather than days or hours.

2. Skills, Training & Certifications
The next step is determining what skills, training, and certifications are required for the position. In some cases, this will be clear—if you’re hiring a Master Plumber, you’ll want to find someone with relevant experience and the appropriate license. For other positions, it may not be as obvious what credentials are valuable. The best way to identify these requirements is by asking yourself: “If I was doing this job today and wanted to do it well, what would I need?”.

3. Personality & Soft Skills
Another step to finding skilled trades talent is identifying who you actually need, and ensuring they have the personality and soft skills to do the job well, whatever it may be.

• Personality: Service technicians and mechanics are not always great communicators. They might have difficulty talking with customers or explaining their work to others. Find someone who can communicate well with others to solve problems, resolve issues, and keep projects moving forward at a steady pace. Additionally, a candidate with an internal drive and an optimistic outlook on life has the ideal attributes.
• Soft Skills: You need someone willing to learn and grow over time. Someone who understands that any job requires constant improvement and practice, and someone willing to take direction from others for them (and, by extension, your business) to succeed.

You Need a Mix of Skills to Hire Skilled Trades Talent

As discussed in the last section, skilled trades talent is a unique resource that requires a combination of technical aptitude, soft skills, and industry experience. The first thing you need to understand about skilled tradespeople is that they are different from your typical 9-to-5 employees. Skilled trades workers can be self-motivated and independent contractors that are used to working on their schedule. But even if they’re full-time employees at your organization, you still need to make them feel like part of the team by tapping into their passion for what they do.

The other key element in hiring skilled trades talent is ensuring that your company has an open-door policy for mentorship opportunities with senior business members who have been there longer than anyone else on staff (and probably longer than anyone else in their field!). This will help create cohesion among teams across multiple departments; no matter how experienced someone might be at something, something new is happening around us every day.


So there you have it! If you’re looking to hire skilled trades talent, use these tips to find the right person for the job. Of course, the easiest way to find the talent your company needs is to call the skilled trades recruiting experts, Work With Your Handz!

What Makes a Good Tradesman? The Ultimate ‘Recipe’


Kelly Rowlett Presgrave


Skilled Recruitment for Skilled Trades

We get to know your business, culture and needs. Work With Your Handz can help your team free up their time by providing interviews with only the most qualified candidates.