2020 Trends In The Trades And How They Will Affect Your Recruiting

Wednesday, 22 January

We all know about the Labor Gap in the trades over the past few years, and that’s still going to affect your recruiting efforts this year. However, there are many new things happening that you may not have anticipated. Here are some trends to be aware of as you’re searching for good candidates in 2020:

Low Unemployment Rates

Not only has the Labor Gap created a smaller pool of workers in the trades, unemployment rates are so low now, so you have more competition to hire the best talent. You’ll need to be able to interview and hire quickly, so that the best candidates don’t get snatched up during the process. This also means you’ll have to have a more candidate-centric recruitment system and experience – including during onboarding! And when you’re interviewing or out recruiting prospective labor, ask them about what is important to them in a job, so you can see if there’s any patterns. You may want to consider making adjustments that make working for you more appealing to candidates – and make sure to address these items in your conversations and highlight them in your marketing.

Increasing Automation

The Labor Gap has forced many companies to look at other ways of getting tasks done, and thankfully technology has helped many businesses use automation to do this. But because automation will continue to take the place of many employee tasks, it’s more important than ever to hire for culture and soft skills rather than skills. Seek craftsmen that are agile and collaborative – who can learn new skills quickly.  And look at candidates outside the industry that have transferable skills! They’ll need to be able to take on new responsibilities as new innovations in technology and automation are constantly changing our industry.

Flexibility in Demand

Flex time is not just a trend with Millennials anymore. More and more of the workforce is wanting creative alternatives to the 40-hour M-F 9-5 job. In fact, 80% of workers said they’d choose the job offer that was more flexible in a 2019 survey by the International Workplace Group. That isn’t a negative for you either! You may have heard about Microsoft’s experiment in Japan, where their productivity rose by 40% when they cut back the work week to 4 days a week at the same pay. Look to ways to offer your candidates different options – and remember that with Madden, your craftsmen can be hired temporarily or permanently on our payroll, where employees have access to quality health insurance, holiday and sick pay, and a 401(k) program.

Video Technology

Video technology is constantly improving, allowing for widespread use in both regular business operations and marketing. The use of video conferencing, for example, can be a very efficient way to filter out candidates – especially at your first round of interviews. In a recent survey by LinkedIn, candidates said that the number one obstacle they experience is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organization. Video can be a great way of telling candidates about your company culture and showcasing the work environment.

Diversity in Age, Gender, and Culture

A diverse workplace is becoming more common, and that benefits everyone! A study from McKinsey & Company found that organizations were 35% more likely to have financial returns when they had higher racial and gender diversity! Madden can help you find more diverse candidates, depending upon your talent needs and diversity goals. And it’s becoming an older workforce – as life expectancy is longer, and babyboomers have stayed in the race longer. This means that healthcare benefits are increasingly more important to new hires – both young and old as younger hires are often helping to care for aging parents as well.


Madden is here to help you find and recruit the best craftsmen, and keep you informed of trends as they change throughout the year. Call us today and let us help you skip all the pre-screening, time-intensive interviews, reference checks, and more! Find the best craftsmen so you can get back to building something great.


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