The future of the electrical, HVAC and plumbing industries rests in the hands of Generation Z. Now, we understand that this can be said about any industry. However, the challenge for business owners in the skilled trades is somewhat unique.

Currently, becoming an electric, HVAC or plumbing technician isn’t ranking high on the list of future career plans for Generation Z. But there is good news. In fact, it can be viewed as great news.

Unlike Millennials, the attributes that define Generation Z align strongly with everything the skilled trades offer. Especially when you factor in the benefits of online technical training with NexTech Academy. Viewed in this context, you’ll easily see the recruitment challenge is less about convincing Generation Z to consider the skilled trades, and more about making Generation Z aware that the skill trades align with their interests.

So, who is Generation Z and what do they value? Read on.

Meet your new technicians from Generation Z.

Generation Z refers to anyone who was born between 1996 and 2010. This is rightly considered the first digital generation as they were raised with the internet, social media and mobile devices. In fact, Generation Z will turn to digital tools before anything else for information, entertainment, and connection. The oldest members of this generation will be completing college in the year 2020.

They are entrepreneurs by nature, having grown up in the gig economy and are familiar with services such as Uber. They see value in jobs that provide a service and understand how these can be economically viable. While entrepreneurial, they also have a strong desire to seek stable employment. Surveys show they are willing to remain loyal to an employer that can offer them a safe, long-term position. To further underscore this idea, Generation Z also values financial security over personal fulfillment.

What may be unexpected news is that the majority of Generation Z still plans to get married, have children and purchase a home — all things that require stable, good playing employment.

In regards to education, there remains a strong interest among the Generation Z group to attain post-secondary education. However, unlike Millennials, Generation Z places a greater emphasis on the education’s value and making sure their investment pays off in a career. Generation Z clearly understands the burden of student debt and wants to avoid it. They also covet independent, online learning.

Also of interest, Generation Z prefers to work on individual tasks rather than team projects.

Of course, there is much more, but this listing is telling. It makes it clear how the skilled trades align strongly with the interests and values of Generation Z.

The opportunity Generation Z is seeking.

Now let’s flip our focus and examine the benefits of working as an electrical, HVAC or plumbing technician.

Regardless of the skills a future technician hopes to pursue, be it HVAC technician training, electrical training, or plumber training, they can expect to end up in a great paying career.

Members of Generation Z that pursue the skilled trades will also find affordable training thanks to NexTech Academy 2.0 and its reduced prices. When put into a ratio, the cost of education compared to career pay, we find a tremendous value equation that’s hard to beat.

The skilled trades also offer these electrical, HVAC and plumbing technicians the ability to solve problems, become their own boss and experience new and interesting assignments each day. Perhaps, best of all, the skilled trades provide the job security that Generation Z covets. Whether the economy is up or down, core services such as electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems must be maintained.

Find out if a Generation Z candidate is right for the skilled trades.

Having the right values, goals and career expectations goes a long way in making a Generation Z candidate attractive to employers. In fact, many electric, HVAC and plumbing business owners would be thrilled to have these types of candidates walking in the door. But there is more to identifying your next great technician than their mindset. It’s also beneficial if they have the right aptitude.

To help business owners better assess a candidate’s viability, we suggest the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT). It’s a mechanical aptitude test used by employers to understand how well a candidate can understand and solve basic mechanical problems.

The BMCT is not a super-advanced, college-level exam. Most of the test is at a 6th-grade level. The objective of the test is not to rate intelligence, but rather to identify natural and instinctive mechanical thinking.

A candidate’s score will go a long way in helping you determine if a candidate is worth your investment of time, resources and money.

A vocational training program that’s faster to learn.

Another attribute we haven’t touched on in regards to Generation Z is their eagerness to get things done and move forward quickly. As children of the digital age, they are used to things happening quickly. This, too, is an opportunity you can use to attract Generation Z to the skilled trades—especially since you are a Nexstar Network member with access to online vocational training from NexTech Academy.

When candidates use NexTech Academy online vocational training, they can complete their coursework in 18 to 24 months. That’s half the time compared to other electrical, HVAC and plumbing programs. For Generation Z candidates that are eager to learn and even more eager to earn, 18 months is far more attractive than multiple years.

Turn Generation Z into your recruitment advantage.

Attracting new candidates to the electrical, HVAC or plumbing business has been a tough sell for a number of years now. But the horizon looks bright. If you can understand Generation Z and become attuned to their interests, goals, and needs, you will be in a powerful position. By tailoring your recruitment messages to address the Generation Z mindset, you can staff your business for long-term success.

If you’re interested in helping new hires begin their HVAC technician training, electrical training, or plumber training, we recommend connecting with NexTech Academy. It’s among the best benefits of being a Nexstar Network member. You can have your new hires or interested candidates get started at the student experience page or call us at (651) 426-2000.

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