Three people meeting at a job fair where one is interviewing the other at a table.
From offering internships to attending job fairs at trade schools, there are several ways you can recruit specialized candidates to your business. — Getty Images/SDI Productions

Trade schools (or technical schools) are postsecondary schools that focus on preparing students for specific career paths. Students usually gain hands-on experience and learn skill sets that are geared toward the specific trade.

Employees who’ve attended trade schools can be a great addition to your team. Here’s how to recruit employees from trade schools.

[Read: Need to Scale Quickly? Here Are 6 Ways to Hire Employees Fast]

Why hire employees from trade schools?

Employees from trade schools will typically have a more focused expertise with hands-on training needed for a desired career path. This can assist businesses in developing top talent with skills that can benefit both the company and the employee. Technical and mechanical trades are two of the most common skill sets trade schools offer their students.

Trade professionals include welders, construction workers, HVAC mechanics and electricians, among others. What sets these employees apart is their specific learned skill set the general population may lack. It’s beneficial to hire these skilled workers because a business may not have the time or money to train their current employees to do certain jobs or tasks that an employee from trade school would already know how to do.

[Read: What to Know Before Hiring Gig Workers]

Job fairs are a great way to gain awareness for your company and allow you to meet trade school students.

5 ways to recruit employees from trade schools

Interested in hiring employees from trade schools? Here’s how to recruit them.

1. Partner with trade schools.

If your business has tasks that are technically or mechanically focused and in need of fixed positions, the best place to search for employees are trade schools. This means being front and center in these trade schools to show your company’s branding and offerings. Partnering with trade schools cultivates brand awareness and visibility to students who may not know about your business, offering you speaking engagements and other ways to connect with these students.

2. Offer internships/apprenticeships.

Internship positions and apprenticeships have the ability to turn into full-time jobs. Apprenticeships teach students more about their preferred expertise and how to perfect their craft while they’re on the job hunt. These students can work a certain number of hours a week where they’ll be exposed to your company culture and be more open to accepting a job offer after their internship or apprenticeship. Many apprenticeships and internships start when a student is still in school, allowing them to continue their education and bring new skills to your business.

3. Connect to industrial networks.

Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) help businesses connect with potential employees from trade schools. CTSOs train students from middle school to postsecondary graduates in a variety of industrial, technological and medical fields, among others.

Connecting with these CTSOs, such as SkillsUSA, allows your company opportunities to speak and engage with potential employees. SkillsUSA hosts events each year that allow students to compete in their respective trades. Additionally, they have a meet and greet where companies can introduce themselves to soon-to-be graduates. Local labor unions also have opportunities to meet trade students at hiring fairs and centers in various locations across the United States.

4. Attend job fairs at trade schools.

Job fairs are a great way to gain awareness for your company and allow you to meet trade school students. The key is to ensure your company stands out by being transparent about your company’s culture and showcasing how you differ from other employers. In-person requests, job offers and interviews are more effective than virtual cold calls and emails. In-person events will bring you more opportunity to connect with students and gain positive responses for prospective job opportunities.

5. Offer competitive benefits.

Employers are able to recruit and retain top talent by developing competitive benefits. These are benefits that ultimately entice the worker with a healthy work-life balance within your company’s culture. Trade workers in particular are looking for a supportive workplace to balance their trade that may often include long hours or a varying schedule. Competitive salaries and medical insurance often set companies apart from one another. These benefits are especially enticing to trade workers who strive to be appreciated for their strong skill sets and abilities.

[Read: Experiencing a Hiring Skills Gap? How to Find Qualified Employees]

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Published March 31, 2021