Attracting the Best Talent : Navigating the Talent Shortage in Field Services

Written by Prayteek Chackravarty- Zinier

Reddit is filled with a volume of heartbreaking job reviews. If this one below sounds familiar then you are probably losing ground in keeping your top talents happy.

“Management prioritizes self-advancement, lacks team spirit, and shows little concern for others. I would look elsewhere for work or a job, I’m unsatisfied and this job is unfulfilling!”

The field services industry is facing a talent shortage as companies struggle to attract and retain top talent. The Manufacturing Institute predicts that there will be 2.4 million unfilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S. by 2028, which will include many field services roles.

Additionally, a survey by Field Service News found that 79% of field service organizations are struggling to find candidates with the necessary technical skills. Correlatively, in a survey done by the Service Council, 52% of field service organizations consider attracting and retaining top talent to be their biggest challenge. And in the same survey, they found that 77% of these organizations are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers.

With the increasing need for skilled workers in the field industry, companies must adopt a proactive approach to attract and retain top talent if they aim to succeed in the competitive landscape of talent acquisition and retention.

The most critical factors in attracting top talent is creating a positive company culture.

This can be achieved by providing a supportive and inclusive workplace that prioritizes employee well-being and career development on top of competitive compensation packages, benefits, and incentives. However, culture is just one of “The 3 Cs” that job seekers and employees alike look for in a company.

The other two Cs are opportunities for career development and consistent employee communication.


What’s Your Reputation?

Field companies must create a workplace culture that reflects the values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that shape the way employees interact with each other, with customers, and with the broader community. Top-skilled workers thrive in a culture that cultivates a shared mission and vision with the company. That sense of belongingness enables them to become the best versions of themselves.

For example, Samsung has implemented several strategies that focus on innovation and collaboration to build its culture. Best known for its innovative products and services, they have created a culture of innovation by establishing innovation labs that encourage employees to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to complex problems. Samsung believes that collaboration is key to driving innovation and achieving success and has implemented various strategies that encourage collaboration among its employees, including cross-functional teams, open workspaces, and team-building activities.

A company’s mission to empower frontline workers should come from the understanding that wisdom and empowerment come not just from thinking about the future, but from living and sculpting the present to grow into what it think it needs to become. An example would be to develop a mantra like… “Hungry, Hustler, Honest, Humble” and have it resonate across the company. Make it set the tone for the organization, emphasizing the values everyone appreciates.

Additionally, companies should believe in the importance of time off. They should also understand the value of flexibility, allowing employees to take time off when needed without rigid constraints.

TRULY HUMAN NOTICE: Getting this email out of normal working hours? We work at a digitally-enabled relentless pace, which can disrupt our ability to sleep enough, eat right, exercise, and spend time with the people that matter the most. I am sending you this email at a time that works for me. I only expect you to respond to it when convenient for you, unless otherwise requested.”

It acknowledges the need for work-life balance and urges employees to respond to emails at their convenience, emphasizing the importance of self-care and spending time with loved ones.

Overall, employers should pay close attention to their teams because people fuel growth. And when people feel a sense of accomplishment in a workplace that champions their individuality and unique talents, they intrinsically create a culture of excellence.

Career Development: What’s your #CareerGrowth look like?

Field Services companies can attract top talents by providing opportunities for growth and advancement within the organization. This includes providing continuous training and development programs, as well as career pathing initiatives that enable employees to take on new challenges and responsibilities. Nobody wants to be stuck doing the same task the same way over and over and over again.

The reality is, to retain top talent, field companies must also prioritize employee engagement and recognition. This can be achieved by offering regular feedback and performance evaluations, as well as acknowledging and rewarding outstanding work. These activities are sure ways of communicating clearly who is bringing the big guns to the battle and winning over the competition. Having a clear basis on who gets to move up and what they need to do is a way of motivating your top talents to not only stick around but to be better versions of themselves all the time.

But more than that, the workplace also has to be a safe place where one can build a career.

Companies should recognize that he destination matters but the journey is just as important. In this digitally connected world, we spend more time with our work colleagues than at home. We need to take care of each other to make the journey memorable and fun.

Employee Communication: What’s Your Communication Style?

Effective communication is a critical component in retaining top talent in any organization.

Here are some ways that company communication can help in keeping top talents:

Providing clear expectations

Employees want to know what is expected of them in their role, and clear communication from their managers can help set those expectations and make them feel more confident in their abilities, which in turn makes them feel that they are making meaningful contributions to the team. This can only happen if you have a technological platform that gives automatic actionable feedback to your field workers in a real-time fashion. The faster you get the information out, the better employees perform at their jobs.

Encouraging open communication

Top talents want to feel heard and valued in the organization and creating a workplace where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and concerns can help foster a sense of belonging and loyalty to the company. That is why it is so important to build a cadence for feedback, both for scheduled appraisals and real-time audits. Having that platform to discuss performance in a gradual, continuous cycle encourages openness and willingness to act on this feedback.

Sharing company goals and strategies

Employees want to feel connected to the bigger picture and understand how their work contributes to the company’s success overall. When employees feel engaged and motivated to contribute to the company’s success, the higher their desire to perform well and exceed expectations. This is extremely true for all field workers who can easily fall out of the loop, which is why it is critical for them to get the big picture every single time they are subjected to an appraisal or an audit. The discussion need not be limited to actionable items now, but also leading towards a higher cause that may involve cost reduction, increased revenue for the company, or building new businesses and/or clientele.

Empowering Field Agents

To win the talent shortage in field services, companies must build a coherent approach that thrives in the company’s positive culture, invests and excels in their professional and personal growth, and communicates clearly what they bring into the squad. It is getting increasingly difficult to attract and retain skilled labor. Moreover, recruiting and retaining talent is getting expensive by the minute.

That is why it is important to lead teams by creating solutions to keep our field workers happy and fulfilled. Staying silent is not an option. With the best team in place, we constructively challenge each other to problem solve and create better outcomes for the team, company, customers, and the world. We do it passionately and respectfully knowing that we can thrive better from giving and receiving feedback.

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About TimeLinx
TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.