The CFA’s Future Fitters campaign is all about getting new talent into our industry, says Richard Catt.
A THEME I’ve mentioned in previous articles is my strong belief in having a plan. Everyone has a story of good luck or being in the right place at the right time, but I believe that most of us simply achieve things through hard work and planning.
It is a combination of both and neither works on its own. If you simply work hard but have no plan, you are in great danger of being what some term as busy fool. I always remember a section I studied many years ago as part of a business qualification, that defined the difference between being an efficient and an effective manager.
Efficiency (the text told me) is doing things right; Effectiveness is doing the right thing.
But what does this have to do with Future Fitters and adding more labour in to your business? The answer I am going to suggest is that I believe many contracting businesses have been using the labour at their disposal very efficiently for some time. In fact, in a market that has recently been booming, many have squeezed a quart out of a pint pot. However, has that been an effective way to manage labour and is it sustainable? If, in reality, your business hasn’t employed anyone from outside of the industry for some time, I feel that probably needs to change (a better plan) and is one of the key strategies that needs to be adopted to tip the balance for the sector in terms of the skills and labour crisis.
Employ more new talent.
I truly believe that our Future Fitters campaign takes the sting out of employing new talent from outside of the sector and gives a great platform from which to build. For the purposes of this article, I want to highlight one specific tool that we feel is incredibly helpful. Talentview. www.talentview.org.
Talentview is the FREE website that was developed by CLC in conjunction with CITB, where CFA members can advertise new positions within their businesses. It’s a bit like Monster or Indeed for construction. If you’re seeking to recruit experience from within the industry for any role, then I would suggest putting an advert in CFJ, but for new talent and new fitters, the best route in my opinion is Talentview and perhaps LinkedIn (paid options).
Our Future Fitters brochure (see the CFA’s website or scan the QR code opposite) provides links and information including signposting to Talentview and the GoConstruct website that can offer additional resource to build an advert or to give applicants a flavour of what the role of a floor layer is all about. Think also about casting out to local schools and contacting careers advisors. The GoConstruct STEM Ambassadors scheme we promote in our Future Fitters brochure is an excellent way to do that. Begin to forge local relationships there and hopefully attract some young adults into apprenticeships.
It isn’t easy or simple, but with luck, a plan, an advert, and some structured training from providers like FITA, you could start to solve your skills and labour problems.
I believe in hard work and luck, and that the first often leads to the second J.K. Rowling.
The CFA is a leading trade association representing the flooring industry. If you would like further information about our Future Fitters project, or an application pack outlining the benefits of membership, please contact the CFA offices.