Contractors: How do you deal with Millennials and Boomers ?

By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman, Sonnhalter

Contractors (HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical) have some serious challenges moving forward.

The Average contractor is 50+, most aren’t tech savvy, and they’ve been doing things the same way forever (chasing paper work orders). As Boomers leave the workforce at a rate of 1 every 8 seconds, a shortage of middle management will become apparent. Boomers dominate technical jobs, with the exception of IT.

I learned a long time ago if you got into business, among your priorities were: grow your business, make a profit and have an exit strategy.

To grow your business, you need to hire and train good people. And who’s going to train the millennials? The boomers! The boomers have the intellectual capital (work experience) that needs to be transferred to the younger generations. Your pool of talent will come from the 18-34 age group and they look at things a bit differently than their older counterparts.

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Millennials are computer literate, and what’s important to them may not be on your radar. Yes they want to make money, but more importantly, they want to be involved in projects so they have a sense of worth. You, as the contractor, must be open to new ideas on ways of doing things. Once millennials know what you want to accomplish, they may be able to come up with better systems or can better implement existing systems.

The average millennial would prefer to text than to call. Their interpersonal skills for the most part need to be nurtured. Contractors know that interaction with potential or existing customers is important and you need to be engaging.

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So if you’re going to grow your business, millennials are going to have to be a part of that growth. There are books, classes and HR consultants that will help you understand and motivate this group of people. The article by Chad Halvorson from When I Work, 6 key principles for managing millennials is a great starting point.

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