It’s hard to talk about field service these days without talking about the shrinking workforce. Even for those organizations open to hiring technicians with little to no experience, recruitment poses steep challenges. Why? For starters, too few people understand what a career in field service means. This is where service organizations need to get creative, particularly when hiring students.

High school and college students can be intimidated by field service job descriptions. Even the term “service technician” is unfamiliar, or daunting since it implies a high-level of knowledge that students may not feel they possess.

How wrong they are!

Students, particularly those who have successfully completed two years of college and picked up an associate’s degree, likely exemplify a few traits that every good technician needs:

  • They can learn
  • They can problem solve
  • They have experience —  after all, many students work customer service jobs to pay for textbooks and understand what positive customer interactions look like.

Even among those students who aren’t sure college is right for them, there are those who enjoy working with their hands and have spent hours in high school shop or engineering classes.

Recruiting Students to the Field

Service organizations can find these students by making an effort — and using the right message. Think about students’ hopes and fears: They want a good job (who doesn’t!), but they fear the large student loan debt which will follow them around after college. How can you help stymie their fears? Some points to consider:

  • Creatively tell your organization’s story. Think about what make your company interesting for employees — not customers, not management. Need help getting started? Ask technicians what’s exciting or rewarding about their jobs.
  • Boil down the benefits. Play up a well-paying position that will help students pay down student debt.
  • Get students excited. Technology, for one, can be an exciting factor for new employees, but also consider growth opportunities. Consider offering to pay for a certificate or several classes for students who work at the organization for a certain amount of time. The offer will not only appeal to their financial fears, but it also offers something many millennials want from an employer: learning and growth opportunities.
  • Prepare a well-thought out onboarding and training program. Good intentions and high-level ideas don’t cut it. Get specific about trainers, course content and goals.

It’s time to get bold in your recruitment practices. Selling students on a career in field service starts with telling your organization’s story.