By Sarah Nicastro, publisher/editor in chief, Field Technologies
One of the biggest challenges facing the field service industry right now is the aging workforce. Under the umbrella of that one challenge are actually a handful of really big problems:
This is a complex problem that will be ongoing in 2018. While there’s no easy solution, there are some steps companies need to be taking to manage the challenge as best they can. Here are three important steps.
Recruiting New Talent
You have to understand that the younger workforce is different than what you are used to. You will likely find them in different places than you did your current workers. For instance, far more of the younger generation has college degrees – so making your case at college job fairs, or working to set up internship programs may be worth considering. The younger workers will likely also want different things than your current workers do. They want to feel recognized, empowered, and that their voice and opinion is valued. To successfully recruit in this new era, you need to look for new ways to uncover talent, and understand what is most likely to attract them to your organization.
You need to put a plan in place for how you’ll capture and transfer the insights your older workers have. While it may not be realistic for them to document and share 100 percent of their knowledge, you have to get as much of it as you can. One of the newer ways companies are enabling this knowledge transfer is through the use of Augmented Reality (AR). AR can allow you to have one older, experienced technician in the back office training multiple new technicians in the field at once.
If yours is a traditional field service workforce and you are struggling with talent gaps, you might want to do some research on outsourcing as an alternative. Many companies have had success with outsourcing certain service functions, or geographies, while still maintaining influence and control over how service is provided.