As I’ve been back out attending in person events this Fall, I’ve noticed the conversation surrounding what we’re doing as an industry to bridge the labor gap and recruit more talent has a common theme.

Everyone you talk to knows about the labor shortage, has ideas on what to do about it, wants to break the stigma surrounding a plumbing career, etc. And I see many posts on LinkedIn showing off gleaming employee reviews, fun workplace events and more.

As Bill Condron, CEO of The Granite Group and the incoming 2022 ASA president put it in our recent interview, “We as an industry have the content, we just need to market it better.”

Sitting at the AD PHCP North American Meeting in October, attendees at my table asked me what I’m hearing about the labor shortage in the plumbing industry. With Condron’s point fresh in my mind, I got to thinking and said: “You know, I hear a lot of the same things from many different people.”

Distributors and suppliers tell me what they’re doing internally and on social to show appreciation for employees and display the great careers available, and I often share those perspectives in articles or columns. But even so, this publication is one written for the members of the PHCP-PVF supply chain — the people who are already more than well aware of the issue.

Posting on LinkedIn is great as well, but your LinkedIn network is likely largely made up of industry peers and business partners. So in order to truly reach the audience that needs to hear the message, we need to get creative and be intentional about reaching outside of our industry bubble.

Further on in Condron and I’s conversation, he pointed out that he too had been guilty of down-playing his career in distribution when people ask what he does for a living. “We need to stop that," he said. "The work we do matters  and we know it. We need to be intentional about taking the time to share what our careers are really about to the people who don’t know.”

No one likes to brag on themselves, but taking pride in your role within the plumbing supply chain and its ability to create a lasting and fruitful career out loud is a good step to get the message out.

So as we continue to gather at networking meetings and the topic of finding help and replacing our aging workforce comes up, take the time to brainstorm ways to blast the message and ideas we have outside of our plumbing bubble.

You have the content, it’s time to create the marketing plan to attack the PHCP-PVF labor issue.