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I'm interested in learning more about how other businesses find and train employees. I've made a survey on our website if you'd like to fill it out but I'll also add the questions below if you'd like to answer that way.



These questions pertain to all electricians:


  1. Do you hire electricians without experience?
  2. How do you test whether an electrician has experience?
  3. What types of training are done within your company?
  4. How important is training in your company?
  5. How satisfied are you with your training program?
  6. Do you feel as if you or your employees get enough training?
  7. Do you make the decisions at your company or have influence on decisions made?
  8. Where do you look for new products associated with your business?
  9. Where would you look to find new training products for your business?


Thank you for your time and your thoughts!
 

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Pay for them to attend an accredited, 5 year apprenticeship program. Then they will have the basics. Any additional education/specialty fields can be dealt with on an as needed basis. This includes high voltage splicing, thermal imaging etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pay for them to attend an accredited, 5 year apprenticeship program. Then they will have the basics. Any additional education/specialty fields can be dealt with on an as needed basis. This includes high voltage splicing, thermal imaging etc.
So you hire employees without experience and send them through an apprenticeship program and follow up with a mentor sort of program?

How satisfied are you with your program? Do you feel as if you're constantly walking employees through things they should already know?
 

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I am starting an apprenticeship program through our local community college which offers a 2 year AAS degree. I interviewed several candidates before hiring. Program starts after 1 year of employment and good behavior. We pay for the schooling. They get raises every quarter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm not sure how any of you feel about Everest, but it seems as if schools like that don't give them the training they need to do much more than be a lifelong apprentice. The purpose of my questions is about developing new training software, but of course, there needs to be a need for it.

And naturally, we're always looking for good help!
 

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I'm interested in learning more about how other businesses find and train employees. I've made a survey on our website if you'd like to fill it out but I'll also add the questions below if you'd like to answer that way.



These questions pertain to all electricians:


  1. Do you hire electricians without experience?
Then they are not electricians they are helpers or apprentices

2. How do you test whether an electrician has experience?
1. I asked my employees for references
2. I hire men that are employed
3. Call the Union Hall

What types of training are done within your company?
I encourage my men to take classes at the union hall, we hold classes such as PPE and basic testing, or we ship our men out for specific courses
How important is training in your company?
It is very important, we do specialty work
How satisfied are you with your training program?
Like anything it could use improvement, but we are so busy it is difficult to send a man away for a week
Do you feel as if you or your employees get enough training?
Of course not, there is so much to learn in this trade
Do you make the decisions at your company or have influence on decisions made?
I hope so
Where do you look for new products associated with your business?
Suppliers, here and other internet sites
Where would you look to find new training products for your business?
Suppliers, here and other internet sites
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you! Just to clarify, what I meant about "electricians without experience" is without experience in your field, so if you're a commercial builder hiring an electrician with only residential experience or if you're a service company hiring an electrician with only new building experience.
 

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Thank you! Just to clarify, what I meant about "electricians without experience" is without experience in your field, so if you're a commercial builder hiring an electrician with only residential experience or if you're a service company hiring an electrician with only new building experience.
I'm not terribly old, but with 26 years in this trade, I've come to the conclusion that you can't cross-train an electrician on purpose. He's either born with the innate ability to do construction, service, or sometimes both, but you can't turn one into the other with training alone. It's somewhere in the DNA or how your daddy raised you. Cross-functional electricians are discovered, not trained. If "training" does exist, it's merely by giving those with this inborn ability the latitude to explore new opportunities in the trade that they will, by nature, excel in.

Here's a training tip for you... don't train (except in your very specific niche field). Instead, take this old tip.... slow to hire, quick to fire. You'll crew up with higher quality guys more quickly that way than you ever will by spinning your wheels trying to train them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm not terribly old, but with 26 years in this trade, I've come to the conclusion that you can't cross-train an electrician on purpose. He's either born with the innate ability to do construction, service, or sometimes both, but you can't turn one into the other with training alone. It's somewhere in the DNA or how your daddy raised you. Cross-functional electricians are discovered, not trained. If "training" does exist, it's merely by giving those with this inborn ability the latitude to explore new opportunities in the trade that they will, by nature, excel in.

Here's a training tip for you... don't train (except in your very specific niche field). Instead, take this old tip.... slow to hire, quick to fire. You'll crew up with higher quality guys more quickly that way than you ever will by spinning your wheels trying to train them.
Good advice!

Can you expand on training in a very specific niche for me? Let's assume you've got a great employee with the right DNA, how do you keep them up to date on training? We're also assuming this employee is human and let's say he excels in most of the things your business does but could improve in some areas. How do you help them improve?
 

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Grayzerelectric said:
Good advice! Can you expand on training in a very specific niche for me? Let's assume you've got a great employee with the right DNA, how do you keep them up to date on training? We're also assuming this employee is human and let's say he excels in most of the things your business does but could improve in some areas. How do you help them improve?
I'm pretty sure by niche he means what type of jobs your company specializes in. Resi, Commercial TI, Big Box Retail Stores, Industrial Plants, Water Treatment Plants, Government etc. Different types of projects require different types of specialized training.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm pretty sure by niche he means what type of jobs your company specializes in. Resi, Commercial TI, Big Box Retail Stores, Industrial Plants, Water Treatment Plants, Government etc. Different types of projects require different types of specialized training.
I'm familiar with the term. I'm looking for expansion on training within niche markets. For example: classroom training once a year, or extra mentor training once a quarter or perhaps some type of seminar.
 

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Management should know what employees are good at, and what they aren't so good at. I'd like to think I'm a pretty good electrical craftsmen, but there are some things that I've never experienced. It would be foolish to send a guy like me out to do residential service calls when I have limited experience doing that particular work. On the other hand, I would be great at doing a large telecomm job, or high voltage cable install. If they are good at a particular type of work, and they like doing it, you can give them more training in that field and eventually you'll have guys that are considered experts. Guys that other companies envy. Guys that know their sch!t and are proud of what they can do.

Train them well enough to leave, treat them well enough that they won't.
 

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Good advice!

Can you expand on training in a very specific niche for me? Let's assume you've got a great employee with the right DNA, how do you keep them up to date on training? We're also assuming this employee is human and let's say he excels in most of the things your business does but could improve in some areas. How do you help them improve?
Niche training does not exist in any classroom, online class, or textbook. These niche items are cards held close to the vest, and doled out in drips and dribbles in places like online forums and happy hour at the local bar. The only way to learn the niche things is to work. Have a mentor or three on the job. Have a little latitude to mess around with things you've never done before under someone's watchful eye. There's no way in hell, for instance, you're gonna take a guy that just came from an Emerson factory class to do a transfer switch shutdown and maintenance in a hospital.
 

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The tradecraft required can't be learned from a book, classroom or computer program.

1) Too much variability -- new tools -- new gadgets -- new everything for a coder to ever get up to speed on.

2) Too much hand and wrist / muscle memory that can't even be put into words. This shows up in routine work such as make-up, trimming out.

3) Too many 'strange' and/ or legacy installations. These require on-the-fly study and comprehension that is not possible in any structured instruction program.

The latter situations require a savvy fellow blessed with smarts. No training program can overcome a stunted IQ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
It seems as if the two most used strategies for training are initial classroom work to teach the basics then into hands on work under a mentor. I would suspect that the people that go into the electrical field do so because they work with their hands either out of talent or enjoyment, and likely do well learning from on the job training, do you think these types of learners would do well learning from an online or computer-based program?
 

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