5 Hiring Tips for Contractors: Finding and Keeping Great People!

Posted by David Chism | Wed, Nov 10, 2021

 5 Hiring Tips for Contractors: Finding and Keeping Great People!

Tak­ing a clos­er look at your hir­ing strat­e­gy as we enter the win­ter months, maybe plan­ning ahead for spring? Good move!

I know that this is typ­i­cal­ly a sea­son when con­trac­tors back off of hir­ing a bit, espe­cial­ly with all the eco­nom­ic unknowns. It’d be nice to be able to pre­dict the future, but that’s not real­ly an option at this point… My best rec­om­men­da­tion is to stay opti­mistic and have a back­up plan, includ­ing a plan for hiring.

Ready for a few quick tips?

#1: Always be hiring

Even if you aren’t putting as many dol­lars behind paid ads or pro­mo­tions, still ALWAYS be hir­ing. Your web­site, Face­book, Indeed, yard signs, vehi­cle sig­nage… Always hir­ing!” is a pos­i­tive mes­sage for clients, and can attract qual­i­ty can­di­dates who are look­ing for sta­ble work. 

#2: Don’t be afraid to ask customers

There’s a resur­gence of inter­est in the trades, and huge oppor­tu­ni­ties (plus earn­ing poten­tial) for moti­vat­ed indi­vid­u­als. Let your cus­tomers know that you have train­ing for young peo­ple look­ing to enter the work­force, and that you’d appre­ci­ate refer­rals from peo­ple who know you, your com­pa­ny, and your val­ues. What a great mes­sage to send to your client base, dou­bling as a pow­er­ful way to tap into a larg­er network. 

#3: Group inter­views! There’s pow­er in numbers

If I had a dol­lar for every time I’ve heard of clients deal­ing with no-shows, well, I’d have a whole lot of dol­lars. What a waste of time for you and your team too! I’d rec­om­mend block­ing off sev­er­al times per week when peo­ple can sign up for a group interview. 

#4: Con­sid­er remov­ing your online applications

If you like online appli­ca­tions and they’re work­ing, awe­some! But here’s an alter­na­tive idea, espe­cial­ly if you’re los­ing time weed­ing through junk applications. 

I have two teenage kids that I have encour­aged to NOT work for me but go and get a job with some­one else. One firm inter­viewed my 16-year-old with­out hav­ing him fill out a detailed appli­ca­tion, prob­a­bly because they’re look­ing for any able-bod­ied peo­ple who will show up! My son eas­i­ly made it through an inter­view. They then moved him right into an ori­en­ta­tion meet­ing where he’ll learn how the com­pa­ny works, what they do, etc. The final step is a for­mal application! 

At first it seemed fun­ny to wait until the end to pro­vide an appli­ca­tion, but the more I thought about it the more I liked the con­cept. I think it’s best to get peo­ple just to show up (group style) and share with them what you have to offer: train­ing, com­pen­sa­tion, vision, com­pa­ny cul­ture… Is there a per­son or two with­in the group that sticks out and seems like some­one who will fit your orga­ni­za­tion? Help them move on to the next round of hir­ing, weed­ing out the folks who aren’t a good fit. I think so much time is wast­ed on read­ing appli­ca­tions that are, most of the time, bogus and filled with fluff. 

5) Share your vision and culture

One thing I have seen this past year is a lot of new hires not stick­ing around for longer than a few days or weeks. One way to help com­bat this is to make sure these new recruits real­ly know more about your com­pa­ny. This is where you want to share your mis­sion, vision, and com­pa­ny cul­ture with them. I would also encour­age you to con­sid­er telling each new hire to talk to you (or the hir­ing man­ag­er) the first few weeks/​months of work­ing there and get a com­mit­ment that one does not up and quit. In oth­er words, have real­ly good com­mu­ni­ca­tion and make sure these folks feel man­age­ment is approach­able, they can be heard, and that you’re inter­est­ed in their success. 

I am a mar­ket­ing guy. I help con­trac­tors devel­op a mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy and then make sure we imple­ment it and get leads! The last few years, how­ev­er, I’ve learned a lot about hir­ing too, espe­cial­ly as I real­ized just how com­ple­men­tary hir­ing and mar­ket­ing real­ly are. There’s no sil­ver bul­let, but by devel­op­ing a pos­i­tive com­pa­ny cul­ture, shar­ing that cul­ture, and con­sis­tent­ly hir­ing, I’m sure you’ll find and keep great peo­ple. It’s a long game! 

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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