Let’s be honest. You typically hire painters when you’re swamped. Right? You filled up your pipeline and have 8 weeks worth of work on the board. You put your hand on your head and say to your team, “We need to hire some painters! Let’s get to it!”
Most painters are very busy when the economy is strong. Right now, this is definitely the case; especially since we’re entering into the late spring months. Is it easier or more difficult to find painters when they’re all busy? It’s much more difficult. All the good painters are working right now — or at least should be working.
Sure, you might get “lucky” now and then. You’ll find a few great painters that want to make more money, and just happen to look at your hiring ads.
So, when is the best time to hire painters?
Here’s my two cents? I’m more of a marketing guy than an operations expert. This is just my opinion. You can choose to disagree and shoot holes in it, but here goes: I suggest that you begin hiring in the winter months. You can begin the recruiting stage as early as Christmas time! Perhaps you get a little more serious at hiring in February.
I know what you’re thinking!
You should stick to marketing, David. Wait a minute! I don’t have any money to hire someone in February, let alone any work to give him/her. Why should I hire in the winter? I should hire when I have cash!
Well, that’s the tricky part for sure. Here’s the problem with trying to hire when you have a full schedule of work booked: It takes time to hire the right people! You have to begin looking for recruits, interview 20 of them, hire 10 of them and hope that 2-3 will work out. Am I right? Isn’t that usually how it goes? When this happens, you cannot service new leads or jobs. You have to turn away work. Then you cannot meet your sales goals! This is my viewpoint. From a marketer’s perspective, I want to feed as many leads as I can to a client. I’m pretty bummed if my client can’t provide an estimate because he is too busy. I know he is turning away work to competitors; and as a marketer, I don’t like that.
I started thinking that maybe it is better to hire when you are typically slow and gear up for when you know you will be super busy. Your busy season should be pretty consistent. Many of my clients are swamped from April through Thanksgiving.
The book of Proverbs speaks on the ant. (Prov 6:8 & Prov. 30:24-25 )
“…she [Ant] prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.”
“Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer;
The ant is a diligent and “frugal” creature. It prepares for the winter. We can learn a lot from the ant! When the harvest (work) is plenty. This is where your painting business can make sure it is making money (most productive/profitable). Then it is up to you to set aside money for when the winter sets in or your typical slow season. I would suggest putting some of the profit right into your operations account and vow not to spend it on anything else. When the winter sets in, start the hunt for new hires. This is a time when many of the talented painters might be laid off, because the companies they are working for don’t have work! You can also begin to look at good apprentices that might consider the trade of painting.
One other key benefit to hiring in the winter is that you can then get some “bugs” worked out and do some training. Train your new painters on how your company paints. When the busy season hits, they will hit the ground running and hopefully have less quality issues. If you’ve set some of your profit aside for hiring, you’ll have the funds available to hire more in the winter months. This is how you invest back into your business and meet your sales goals.
Hiring in the busy season is ok too
I’ll close with saying that it is ok to hire really anytime of the year as well. In fact, you should always be hiring! Yet it never hurts to plan ahead and try to get the bulk of hiring completed before the season hits.
I just read an article posted by Kevin Nolan on how his team hires. Check out his latest blog article on hiring.