Hiring Strategically… When Business Planning Marries Hiring
Works started to flow in, but you simply don’t have enough tradesmen on the tools to cope. A backlog of work is building up…
All of a sudden you’re left in need of a new tradesman, and fast!
You hire anyone with the skills to get the job done. After all, if the job’s not getting done, you’re not making the money. Right? Wrong….
Sure, finding someone fast, getting the job done and making money is all well and good. But what about the risks you are exposing your business to?
It’s common for us to get calls from our Lifestyle Tradie members who’ve been in this exact position.
Some of them have hit the jackpot. Like every employers dream, they’ve found the perfect tradesman. The tradesman is great on the tools with the dedication and positive attitude to match.
However, for the ones who weren’t so lucky, they’ve solemnly sworn to never hire fast again. These are the trade business owners who’ll tell anyone who’ll listen that hiring fast will only result in one, some or all of the following;
– Employees that simply aren’t the right fit for the team resulting in low team morale, lack of motivation and the ultimate loss of money due to reduced productivity.
– Employees that don’t understand the company and the values within it, and don’t have the pre-existing business loyalty. As a result, they have a lack of ownership over their role, show unreliability such as not turning up on time (or at all), and often buckle under the pressure of the busy workload – “up-and-leaving” putting you in the exact, tradesman-less position you started off in.
The biggest issue is that trade business owners experiencing these challenges amongst such busyness don’t have the time to sort the issue out nor do they have the time to rehire.
So, what can you do to avoid this?
I understand first hand that sometimes it’s simply unavoidable. Employees unexpectedly leave, things can get busy and the timing isn’t always right. But, there are definitely times when it is predictable and for these times there is no excuse to be hiring fast – hiring slow is key!
When it comes to these predictable times, trade business owners must make friends with planning.
When you consider your flow of work throughout the year, are there peak times?
There certainly is in our trade business.
Usually, towards the end of the year, we’ve found that customers are in a mad rush to get jobs done before the holidays set in. We know that we have to plan for these times – and this includes who we need to hire to cope with the predicted workload.
The benefits of doing this are enormous.
Hiring slowly enables you to build the perfect job ad and place it in well thought out locations to attract the right person. Rather than hiring a friend-of-a-friend or a family member (definitely not against this if they’re the right person!), you’ll have the time and means of reaching out to a wider pool of talent.
It’s a great idea to advertise for a new tradesman at suppliers, in local newspapers across your entire city not just your suburb, online and even through T.A.F.E. systems (that’s how we found our leading hand who has now been with us for 10 years!).
When you take your time hiring, you’re not pressured to take the first guy that applies, plus it simply allows time as a buffer for when things don’t go to plan. Often at first glance, a tradesman will seem like the right fit for your team, or your business seem like the right fit in a tradesman’s eyes. But, as the “honeymoon” phase of employment passes, sometimes this view changes. You need to determine if this employment is the right fit for both parties long term.
This buffer period also grants you the time to train your new employee and increase their loyalty to the business. By doing this, you are equipping them will the necessities to “survive” the busy period without burning out and leaving.
Hiring new staff is something that can be exciting when the timing is right, but absolutely sucks when it’s not!
We work hard in our trade business to promote healthy and open relationships with our staff. These relationships have resulted in long standing staff members and saved us masses of time that we’d otherwise be spending finding new tradesmen.
We have a formula that works, and if you’re keen to learn more, come along to our live event where, among other topics, we’ll be spending a large part of the day discussing teams!