How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry?? - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??

 
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Old 09-16-2015, 09:53 PM   #1
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How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


Where the hell are all the employees!????!??

I've talked to many guys like myself running small operations, salesmen, vendors, etc. etc. They all say the same....it's impossible to find help of any kind. Some can't get anyone to reply to ads, others to show up for interviews.

I've tried about 8 different methods from ads on Facebook to Craigslist to word or mouth among friends in the trades to putting the word out with my salesmen that I'm hiring. Like others, I've had terrible luck and it has NOTHING to do with pay. They don't even care how much I'm offering, no one calls.

I just placed an ad on Craigslist and the Jobs section for Skilled Trade is FILLED with identical ads, some blatantly offering $20-25/hr without expecting you to be a master in anything. Other ads beg for people to respond ASAP and claim you can be on their job site tomorrow morning. I've never seen anything like this in my life, and it's extremely frustrating.

I can sell my self, my work and my company...but I can't find anyone to do the actual jobs. This is going to get a whole lot worse in the future.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:06 PM   #2
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


I as lucky enough to find one last week. He was working for the sider who showed up during our last hour. He wanted to frame and i was offering a couple bucks more. He showed up a week later.

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Old 09-16-2015, 10:10 PM   #3
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


imho, you have to find them young and train them right.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:11 PM   #4
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


Also, I am moving away from trades that take a long time to train someone in.
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:14 PM   #5
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


Well, you know my thoughts on this Matt.

In the long term, I think it's going to be a good thing as this shortage is bound to drive up prices and entice a new generation of tradespeople. In many ways, it may lead to a new boom time, but an actually sustainable one because the demand will outstrip the supply for a long time if we have to spend years developing the work force.

How many of you guys with teenage kids are just going to watch them go off to study Comparative Literature for $35k a year when you know they can make a damn good living at the age of 20 if they come into the trades?
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Old 09-16-2015, 10:19 PM   #6
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


My second tedm as president of our home builders association, we got a trades program slightly started in 4 high schools. Soon to be 5 i think. High school kids hire on with a trade contractor part time during the school year and full time during the summer is what they are trying to get started now. I might try a senior next summer, but I'm using more subs now, and i dont know what i can use a high school kid for yet.

I did sponsor any kid from our division who wants to be a member of the NAHB trades program yesterday. Hope to see some get trades school scholarships.

Not a lot of takers so far. We will see.

This issue is discussed at every TAB and NAHB confrence i have been to in the last 18 months.
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Old 09-17-2015, 12:34 AM   #7
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


Me and another buddy trade off one of our good buddies. I don't know of anyone else who I can hire who is worth it. They are all either working already, or work for themselves. I can't even find another contractor to help when I need it. We are all busy. I could dig up more work, but I can't find any other help that I can leave on a job and the job would get done correctly and in a timely manner.
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:34 AM   #8
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


it is hard to find workers that want to play in the mud and not know if they will work a full day because of the weather when they can set at a screen and make 20 to 30 bucks hour.
i bid a 38 million dollar apt complex one of 6 going up in town. had to pass on the full bid to trim it i could not find guys to trim at $30 per hour.
most of the workers on the job site are from Georgia or Texas.
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:39 AM   #9
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


Quote:
Originally Posted by jhark123 View Post
imho, you have to find them young and train them right.
I agree with this. I try to hire in advance of need---
for example---- If I hire a young guy--- his first year is mostly spent learning how not to kill himself---or anyone else on the job. along the way he is doing basic labor tasks, learning to cut slate, learning to identify tile etc.--- we barely break even on the guy--- but he is worth it because he frees everyone else up on the job to do more lucrative tasks.

the second year he can begin joining in on basic production- but he doesn't REALLY start earning for us until his 3rd year

so we have to hire well in advance of need--- train relentlessly---and the guy has to see his career arc in front of him. He has to know that he has benefits, paid holidays--- that he will be able to buy a house of his own---get married, raise children---send them to safe schools--- that he isn't stuck shoveling crap into a dumpster--- but that he can advance,earn more, take on new challenges etc.

If I wait until we are swamped with work and then try to find a warm body to fill a hole--- well good luck with that.

I m looking for a new 1st year guy to start next spring--- but if I find him now, I will start him tommorrow!--- in advance of need.
stephen
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:22 AM   #10
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


We are a small service and remodel firm in Tulsa OK. We must have gone through about twenty this summer all of them expected top pay and thought the job was going to be easy money.
But it wasn't easy and they didn't earn top pay Every single one of them have fired themselves within two or three days of starting none made it through the first project. We get hate mails all of the time for what we are starting at $18.50 per hour and then becoming a team player that can handle the work entails more $$$ so far no good just a lot of talk.
(One guy I recall even tried to bring his girlfriend to work 2nd day I told him he couldn't and he left with her never to return)
Interviewed a guy yesterday at Home Depot (20 YO) and he was supposed to follow me to the jobsite but his truck had other plans for him.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:48 AM   #11
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


Seems anyone worth hiring already has a job.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:13 AM   #12
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


I gave up with hired labor. I now rely on friends. If I need them they take a day off from cubicle land or meet me after work. I pay them per day and a whole lot more than they make at their day job. I do this part time so I can't really afford to hire a friend full time. Not too mention workers comp. I can see how full timers have a problem.
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Old 09-17-2015, 09:06 AM   #13
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen H View Post
I agree with this. I try to hire in advance of need---
for example---- If I hire a young guy--- his first year is mostly spent learning how not to kill himself---or anyone else on the job. along the way he is doing basic labor tasks, learning to cut slate, learning to identify tile etc.--- we barely break even on the guy--- but he is worth it because he frees everyone else up on the job to do more lucrative tasks.

the second year he can begin joining in on basic production- but he doesn't REALLY start earning for us until his 3rd year

so we have to hire well in advance of need--- train relentlessly---and the guy has to see his career arc in front of him. He has to know that he has benefits, paid holidays--- that he will be able to buy a house of his own---get married, raise children---send them to safe schools--- that he isn't stuck shoveling crap into a dumpster--- but that he can advance,earn more, take on new challenges etc.

If I wait until we are swamped with work and then try to find a warm body to fill a hole--- well good luck with that.

I m looking for a new 1st year guy to start next spring--- but if I find him now, I will start him tommorrow!--- in advance of need.
stephen
Agreed, too many treat their laborers like **** and then wonder why they dont stick around.
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:41 PM   #14
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


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Agreed, too many treat their laborers like **** and then wonder why they dont stick around.
Our newest guy is currently putting the finishing touches on an inventory system for our slate and tile.
In april his job with us was mostly shoveling debris into a dump trailer and carrying buckets of mortar up 32 foot ladders

but I bend over backwards to make room for them to advance. He worked with us a few years ago--- then finished college and got a job related to his major-------- after 2 years of THAT he contacted us and asked if we might have work for him---- of course we snapped him up.
4 of us in the company---all of us have been to college, 3 are graduates

we are looking for our 5 th member----and frankly I may put our newest guy in charge of finding that 5th guy.
Stephen
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:01 PM   #15
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


Go recruit at the college.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:09 PM   #16
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


I went to college for 5 years, have a couple degrees, yet i found doing carpentry more fun than sitting in an office trailer doing paper work.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:12 PM   #17
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


I haven't hired anyone new in over two years. I have worked lined up now til probably June. I would rather stay small(4) than add people who will just not work out. It allows me to be really picky on the jobs that I choose.
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Old 09-18-2015, 04:42 AM   #18
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


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I went to college for 5 years, have a couple degrees, yet i found doing carpentry more fun than sitting in an office trailer doing paper work.
Chris--- that's interesting.
I am sure all 4 of us working here agree with that.

our new guy Tiernan--- I tell him "make sure you track your hours on this inventory system"
yesterday I remind him and he says---- I have worked on this maybe 20 minutes total at home---- the rest of the time has been spare moments here and there on the jobsite etc. where I am already on the clock.
We are all pretty excited because we would all prefer to be on our feet and outdoors where men belong ()--- rather than shuffling papers. this system tiernan is putting in place means we can track all our stock from cel phones, in real time with virtually no effort once the system is up and running.

these young, smart, educated guys--- see answers to problems that I would never come up with--- they look at a lot of things much differently--- they see opportunities I don't even know exist

But if I just wanted a grunt to shovel crap into a dump trailer--- I would miss out on all that capability.
Best wishes all ,Stephen
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Old 09-18-2015, 05:26 AM   #19
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


Qualified skilled tradesman are out there but they are all in their 50's and older.

Those are your best age ranges for the best of the best, but they don't come cheap and most will run circles around the young generation before noon.

Don't sell your jobs cheap and factor in expensive labor that gets the job done right and in a timely manner. Otherwise you're just fooling yourself thinking there's a shortage of good labor, there's not. There's a shortage of smart contractors who know business and economics.

Ask yourself this. If you closed your business today what would you be willing to work for and feel fairly compensated?
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:07 AM   #20
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Re: How Soon Until The Employee Well Is Run Completely Dry??


For whatever reason skilled trades have been dubbed as a last resort vs going to college. My dad runs a construction program at the local high school and his enrollment numbers are slowly diminishing too...kids are being taught you must have a degree to make money and hard work is for others.

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