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Old 06-30-2017, 06:18 PM   #1
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Ethics


I have a client that has tried to hire a couple of my crew away from me. The backstory is that this is an estate I helped build a few years ago. Think mega money. We do work there from time to time, nothing big. They have attempted to hire two different crew members in the past few months for a pretty cush job and a salary I can't match. Neither of my guys went for it. I feel like these people would not have contact with my guys except for me, and it's a bit unethical for them to approach things behind my back. That said, it's a free country. Your thoughts?
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Old 06-30-2017, 06:25 PM   #2
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Re: Ethics


They look to go over your head and take your guys, so what would it take for them to screw you at any given time?

My business is based on principles, therefore I don't do business with people without them.

Good luck

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Old 06-30-2017, 06:29 PM   #3
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Re: Ethics


We are doing a T&M job for them this coming week.
Seems like a good time to raise the hourly rate, no?
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:17 PM   #4
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Re: Ethics


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Originally Posted by artisanstone View Post
We are doing a T&M job for them this coming week.
Seems like a good time to raise the hourly rate, no?
Not without notifying them ahead of time.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:20 PM   #5
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Re: Ethics


Heh, you should bill your guys out at what he offered them, plus your markup of course. Kind of hard to argue with that.

Secondly, the only way to hire good guys is to hire them away from someone else, but I can't imagine doing that with a sub that I was actively using.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:22 PM   #6
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Re: Ethics


I've had one HO ask my lead to do extras on a new build, bypassing me and the GC.

He explained to them he was not interested in jeopardizing his job, and voiding the HO warranty by doing so.

He makes a good wage, fair benefits, and can work as many hours as he wants.

Great employee, been with me 11 years.

Sounds like you have a good employee.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:29 PM   #7
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Re: Ethics


I agree with the ideas so far. I am a bit irritated by the situation as I feel like I've treated them as valued clients. In a way it's a complement. I only have four guys right now and they've approached two of them...

I should just tell them to go ahead and buy me out.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:31 PM   #8
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Re: Ethics


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Originally Posted by TxElectrician View Post
I've had one HO ask my lead to do extras on a new build, bypassing me and the GC.

He explained to them he was not interested in jeopardizing his job, and voiding the HO warranty by doing so.

He makes a good wage, fair benefits, and can work as many hours as he wants.

Great employee, been with me 11 years.

Sounds like you have a good employee.
My guys bring stuff like that to me, and if it's small, I let them handle it as weekend work.
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:59 PM   #9
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Re: Ethics


Is this (underhanded) client offering them full-time employment, or good money for a few weeks/months?
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:06 PM   #10
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Re: Ethics


Full time doing maintenance, yard work etc. Good salary probably benefits. I would be a little tempted myself. I told my guys to go for it if they liked. They chose not to. Downside would be working for a tyrant.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:11 PM   #11
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Re: Ethics


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Full time doing maintenance, yard work etc. Good salary probably benefits. I would be a little tempted myself. I told my guys to go for it if they liked. They chose not to. Downside would be working for a tyrant.
They would either be at their mercy....or jetting off to Schtad on their dime to take precious dogs for nature hikes. (I know someone who had that job..not me, though.)
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:16 PM   #12
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Re: Ethics


I guess I feel the need to confront this. It's water under the bridge by now unless they approach my other two guys... It feels slack to just ignore it.
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Old 06-30-2017, 11:51 PM   #13
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Re: Ethics


The key here is your guys are loyal and honorable. That's all that matters imo. I can replace clients but honorable honest help is a greater asset to have.


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Old 07-01-2017, 09:39 AM   #14
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Re: Ethics


Maybe the HO thought the jobs were too small for your company.

A second possibility, they don't like you, but they have seen the other guys work. Not saying there is anything wrong with you, that might be their opinion.

Or maybe they think you are gouging them. Time to explain the value and benefits of your service and work.

Or maybe they are just trying to save a few bucks
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Old 07-01-2017, 10:22 AM   #15
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Re: Ethics


Explain to the customer that you are forced to pay your guys more money to match an offer when someone tried to raid your crew. You now need to raise your rates accordingly. Do not tell him it is his offer that prompted this. Also tell him that you felt it necessary to implement a new policy that your clients,, site visitors, and employees can not discuss additional work or pricing. If he does need anything he will need to contact you directly.

Then tell your guys you are going to pay them a little extra on his job as a PITA bonus, and remind them that all discussions related to work or price need to be re-directed to you,

Then thank them for their loyalty
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:56 PM   #16
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Re: Ethics


It is a free country and it is made up of all kind of people. This will not be the last time this will happen to you. You need to decide if it violates your ethics and if you want to cut off keeping the estate as a customer. You can be offended all you want but really all you can control is your own action. Good luck.

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Old 07-08-2017, 12:24 PM   #17
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Re: Ethics


You need to be ahead of the pay curve not behind it. It is a competitive world, the long term solution is to pay well.
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Old 07-08-2017, 05:18 PM   #18
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Re: Ethics


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You need to be ahead of the pay curve not behind it. It is a competitive world, the long term solution is to pay well.
I agree. As far as I know I am already on the high end of employee pay. That's one reason I have good people. Kinda hard to compete with a billionaire in regards to that though. The offer was about 15% more than I pay myself and I assume there were benefits on top of that. All this to mow lawns. It was not a supervisory position.

The conclusion of this story is that I decided that confronting the clients wouldn't do anything except make me feel better. So I didn't mention it. I might allude to it though, if it comes up.
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Old 07-09-2017, 04:33 PM   #19
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Re: Ethics


The most important thing is that your employees are trustworthy and loyal. That's all that matters in the whole story. You cannot control other people's actions, but you can your own. Thank your crew for their loyalty, and find a way to show your thanks. Keep strengthening up the team work spirit.

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