Hiring New Guys - Business - Contractor Talk

Hiring New Guys

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Yesterday, 08:25 PM   #1
Pro
 
A+ Texture's Avatar
 
Trade: Drywall, Modulars, Remodeling
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Posts: 203
Rewards Points: 158

Hiring New Guys


I'm considering doing an on site "test" for my next hiring batch of guys. Typically I've hired one guy at a time and gave them a chance but this time I'm thinking of doing things differently..

First is going to be a phone interview to get a general feel for the person. Ask multiple questions like "On a scale from one to five how good would you say you ate at.... Installing trim? Caulking in trim? Finishing drywall? Hanging a ceiling fan? Using a hand masker? Cutting in paint lines... etc. etc.

Seems everyone in theory is the best guy ever until you see them try to paint over silicone.

Next part would be set up a test for EVERY guy. Trim in a door, caulk in said door, cut in a clean paint line, hang a ceiling fan. Time myself doing each task as a baseline, not me working fast just a steady pace.

Third, take the guys that pass the tests and work them for a week then weed out the guys who make the bull**** excuses and show up late etc.

Have any of you tried this route? How did it work? Any tips or suggestions?

Thanks, Kev
A+ Texture is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old Yesterday, 10:23 PM   #2
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 21,063
Rewards Points: 660

Re: Hiring New Guys


i'd much prefer a face to face meeting rather than a phone interview.

too easy to bs over the phone...

but he has to expend some effort to meet...

you can also get a read from body language, eye contact and other mannerisms.

Advertisement

__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is offline  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to griz For This Useful Post:
Californiadecks (Yesterday), Mordekyle (Today)
Old Today, 12:40 AM   #3
Pro
 
Mordekyle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,961
Rewards Points: 4,104

Re: Hiring New Guys


Quote:
Originally Posted by A+ Texture View Post
I'm considering doing an on site "test" for my next hiring batch of guys. Typically I've hired one guy at a time and gave them a chance but this time I'm thinking of doing things differently..



First is going to be a phone interview to get a general feel for the person. Ask multiple questions like "On a scale from one to five how good would you say you ate at.... Installing trim? Caulking in trim? Finishing drywall? Hanging a ceiling fan? Using a hand masker? Cutting in paint lines... etc. etc.



Seems everyone in theory is the best guy ever until you see them try to paint over silicone.



Next part would be set up a test for EVERY guy. Trim in a door, caulk in said door, cut in a clean paint line, hang a ceiling fan. Time myself doing each task as a baseline, not me working fast just a steady pace.



Third, take the guys that pass the tests and work them for a week then weed out the guys who make the bull**** excuses and show up late etc.



Have any of you tried this route? How did it work? Any tips or suggestions?



Thanks, Kev


So basically, you want them to have all the skills you have. A wide variety. Would a person with these skills work for what you are offering? Competitive Wages, benefits, opportunity for advancement, and a healthy/safe workplace?

It seems like many contractors don’t offer the first, much less the rest. They pay peanuts and wonder why they attract monkeys.



If the candidates do have these trade skills, do they have a drivers license, reliable transportation, and clean urine?


I would tend to hire based on character and work ethic. Not how fast they can paint, frame, or shingle. A reliable economy car is better than an unreliable sports car.

Given enough time, you can train a monkey to frame, plumb, paint, or roof. Or to do the tasks that you specialize in and do frequently.


However, you generally cannot teach an adult honesty, integrity, or loyalty. You can’t talk someone into sobriety or out or of bad decisions.


Hire for character, train for skill.


That said, a decent test may be to unload a truck. If unloading materials for a fence, he better hustle. If unloading windows, he better be careful. Either way, he should ask for instructions, move safely with purpose, and be aware of his surroundings. Good body mechanics and some mental activity should be evident.

I do like your idea of a task specific test, but many of those skills can be taught. Would you rather teach skills to a willing student or drive 20 minutes out of your way each day to pick up your painter with the (chronically) suspended license? No brainer for me.

I like the phone interview, but think it should be about the prerequisites.

- Why do you want to work for me?
- why should I hire you?
- reason for leaving your current job?
- ever been hurt on the job?
- how many sick days last year?
- employment record?
- references?

In other words, try to weed out the dealbreakers- druggies, drama queens, and derelicts before you even ask about skills.


Maybe a written questionnaire or an emailed response would be appropriate. That shows some technical skills and reveals somewhat their intelligence or lack of. I don’t want stupid people working for me. They are a danger to themselves and others.


Showing up (reliability) trumps any perceived shortcomings in skill that can be remedied with training.





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Mordekyle is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Mordekyle For This Useful Post:
pathbuilder (Today)
   
 
Old Today, 12:44 AM   #4
Pro
 
Mordekyle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,961
Rewards Points: 4,104

Re: Hiring New Guys


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
i'd much prefer a face to face meeting rather than a phone interview.



too easy to bs over the phone...



but he has to expend some effort to meet...



you can also get a read from body language, eye contact and other mannerisms.


All true. But a phone call takes less of my time. And I can F2F if he passes the phone interview. I could weed one out in ten minutes instead of thirty.






Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Mordekyle is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Mordekyle For This Useful Post:
pathbuilder (Today)
Old Today, 12:52 AM   #5
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 21,063
Rewards Points: 660

Re: Hiring New Guys


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordekyle View Post
All true. But a phone call takes less of my time. And I can F2F if he passes the phone interview. I could weed one out in ten minutes instead of thirty.






Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
agreed, you can "kick the tires" over the phone and maybe quickly weed out the retreads...

but 30 minutes for a face to face????

no way, in a minute or two, or less, you'll either smell bs or perhaps see/hear something that piques your interest.
__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is offline  
Old Today, 12:54 AM   #6
.....
 
Frank Castle's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 1,529
Rewards Points: 226

Re: Hiring New Guys


...
__________________
Adapt, Improvise, Overcome.
Frank Castle is offline  
Old Today, 01:10 AM   #7
Pro
 
Mordekyle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1,961
Rewards Points: 4,104

Re: Hiring New Guys


Quote:
Originally Posted by griz View Post
agreed, you can "kick the tires" over the phone and maybe quickly weed out the retreads...



but 30 minutes for a face to face????



no way, in a minute or two, or less, you'll either smell bs or perhaps see/hear something that piques your interest.


If I’m not willing to spend half an hour with a guy who may be a good fit, why would I spend a week working with him to find out he’s not?

30 minutes is a lot less time lost than a week. I would rather non- hire in a day than in a week.

- of course, it may take less than 30 minutes to fail the sniff test. No obligation to waste any more time after that.

The negative intangibles of tardiness, irresponsibility, and a victim mentality will always show up. I’d rather find those red flags sooner than later. I would rather waste a couple hours today than 30 this week. If it takes an hour long face to face, it is still money ahead.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Mordekyle is offline  
Old Today, 01:21 AM   #8
Pro
 
Jay hole's Avatar
 
Trade: General contractor
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 712
Rewards Points: 1,481

Re: Hiring New Guys


I’m thrilled if they can pass two tasks.

First can they whittle a nice point on a carpenters pencil.

Second. Our town is laid out on a simple grid system. So can they find an address without gps.
Jay hole is offline  
Old Today, 01:32 AM   #9
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 21,063
Rewards Points: 660

Re: Hiring New Guys


nice thing about commercial was when a guy came by the job if he didn't have a hard hat & boots, the conversation didn't last very long...
__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is offline  
Old Today, 02:10 AM   #10
Pro
 
hdavis's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: CoastalME
Posts: 21,421
Rewards Points: 1,516

Re: Hiring New Guys


No way would I have someone trim out a door unless he was already shown how to do it the way I want.

Advertisement

hdavis is offline  



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Met some great guys today. VinylHanger Off Topic (Non Trade) 12 07-05-2018 08:45 PM
How do you guys find help and or pay for employees ERIC1122 Business 56 07-04-2017 03:16 AM
Hiring a carpenters helper. CITY DECKS INC General Discussion 46 05-20-2013 12:54 PM
Hiring two guys. Winchester Business 20 11-14-2008 04:58 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?