Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hired my 1st employee a few months ago (part time)
he is just a laborer...i pay him $15

he is trying to start up his own website company and was happy to work part time for me so he could use the extra free time to do his own work...

my work has been up/down a lot....some weeks 18 hours, others 30+

over all he has been a great employee.....he needed pretty much no training, shows up early...cleans up after me and follows instructions...he makes mistakes, but nothing too bad...just normal stuff you would expect

today he says he got an offer for $22 an hour full time.....were in WI and this job is in IL, so he will lose 2-3 hours a day just driving...suddenly full time looks good to him for some reason....i tried all day to remind him about all the plus's he has working for me and that the job w/ me is long term, while the other(new) job may not be

for unskilled labor i cant match $22.....i thought $15 was high paying for it

my question for all of you!....would you offer to raise his wage to $17 to try to hold onto him.....its painful to pay someone to sweep and drill holes $17 an hour, but if i have to hire someone new they will require training (where as he didnt...he knew it all...he had experience being a plumbers helper before)

im torn....he still hasnt decided yet.....not looking forward to spending 2 months to train someone new and all the lost time and $$ that goes into it

hard to find someone will skills/experience and expect them to work part time
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,889 Posts
When I hire a hand, I figure I owe him 40 hours a week.

15 an hour sucks for PT work. JMPO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Where the hell is he working in illinois to make 50k a year as a broom pusher?

I'd say let him go. If he's thinking about leaving now he's going to leave. Even if you convince him to stay its only a matter of time until he decides to move on. You might as well just get on with training the new guy and save yourself the extra $2 per hour.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,965 Posts
Dismiss him. His mind is on "bigger and better" things. You will never have his full attention anymore at work if he has talent in another field.

BTDT.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,889 Posts
I agree with the above. Get another hand.
 

·
Talking Head
Joined
·
5,388 Posts
It's the problem with "good" help. They can't stay as help for very long. I had a hell of a time finding a new laborer this winter. It was all either guys who just didn't want to work or guys who were going to want to be a carpenter by summer. I didn't need a carpenter, I needed a laborer.

I'm sure you can find someone and the headaches of training will be made up for by not having to worry all the time if they were going to be looking for a better job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
my issue with him is he wanted to work part time....now suddenly he wants full time.......my work load worked perfect for him for 2 months....now it doesnt

thanks everyone for the feedback.......i found a good guy once...maybe theres another one out there
 

·
Pro
Joined
·
2,138 Posts
$22/hr for labor?
You on the commercial side?
You have to be a Lead carpenter to command that kind of salary in my neck of the woods. (...on the residential side).

...let him go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
819 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Where the hell is he working in illinois to make 50k a year as a broom pusher?.
some building thats demo'd and being converted into condo's

i told him ' what will happen when that project is done?'.....he doesnt know...

i guess if he were happy with me he wouldnt be still looking for another job...so if this new job doesnt work out he will just leave me the next time a better job comes around.........why is he looking? obviously $15 for unskilled labor isnt enough....to me its on the high end...i pay it to keep my employee happy

im going to let it go and not talk with him about things anymore....ill tell him tomorrow that id appreciate a 2 week notice when he decides and let it go at that.
 

·
The Ultimate Wire Hider
Joined
·
4,455 Posts
my question for all of you!....would you offer to raise his wage to $17 to try to hold onto him.....
No. I'd let him go for the following reasons:

1. Before he comes back to ask for his old job, he will be getting skills and experience at someone else's expense.

2. If I couldn't afford to pay him what he's worth and/or provide him with a full schedule, there's no way that I can expect him to stay.

3. He was going to leave anyway. When people like their job but hate the pay, they complain about the pay but they don't quit. When people talk about leaving, it's because they don't like their job.
 

·
GC/carpenter
Joined
·
43,943 Posts
Are you kidding? I have a laborer making 19 an hour, and worth every penny. This guy is worth more to me then my carpenters. He's a very happy worker due to his pay. Happy workers make loyal workers. I can put up with a lot but I can't keep an unloyal worker. Nice thing is he's a footing digger (my head digger in charge) he has my tools rolled out and ready to go he has them rolled up at the end of the day. Carpenters won't do anything you ask, (for very long) laborers will.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,055 Posts
Are you kidding? I have a laborer making 19 an hour, and worth every penny. This guy is worth more to me then my carpenters. He's a very happy worker due to his pay. Happy workers make loyal workers. I can put up with a lot but I can't keep an unloyal worker. Nice thing is he's a footing digger (my head digger in charge) he has my tools rolled out and ready to go he has them rolled up at the end of the day. Carpenters won't do anything you ask, (for very long) laborers will.
you are absolutely correct.
when we were doing asphalt shingles I often had laborers who were earning more than the installers.
we were typically doing 12/12 tearoffs and the laborer---with a helper would clean up ALL of the tear-off, pre-cut felt and ice gaurd and keep 4-5 hand nailers stocked with shingles. In effect tghe laborer was running the job and keeping every one moving forward. the installers only wanted to tap TAP, Tap TAP , Tap TAP hand nail. If they ran out odf shingles they would stop working untill one bundle was brought to them--- good laborer had one dropped at their hip just as they finished the last one---X 3-4 other installers
stephen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,055 Posts
my suggestion is that you hire a youngster who wants to learn to be a plumber-and start him at $13-$14/hour----and keep him busy 35 hours a week at least.

If you don't have production work for him to do--- then he should be washing your truck,sorting your tools, cutting your grass---- or you should be training him for an up coming task---- but it is all on YOU to keep him busy.

Realistically- what sort of person is going to just tread water and leave their life on hold in order to work for you at $15/hour---waiting by the phone for whenever you decide you need/want him ???--- what kind of life is THAT? working a few hours/week as casual labor.

start him cheap--- give him scheduled raises tied to him achieving ever increasing skill levels---- in short start him on a career.

If all you want is a $15 /hour labor---- for a few hours a week---- then you have to accept they are going to move on eventually when they decide to stop being boys and decide to start being men with responsibilities.
Stephen
 

·
Livin the dream...
Joined
·
6,624 Posts
We've got to be careful quoting labor rates across such a wide demographic. I would guess that a 19/hr laborer in California is the equivilant of about a 13/14/hr laborer in Indiana. I know lots of guys around here that have been working for someone else doing their trade for years and are still under 15/hr. Its whatever the market dictates. Granted...that is why I am now self employed. And generally make more in a day than I used to make in a week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,920 Posts
Are you kidding? I have a laborer making 19 an hour, and worth every penny. This guy is worth more to me then my carpenters. He's a very happy worker due to his pay. Happy workers make loyal workers. I can put up with a lot but I can't keep an unloyal worker. Nice thing is he's a footing digger (my head digger in charge) he has my tools rolled out and ready to go he has them rolled up at the end of the day. Carpenters won't do anything you ask, (for very long) laborers will.
And how!! (not just carpenters)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,920 Posts
Cali- hit that nail on the head (no pun intended). Huggy, it seems as though this guy is looking for a job, not a career. I have come to the conclusion that the candidate is someone who is looking for a career. That means we have to offer them something more than a pay check.

That also, means the person doing the work is thinking about the companies best interest as well.
 

·
Contractor of the Month
Joined
·
26,075 Posts
We've got to be careful quoting labor rates across such a wide demographic. I would guess that a 19/hr laborer in California is the equivilant of about a 13/14/hr laborer in Indiana. I know lots of guys around here that have been working for someone else doing their trade for years and are still under 15/hr. Its whatever the market dictates. Granted...that is why I am now self employed. And generally make more in a day than I used to make in a week.
Absolutely right.

The entire situation doesn't make sense, why would someone NOT want to work fulltime, then WANT to work fulltime and commute 3 hours everyday?
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top