Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you manage it? Tips on "to catch a thief"? Also what methods do you use to mark your tools.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,787 Posts
Stuff was engraved & most stuff painted an ugly green & yellow.

How is there so much unsupervised access/use of your stuff that you are worried about it or that it is getting ripped off?
 

·
Drywall Slave
Joined
·
9,441 Posts
Some real genius ripped out the wire in a basement a few months ago on a nice home I was working on . The Sparky said It may of added up to $200... There was $4,000 worth of power tools in the house! He didn't touch them! ......Go figure?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jp1991

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,819 Posts
Are you serious?

Thorough hiring process

Personal and professional references and recommendations, employment history, interview tools, background check, character judgment, experience, instinct, etc
yeah, true, but a few slip thru the cracks...
 

·
The Ultimate Wire Hider
Joined
·
4,455 Posts
How do you manage it?
Having your own tools is a prerequisite of employment with me. If you are skilled, experienced, but empty-handed, there is a very good reason for that other than "bad luck".

Secondly, a pre-employment drug screening will tell you a whole lot about that employee in terms of whether your tools in their hands will grow legs.

Third, I hold them accountable. I tell the guys to keep up with their tools while on the jobsite. If a guy looses a $400 hammer drill, he doesn't work until I find the time and money to buy another one. I don't expect him to come out of pocket to replace it, but if he does...or it just magically re-appears, it just gets him back to work sooner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Dang why didn't I think of that. Certainly would nip it in the bud. I was thinking more along the lines of a $20 in the gang box tied to a land mine.

I don't have nor do I foresee an epidemic unfolding. I just run a very small operation that is trying to grow. During this growth period, I have to rely on labor from all sorts of angles to give me the man power I need on certain jobs.

The "good guys" usually maintain steady employment or are only interested in long term employment. This often leaves me dealing with new guys whom I know little about.

Generally one or more of the following applies.
-under skilled
-lazy
-overvalued mindset $$
-undependable
-drama (wife, baby momma, kids)
-too many scheduling conflicts

Brings about the question. How to find "good help" for the short term with potential to bring them on full time.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,787 Posts
Custom residential projects easily lend themselves to maintaining a regular crew.

Commercial projects manpower came from phone calls and more likely a guy walking on the site looking for work.

In the olden days, a few weeks before light bulbs were invented, if a guy could perform simple operations with a frame square and had a couple of sharp handsaws would get him a tryout...:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
dealing with new guys whom I know little about.

Generally one or more of the following applies.
-under skilled
-lazy
-overvalued mindset $$
-undependable
-drama (wife, baby momma, kids)
-too many scheduling conflicts
Take responsibility for this outcome. Improve your hiring process and eliminate about 90% of that. What kind of numbers are you putting on at once?

It would help if you would give more info. If you need ten new criminals to help you dig ditches then lock your zhit up and hire an armed guard. If you are talking about one new guy a month that's a different approach.

How about some details.

Me and Griz are coming from opposite directions because you have not explained how you currently are finding help, what your hiring process is and what kind of environment and supervision there is on your worksites and what precautions you take to protect your assets
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,787 Posts
Take responsibility for this outcome. Improve your hiring process and eliminate about 90% of that. What kind of numbers are you putting on at once?

It would help if you would give more info. If you need ten new criminals to help you dig ditches then lock your zhit up and hire an armed guard. If you are talking about one new guy a month that's a different approach.

How about some details.

Me and Griz are coming from opposite directions because you have not explained how you currently are finding help, what your hiring process is and what kind of environment and supervision there is on your worksites and what precautions you take to protect your assets
I still prefer just to talk to a guy. One can garner a great deal of information from simple conversation.

Protect my assets...I just know where my chit is and who has it...

Really pretty simple. I'll stick with my methods that have worked for me.

Make it as complicated as you like and feel comfortable with.

Keep in mind you are hiring construction workers, not Nuclear Physicists for a clandestine operation....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
What I mean Griz is that we are not on commercial sites with walk on guys looking for work that you mentioned. If large numbers added all at once is needed for a large commercial job then the approach would be entirely different than what we do trying to make one or two solid long term hires every two to twelve months for smaller crews. Without some input from the OP it's unknown what speed and what numbers he is talking about.

We have the opportunity to go more into a thorough process looking for one or two solid hires every two to twelve months that will last for the long haul. We know our hires well before we put them on. If I needed 10 people tomorrow I would change my process and lock up my stuff and implement some changes to protect assets

Lots of contractors on here have keys to their customers homes. I don't think a simple conversation is adequate and customers wouldn't either if they got ripped off and found out their contractor doesn't bother a background check before their staff was inside the customers home. Employees ripping off customers personal belongings after they entrust in their contractors professional hiring practices is a clandestine operation all remodelers ought to worry about.

There has been much talk about increasing the professionalism of the trades. Casual hiring isn't going in the right direction. It maintains an issue the trades are infamous for.
 

·
GC/carpenter
Joined
·
43,931 Posts
It's just something I don't think about. Im more concerned about gardeners, pool guys when I leave my tools in backyards
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Griz is correct to a point. I have a big time banker as a customer. He came up though the ranks to become president of a mid sized bank. He told me once that when he was the loan manager he shook the hand of the applicant and asked him/ her questions. No paper work. Highly unusual but it worked. Some people have that gift. His bank never got burnt by any loan he approved. He could read people. Maybe Griz has this gift does as well.
OP - If you are small perhaps you could network with another small contractor from time to time when you need help. Other small contractors have the same problems you have.
Bill T
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
No paper work. Highly unusual. Some people have that gift. He could read people
There are young contractors on here that have not even learned to qualify a customer properly.

If it's "highly unusual" or a "gift" then it's a bad idea to recommend it be relied on without the vast experience of an old timer. Having a hiring process that is lacking in readily available and affordable hiring tools is also a liability issue. I'd be furious if a contractor let a thief in my house that ripped off my wife and I because they thought they had a "highly unusual gift" and didn't.

A few weeks ago there was a thread about an employee drinking the customers booze and the debate ensues whether the contractor should tell the customer about it. I suppose the group that says no is the same group that thinks it's ok to hire a walk on for access to the customers belongings with a hiring decision based on an inadequate effort and background checks.

A commercial site, without access to the customers personal belongings, is an entirely different set of issues. Suggesting the identical approach for significantly different levels of responsibility in a remodeling, renovation with access to customer belongings is reckless at best.

A thief "slipping thru the cracks" isn't an option remodeling customers will tolerate. New builds and commercial are different issues.

never got burnt by any loan he approved
Uh huh. Don't believe everything you hear especially from someone talking about themselves and their highly unusual skills and delusions of grandeur. The mere mortals are calling bull****. Statements like that are not verifiable and sound like legends told in a bar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Wow Pole - Having a bad day?
I never suggested the OP shake a hand and make a decision. I was comparing my story ( True - not a bar tale) to Griz's ability. Period
I suggested to the OP that he network with other contractors.
Bill T
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top